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The Rise of Cloud Computing: Data Security Priorities
Today, people keep their data on the cloud with applications such as Microsoft’s OneDrive, Apple’s iCloud, Google’s Google Drive, and Dropbox. There are multiple reasons cloud is mainly preferred, such as available storage space, ease of use, and flexibility to access data from anywhere at any time.
With its promising advantages, many companies are increasingly turning to cloud computing. But often, they have concerns about data security on the cloud. They might be concerned about their data privacy as the cloud stores millions of users’ data on the servers hosted by third-party providers. They might be worried about what if the provider’s servers will crash, causing all your mission-critical applications to a standstill.
Common Concerns about Cloud
At its most basic, the cloud refers to a software or service that is not located on your hard drive but instead runs on the internet. It is an outsourced solution for saving data on network drives or internet servers. And what makes people concerned about the cloud is that they do not own or control the server or system where their data is being stored and whether the third-party service providers are trustworthy enough to store your data or not. So, keeping the information safe is entirely dependent on cloud service providers.
Cloud Storage Risks
Cloud security is robust, but it is not unbreakable. Cybercriminals can intervene in the data utilizing cracking security questions or bypassing passwords. So, one of the significant challenges with cloud storage is privacy. Even if the attacker does not steal the data, it can be viewed and used for fraudulent purposes.
From security loopholes to support issues, there are several data migration challenges while storing data to the cloud. Take a look below:
One of the reasons why people are so worried about migrating or saving data to the cloud is the increasing number of cyberattacks against data storage environments every year. The most frightening thing is the vulnerability to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, including attempts to destroy a targeted server’s expected traffic. This is particularly challenging in the cloud, where massive amounts of data are stored by different users in the same cloud environment.
Lack of Control
Unlike an in-house IT department’s data center, the cloud is a remote server where users outsource their data or computing needs to a third-party service provider. The provider offers updates and performs all maintenance activities. The biggest concern is that someone else has complete access to your data and is in charge of keeping it safe.
Just as cyberattacks seem like a sharp spike, security breaches from the inside are also causing a bigger risk to organizations. In 2019, a threat and attack at Alibaba – the Chinese ecommerce website – affected the data for 1.1 million users due to a crawler crawling the website for over eight months. While in 2021, LinkedIn also became the victim of an attack that put the data of 700 million Linkedin users at stake. Once an employee takes control of data or gives other permission, everything from customer data to confidential information is compromised. Special measures must be taken to avoid insider threats and crawler data breaches.
Not all Cloud Storage Providers are the Same
With all the risks associated with cloud storage, it is natural to worry about your data when it is saved remotely. After all, your mission-critical applications, reports, and files are being stored on an off-premise server. You might wonder how susceptible these distributed servers are to cyber attackers.
Here is the truth: Different cloud storage service providers employ different security controls and measures to secure your data on the cloud. A provider specialized in data storage will be different from a complete cloud service provider company that offers data storage, infrastructure-as-a-service, software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, and other cloud-based services.
The security measures undertaken by cloud computing service providers are likely to be more robust, secure, and powerful than your computer’s local drive. The big cloud players use standardized encryption methods to conceal cloud-protected information to keep data safe. They follow organization-wide security policies related to data security to prevent internal and external malicious attempts.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
Cloud storage works by storing data on off-premise servers. The data stored in the cloud can be maintained, managed, backed up consistently, and accessed from anywhere. Besides accessibility, data accumulated over the cloud network is highly safe and secure.
Below is a list of advantages the cloud offers to your business.
Cloud is generally a more affordable service as cloud vendors distribute the costs of their off-premise infrastructure across multiple businesses. Moving or migrating data to the cloud can reduce the expenses incurred on managing hardware and resources. Removing such capital expenditure results in substantial cost savings.
Security is the topmost concern for every business, whether big or small. Cloud storage is safe because your data is saved across redundant servers. That means if one of the data centers gets blocked, your data will be backed up on the other server, which makes your data safe. The other aspect is your data on cloud servers is encrypted. This means the data is scrambled into some form of coding called encryption, which makes it even harder for cyber attackers to crack. Encryption is altering a piece of information into some random data. These data alterations are made with the help of complex technical algorithms to scramble and code the information into bits of information that no one can access except the authorized person. Hence, your data stored on the cloud is always encrypted with complex algorithms that no one can break into.
Cloud storage is scalable and flexible, so you can upgrade the plan with more computing and storage power whenever the current computing capabilities run short. And the important thing is you will not need to move your data from one place to another to avail extra storage. Extra space will be added to your existing storage environment.
For instance, XPO Logistics, an end-to-end logistics provider, struggled with its legacy system and needed a scalable solution to modernize its process. The application modernization on the cloud has enabled the organization to efficiently pick up the pace of 30 thousand plus deliveries of ecommerce goods on a daily basis across the US geography.
AI-Tools and Auto Patching
Cloud vendors are utilizing AI tools to help protect data from vulnerabilities and attacks. Finding experienced security consultants to look after your data every minute is difficult. Many reputed cloud providers, though, can instead employ AI to tackle the first level of security analysis. AI tools are built-in algorithms that identify possible forging attempts in security measures.
Apart from availing of service providers’ security services, you can customize the security settings to secure your data further with the following methods, i.e., Two Factor Authentication. You can enable two-factor authentication to access your cloud storage. Two-factor authentication includes a hard-to-guess password, and a time-sensitive generated OTP that no one can have access to except you. This way, you can add up one more layer of security to your data.
Another one is maintaining a strong password. Data attackers often try the most common combination of words and sometimes, thus, get access to someone’s data that wasn’t protected with a strong password. You can save your data with a hard-to-guess strong password that includes numeric, memorable characters and uppercase and lowercase alphabets to create a hard-to-guess password that you can memorize and use each time to access your data.
Apart from that, you can develop some technical knowledge to use the algorithm that encrypts your data. With the same software, you can determine whether a file has been changed or altered in a way you don’t know. This way, you can catch whether your information has been tampered with.
With the cloud, you can access your data from any part of the world. The data is synchronized so that when you make any changes, all the changes will be visible across devices synced with that storage service or network. You do not need any expertise to run the service and don’t need to carry your SSD everywhere. The data will be accessible to the authorized person, regardless of location. The cloud vendor does all the heavy processing to make the data accessible to you everywhere on all devices.
For example, Shorts TV, the biggest license holder and distributor of short films, has made its platform convenient for viewers to watch movies across various devices with the help of experts at Icreon. The application is integrated with Ooyala (a provider of cloud video technology) to provide high-resolution videos.
Cloud Security is Robust
When accompanied by secured encryption standards and policies, your data is safe on the cloud. Cloud providers today are relying on firewalls to help protect your mission-critical data. They make consistent security updates to protect devices from the latest malware and viruses. In addition, you are given flexibility, accessibility, and convenience to maintain your data.
Whether you are a big company or a small organization, you need cloud service to store data because data is the backbone of your great empire. Today, tech behemoths are investing in the cloud industry because the cloud has the potential to transform the complete structure of storage, collaboration, and communication organization-wide. At Icreon, we have a team of cloud experts who will assist you in building the road map to your application migration project to boost process efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Learn how the cloud can help your business. Explore our cloud modernization and migration services.