7 Cloud Security Risks That Every Business Should Be Aware Of
Cloud computing has become a buzzword lately and most businesses are jumping on the cloud bandwagon.
Just like a coin which has two sides, cloud computing has another side to it that most businesses neglect, which is the dark side. Since its inception, cloud technology has been criticized for its poor security and privacy.
7 Cloud Security Risks
Even though, cloud service providers and vendors have done their bit to improve things but those privacy and security issues still persists and can come back to haunt businesses who have migrated to the cloud.
Gartner highlighted some of the biggest cloud security risks in its report called “Assessing the Security Risk of Cloud Computing”
In this article, you will learn about seven biggest cloud security risks and what businesses can do to protect themselves from these security issues.
1. Privilege User Access
Migrating your complete infrastructure to the cloud means that even your sensitive data is being processed and stored outside the enterprise. This poses a huge security risk because third party services tend to bypass logical, physical and personnel controls.
According to Gartner, you should “Ask cloud service provider to supply specific information on hiring and oversight of privileged administrators and exercise control over their access.”
Keep a strict check on users with privilege access and assign roles based on responsibility. Don’t allow all users to access all your data.
2. Data Segregation
Just like a shared hosting environment, data in the cloud is stored in a shared ecosystem. This means that your data and other customer’s data is stored side by side. This is where data segregation problem emerges.
This puts your data at risk but you can easily overcome this issue by encrypting your data. Although, encryption works great but don’t consider it a solution to all your data segregation problems.
Ask the cloud provider about which encryption schemes and tools they are using. When you are encrypting your data, make sure that it is done correctly. Even a small mistake can make your data unusable or inaccessible. You don’t want to be losing access to your data in quest to keeping it safe and organized.
3. Data Location
Moving to cloud seems like a lucrative proposition when you consider the benefits it offers. Unfortunately, the lack of location information makes customers reluctant and susceptible. When you switch to cloud, you are unaware of the location where your data is being stored.
Even worst, you don’t even know about the country your data is stored in. Make sure to ask about their dedicated server locations and inquire about their commitment to local privacy laws.
Even if you have to make a contractual commitment with the cloud service provider, you should go ahead because the security and privacy of your data is more important than anything else.
Another big issue with cloud is of data recovery. When you don’t know where your data is, how can you recover it? Yes, you can’t. Ask cloud service provider about disaster recovery and what will happen to your data if a disaster strikes.
More importantly, ask the cloud provider whether they replicate your data and application on multiple sites or not. If they are not doing it, you are better off choosing a different cloud provider as your data is at a huge risk in such a situation.
According to Gartner, “Any offering that does not replicate the data and application infrastructure across multiple sites is vulnerable.” Also inquire about how long will a complete restoration take?
5. Regulatory Compliance
Cloud providers might argue that customers are responsible for the security and integrity of their data even if it is held by a service provider.
Businesses might consider this rubbish especially when the cloud providers have to go through external audits, ensuring regulatory compliance and security certifications.
Avoid cloud service providers who refuse to go through this scrutiny as they are the ones who hold customers responsible despite holding their data. Make sure the cloud vendor you choose comply with all the regulatory requirements.
6. Long Term Visibility
The probability of your cloud provider going broke, getting acquired by another company or merging into another company is very low. Despite this, it is better to ask the cloud provider what will happen to your data if such an event occurs.
Inquire about how you can get your data back if such a situation occurs. Which format would it be in? Could you import that data into replacement applications?
Ask all these questions from cloud service provider. You don’t want to be losing access to your data just because your cloud service provider has been acquired by another company.
7. Investigative Support
Another downside of moving your infrastructure to the cloud is that you can not investigate any illegal activity inappropriate action. Since user data is stored side by side, it is not easy to conduct an investigation.
In some cases, data is spread across multiple hosts and data centers, which makes almost impossible to investigate such matters.
If you are really worried about it, prepare a contract and get it signed by a cloud service provider which allows you to investigate these matters and punish the culprits. You can also choose a cloud provider who have a good reputation of dealing with such cases.
There is no denying the fact that cloud technology has its advantages but these security risks can overshadow its benefits and hamper its wider adoption. There is still a lot of room for improvement in cloud when it comes to security and privacy of data.
Until these security risks subside, we cannot say the cloud is safe place to store your data. Yes, it might provide you ease of access but if it is doing so at the cost of security and privacy then it is not worth the risk.
Which is the biggest cloud security risk in your opinion? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.
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- 7 Cloud Security Risks That Every Business Should Be Aware Of - July 24, 2019