Evading IT Threats: Integrating Security in Your Overall Cloud Strategy

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The on-demand nature of the ever-evolving cloud platform reflects the critical need for organizations to equip their IT environment with security controls and evade potential threats that may arise in the future.

In an era where enterprises already understand and perceive cloud computing as an enormous opportunity along with a brand new innovation, it is also important to know that the cloud’s greatest strength can also be its greatest weakness if you’re not addressing the key area of data security.

Many organizations who’ve already adopted a cloud-based infrastructure and implemented a sound cloud strategy, have failed to incorporate a security roadmap in their master plans. Even 90% of those who constantly think about making their data secure on the cloud are using traditional security procedures that are not up to pace with the current technological advancements.

As a consequence of this, the new environment fails to cope with the growing security demands, fails terribly in enhancing the returns on investment and disrupts the existing IT environment in a significant manner.

Facing the Big Challenge – How to Avoid Exposing Your Enterprise to Data Breaches

Protecting your enterprise from cloud risks is the only solution if you’re actually concerned about avoiding data breach incidents. However, the biggest challenge is knowing how that can be done and what you need to have in place for escaping vulnerabilities.

Described below are some of the foolproof ways to implement and enhance Cloud Security.

1.         Create Encrypted Backups of Sensitive Information Stored in Your Cloud Storage Environment

The idea of creating backups and encrypting them may not occur to organizations in the mainstream, but those who are already clear about the security aspects will recognize it as one of the biggest steps towards evading potential cloud risks.

Data sent to the cloud can be easily encrypted using cryptographic techniques (either public key encryption technique or private key encryption technique depending upon the kind of business you’re dealing in) to safeguard passwords, confidential information and valuable business data that can affect the whole enterprise if it falls into the wrong hands.

2.         Collaborating Towards Secure File Sharing

No matter where your files and folders are stored, one must have secure authorization to prevent unauthorized sharing of information from one place to another. If this vulnerability can be neutralized, it can solve nearly half of the security concerns and issues arising out of loopholes.

The only solution to this is file encryption performed in such a way that it can save you from loss of business critical information via secure collaboration towards file sharing.

3.         Email Encryption is also Crucial

Apart from client encryption and server encryption, the tracking and protection of email communication happening in the cloud is also crucial. Since most of the malicious or criminal attacks perceive email exchange as the biggest weapon to execute and plan cyber-attacks, one must encrypt emails especially when it comes to confidential client data or password information that can directly pose a security threat to an organization.

4.         Overcoming “Insider Threats” in Enterprise Cloud Computing

Most of the security breaches result from “inside” jobs i.e. either due to people within the organization (employees, ex-employees) or the people associated with the organization (external contractors, business associates). Reliable statistics gathered on various incidents concerning insider threats have revealed that 80% of the malicious activities were performed during working hours.

In cloud infrastructure, it becomes even more challenging to overcome such threats without incurring any losses. As an example, to illustrate insider threats in cloud computing, let’s assume an executive search firm ABC wants to implement cloud infrastructure in order to manage its entire HR department. Such an organization seeks help from a third party organization i.e. a cloud service provider to accomplish its HR activities in a more efficient manner and take all their business to the cloud. As a matter of course, the employees working at the cloud service provider i.e. the people working in that outsourced organization will have access to all the sensitive information and valuable corporate data regarding the company ABC.

The worst case is when the outsourced cloud service provider has already made you sign a “no obligation” user agreement stating that they won’t be responsible for any of your information losses or malicious activity. In such a scenario, when even the cloud service provider is not taking the liability of the loss of your critical information, you’re in a very vulnerable position. Unfortunately, such vulnerabilities are extremely difficult to detect – whether it be a security threat, a cyber-fraud or the disclosure of a company’s confidential information or valuable data.

However, by practicing some of the best threat control techniques and implementing multiple levels of protection to overcome both external and internal threats pertaining to enterprise cloud security; an organization can save itself from the inevitable trading of confidential information by malicious individuals. 

Adopting an intelligent security approach is the key towards enforcing a stringent safety plan that facilitates meeting the highest security compliance standards. Cloud security must be paramount in every organization to ensure critical information is safe from the eyes of hackers and other malicious users trolling the web to take advantage of even the minutest of loopholes. Cloud-based applications pose a greater threat since everything that your company does or possesses is hosted on a place where the storage resides on the cloud i.e. a server existing somewhere on the internet. Hence, it is imperative to take the responsibility of ensuring a secure cloud infrastructure by using measures that can strengthen applications such as multifactor authentication.

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