Maintaining Data Security In Cloud Computing

data security in cloud computing

With more and more businesses and companies moving to cloud computing solutions it’s important to understand the basics of maintaining data security in cloud computing.  Hackers aren’t looking for financial and credit card information as much as they used to—they are looking to obtain sensitive data that they can hold for ransom.  Much of the time these hackers can access this data through security holes in cloud data storage that have been overlooked.  It’s crucial that businesses take a hard look at how thorough their cloud security is and how employees are briefed on proper usage of cloud storage systems as well as virtual servers and software.

There’s a common misconception that cloud computing is less safe than traditional networks.  But this isn’t the case.  In most data breaches it’s an obvious oversight that leads to a breach in the first place.  The key is to ensure that you have all your bases covered when it comes to points of contact and the links you have within your network.

Examples Of Cloud Data Breaches

There are many examples of companies getting caught with less than stellar cloud security protocol.  Oftentimes it’s a small oversight that leads to big-time losses as cyber criminals are quite adept at sniffing out even the tiniest of holes in a security plan.

In April of 2018, cloud-based compliance resource company ComplyRight experienced a data breach affecting more than 76,000 customers which compromised names, social security numbers, dates of birth, phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.  Although ComplyRight didn’t specify how the breach happened, security researcher and reporter Brian Krebs suspects that their tax filing website was hacked and malicious code installed to capture information as it was entered into the website–before it could be passed on to any sort of encryption protocol.

Krebs goes on to write: “While ComplyRight hasn’t said exactly how this breach happened, the most likely explanation is that intruders managed to install malicious code on the Web site — malware that recorded passwords entered into the site by employers using the service to prepare tax forms.  Translation: Assurances about the security of data in-transit to or from the company’s site do little to stop cyber thieves who have compromised the Web site itself, because there are countless tools bad guys can install on a hacked site that steals usernames, passwords and other sensitive data before the information is even encrypted and transmitted across the wire.”

Thus the obvious point: no matter how secure of an encryption protocol your company has on data in transfer, the data is only as safe as its weakest point of contact.

Cloud Data Protection Steps For Businesses

So is your data safe in the cloud?  The short answer is yes, with a caveat; you must ensure that no stone is left unturned when examining your network for security vulnerabilities.

Outsource Your IT Security

Since your data security is only as strong as your weakest link, it’s important to ensure that you are treating it as a top priority.  If your company’s in-house IT staff is too busy with tasks related to just keeping the servers online and systems running properly, then it might be too much to ask for them to also ensure that the IT security is properly tested and covered.  This is a common problem for small businesses as well as public organizations such as schools that have limited budgets.  This is where outsourcing your IT security could save you from a costly breach in the future.  Allowing professionals to take over security concerns can be more effective than having an already overburdened in-house IT staff try to do it.

Educate Employees

Oftentimes unsavvy employees can get tricked into falling for phishing schemes and other sophisticated email and phone attacks that can allow hackers access to vital information or logins.  Ensuring that your employees are cognizant of cloud security issues and threats is an excellent way to head them off before it becomes a problem.

Ensure Your Business Is Ready For Cloud Computing

Security protocols for in-house networks may not always be adequate for cloud-based infrastructure.  You’ll likely need to examine your current systems to ensure that they can handle cloud-based security standards.  In some cases, hardware or software must be upgraded in order to ensure that basic security levels are maintained.  This is especially true if you want to take advantage of server virtualization.

Vet Third-Party Vendors Carefully

When doing business with third parties you must do your due diligence in selecting only those that place security at a very high importance level.  In December of 2018, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Frisco reported that a security issue with a third-party credit card payment vendor had compromised the financial data of 47,000 patients.  In this case it was the security negligence of a third-party contractor that caused problems for the hospital.  This type of breach is a big problem for medical providers in particular due to the number of third-party vendors that they typically use.

Strengthen Your Cloud Security With An Outsourced IT Company

With threats becoming more numerous by the day it can be very hard to keep up with IT security standards and methods of prevention.  Letting a dedicated IT company manage your cloud security is an excellent way to ensure that a data breach will never be an issue.

If you’re a Southern California business or organization and need help moving to the cloud or ensuring that your current cloud-based systems are compliant and up to date with the latest in security protocol, give AMA Networks a call today.