Business IT News &
How Secure Is the Cloud?
With remote and hybrid workplaces becoming more commonplace, it’s no surprise that 94% of businesses have already migrated to some form of cloud service. Whether you need to store data in the cloud or host applications over the internet, almost everyone can receive some benefit from cloud computing.
- Cloud computing has become a nearly universal element in most businesses.
- Cloud services offer businesses increased data accessibility, flexibility, and storage capacity.
- Because they run over the internet, cloud-based services are subject to a number of cybersecurity risks.
- Providers can maintain your cloud data security by using data encryption, frequent updates, redundancy tactics, firewalls, and data monitoring.
Cloud Computing 101
Cloud-based services allow you to run applications and store and process data all through the internet. Because of this, you can access your data from almost any device with an internet connection, making your information much more accessible. With cloud-based services, you don’t need to be in the office to access crucial information.
Cloud data management also gives you the opportunity to increase the amount of data you can store. In fact, there’s almost no limit to how much data you can store on the cloud. These services are easily scalable, so you can always expand your storage capacity or increase the number of applications that you run. In general, migrating to a secure cloud service provider can substantially streamline your business and help launch it into the digital age.
Is Cloud Computing Safe? The Biggest Cloud Data Security Risks and Concerns
Although cloud computing comes with a number of benefits, you may have questions about how secure the cloud actually is and what risks you might be exposed to when you migrate.
Like any piece of technology connected to the internet, cloud-based computing is susceptible to a number of online threats. Below are a few of the things that can put your secure cloud platform at risk.
Misconfiguration and Access Permissions
Misconfiguration is one of the leading causes of data and security breaches within cloud-based systems. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2025, 99% of cloud security failures will be attributed to human error. Misconfigurations occur when the administrator doesn’t secure the cloud-based system properly, leaving your data vulnerable to malicious activity.
Migrating to the cloud can leave a number of holes, gaps, or even overlaps within your system, providing an opportunity for malicious software or users to access your data. For example, an administrator can accidentally allow unrestricted outbound access to privileged data, putting it at risk of public exposure. These flaws can also be difficult to catch without proper scrutiny.
The misconfiguration of your access permissions can also present a glaring security issue. Who has access to what data? A secure cloud system will restrict access to some users; it won’t allow unfettered access for everyone. If normal users are accidentally given access to privileged accounts, they can become targets for cyberattacks, since these accounts may contain sensitive information.
Viruses and Malware
Although viruses and malware are often only seen as threats for an on-premise system, they can also pose problems to how secure the cloud is. Cloud systems are built around the idea of data accessibility, but that can become a double-edged sword. When large volumes of data reside in the cloud, they are easily accessible to you from any location; however, this accessibility also provides ample opportunities for malware to compromise your data..
If malware does slip through your system, it will begin to steal protected data and credentials, creating a large security risk for your business.
Instead of using viruses or malware, malicious users may simply try to hijack your account by stealing your login credentials. They can gain access to your credentials in a number of ways; for example, they might use spyware or brute force password attempts to access your username and password.
Using your credentials, these malicious users can access your cloud-based service, and, consequently, your business’ information. From here, they can steal sensitive data or hold it for ransom.
One of the most common ways that malicious users attempt to gain access to your account is phishing. In this social engineering tactic, malicious users pose as a credible organization and try to get you to reveal sensitive information like your password, account number, or other personal identifiers. Or, they will try to get you to click on a false link or attachment that downloads spyware onto your device.
In either case, malicious users can use this information to take over your account. From there, they can steal or hold your data for ransom, or attempt to access more privileged accounts.
Cloud vs. On-Premise Security
Although it may seem like hackers and other malicious users can easily access your cloud data and applications, cloud-based applications are actually more secure than their on-premise counterparts. You may wonder how secure the cloud actually is when faced with so many threats, but, fortunately, cloud systems come prepared. Check out a few of the tactics that cloud-based services employ in order to keep your data stored in the cloud safe.
Most cloud-based services encrypt your data when it’s uploaded to their system. This makes it harder for malicious users to access, since they’ll have to decrypt and unscramble the information in order to use it against you.
One great benefit of hosting your data and applications in a cloud environment is that the data can be monitored in real time. Cloud services will flag abnormal user behavior or unknown IP addresses that try to access data. This process helps catch breaches before they happen, preventing data loss or theft.
Cloud-based services use redundancy tactics in order to keep your data safe in case of emergency. These redundancy tactics involve backing the data up across multiple server systems. Should one server room go down, your data will still be accessible on another.
Firewalls use complex algorithms to filter out suspicious-looking incoming traffic and information, which keeps your data safely tucked away behind closed doors. Malicious users, malware, and viruses will have to break down your firewall before they are able to access any of your data.
Frequent Hardware and Software Updates
Updating your computer hardware and software is one of the best techniques for preventing data loss and breaches. Since hacking methods improve and become more sophisticated each day, it’s important to frequently update your systems so that they have the more recent security tactics. Luckily, with a secure cloud-based service, these updates are taken care of for you. Cloud services are constantly providing new updates to their hardware and software in order to keep your data safe and secure.
Safely Migrate to the Cloud with Blue Net
Like any internet endeavor, cloud computing comes with inherent risks. But, with the right protective measures in place, your data will be safer on the cloud than it would be in an on-premise data center. At Blue Net, we’ll help you make a safe, secure cloud transition. If you’re looking to migrate your whole suite of applications to the cloud or host a smaller number of items on a private cloud platform, we have you covered. Reach out today to begin your business’ secure cloud migration.