Cloud Security: The Fear, The Myth and Remedies

Cloud computing offers benefits like flexibility and scalability to organizations but the security concerns surrounding it make IT professionals skeptical about it. The extent of damage caused by outage and data theft has made organizations wary about cloud adoption.

Cloud set-up can introduce many benefits to an organization. It can help creating an effective working environment within a complex value chain of an organization by enhancing accessibility across user groups. But it is the idea of putting sensitive data on a virtual location, that is also accessible by others, is what stopping enterprises from adopting it with open arms.

People believe that when they have the data stored in a resident server the data is safe. But let’s not live with the wrong notion. Data security is can be compromised even when it’s stored in an in-house server. Keeping it on cloud doesn’t make the situation worse. People only fear more since they have lesser control over their data in a hosted set-up.

Even when cloud acceptance is gaining speed skepticism is wide spread. Around 56% of the respondents in a survey conducted by CSO have expressed their concern over visibility and control over their data in virtualized environment. The factors triggering the fear are:

  • The large volume of data generated and shared in cloud
  • Increasing number of devices and users accessing it
  • The constantly changing feature of cloud

The most widely prevailed myth about cloud based service is that it can’t be secured. But cloud can be as secured as your local datacenter is. You need to select the right cloud deployment and establish the correct security measure that would adhere to your enterprise requirements.

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To create a secured environment in cloud you need to carefully select a vendor whose security features meet your requirements. Often selecting the single-tenant format can eliminate concerns over your data security getting compromised in multi-tenant model.

Data security on cloud can be ensured by registering a right amount of balance between control and visibility. Trust can be achieved by ensuring accessibility of information to authorized users in a way that doesn’t compromise with data security.

Data security concerns aren’t new, nor has the introduction of cloud changed it. It has only changed the platform where the security measures need to be extended. Investment in virtual security will ensure sufficient control and visibility.

Data encryption is another option to secure data in virtualized environment. Instead of introducing security layers to cloud based applications you can secure your data by encrypting them before uploading to cloud. The decryption key needs to be saved separately. The lifetime of the keys can be managed by Digital Rights Management (DRM) software that asks for biometric identification of the users to allow them to access the decryption keys.

Discretion can also be applied in storing sensitive data within the confinement of on-premise storage. This way you would be able to control data shared in the hosted set-up. Keeping your project-sensitive data off the cloud will put your mind at peace.  You can also restrict accessibility of certain files to confined groups of users to ensure better manageability.

Filters can be introduced based on intelligent heuristics that will stop files from getting shared from private cloud to public cloud environment.

Further, one can prevent information accessed from hosted server from being cut, copied or shared within enterprise or individual environment. Special logging in features can be created to restrict and monitor the frequency by which data is edited in the virtualized environment.

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