4 Cloud Security Myths Busted
Verizon recently published its State of the Market: Enterprise Cloud report for 2016, and the results indicate that trust in the cloud among enterprises is growing rapidly. But for those who still need convincing that the cloud is safe enough for their most critical data, we have put together a list of 4 common misconceptions around cloud security.
Myth #1: “The Cloud and Compliance Just Don’t Mix”
That may have been the case years ago, but today all kinds of organization are moving their most sensitive data to the cloud. Financial services, law firms, and even healthcare organizations are starting to make a significant move to the cloud with volumes of data and business operations.
Some businesses are even moving all of their data to the cloud, like Creative Solutions in Healthcare, which may be the first healthcare organization operating 100% from the cloud. This move may have seemed risky a few years ago, but just like with other businesses, perceptions about compliance in the cloud are changing among healthcare IT.
In regards to the concern over HIPAA regulations and the cloud, research director at IDC Health Insights, Judy Hanover, points out that there are no specific environment requirements when it comes to HIPAA certification. Instead, she states, “It relates to how you treat designated protected health information… to doing a security audit to understand where that information is… to how you encrypt that data, how you manage that data, and how it’s protected.” Because compliance regulations don’t dictate where to store your data, inability to meet compliance regulations in the cloud is an unfounded fear.
Myth #2: “I Can’t Visibly Manage my Data in the Cloud”
If you are concerned about not having any visibility when it comes to managing your data in the cloud, fear not. Just like with compliance, cloud management has also come a long way. Cloud providers know how important it is to be aware of what is going on in your environment, so they’ve built their granular management and visibility solutions specifically around those concerns. Status of applications and users can actually be more visible than ever thanks to the cloud.
Take for example cloud backup. Depending on your cloud backup provider, you can view the status of your backup at any time and see an overview of your backed up files in a web-based management console from anywhere. Unlike with traditional tape or appliance backup, this kind of system gives you even more visibility about the status of your data and backups than ever before.
Myth #3: “Cloud Encryption Doesn’t Provide Enough Security”
While this one does require due diligence, as different cloud providers offer different levels of encryption, it’s a mistake to assume the cloud is inherently insecure. Some providers actually provide local encyption and decryption of your files in addition to storage and backup. This ensures “zero knowledge” privacy, or that even the server administrators and cloud providers will have a low chance of gaining access to your most critical data.
When it comes to security, the users in a network are actually one of the biggest risks. Whether it’s a rogue employee out to deliberately attack your business, or an uninformed employee who simply doesn’t know what proper security measures to take, employees are a serious threat to your data. That’s why proper user authentication is an absolute must-have.
Myth #4: “Unauthorized Users can Access the Cloud Easily”
Given the numerous high-profile data breaches that have occurred in the past, it’s understandable why this would be a legitimate concern. Many of these attacks have been accomplished through password hacks or social engineering. The good news is that business-oriented cloud providers make sure to address these vulnerabilities by taking various security measures.
Proper authorization is critical to cloud security, since it ensures that users will only be able to access data they are authorized to. Unique usernames, digital certificates, and strong passwords are some essential authentication procedures. Two factor authentication is a vital cloud security measure – it requires employees to have both a strong password and a trusted mobile number that can be used to send a unique numerical security code to in order to log into the system. This prevents users from failing for a phishing scam and getting their system credentials compromised, which is one of the biggest user-related risks to be concerned about. Two factor authentication adds a layer of security to the cloud that is difficult to break through.
One of the most critical changes in perception regarding the cloud is that the location of the data does not matter nearly as much as the accessibility to that data. Because of that, enterprises which are moving to the cloud must be very particular when choosing the right cloud provider – in doing so, they will reap all the benefits of the cloud while maintaining their business regulations and security requirements.