Best Practices for Cloud Security

Best Practices for Cloud Security

There was once a time when cloud security systems were very much able to tackle imminent threats through their inbuilt support systems. But, hackers have pushed forward, and it would appear that no data is secure from threats if additional security is not put in place. However, there are some handy precautions that you can take to safeguard your data from slipping into wrong hands. Read this article to learn more about best practices for maintaining and improving cloud security.

Transfer Encryption
First and foremost, you must ensure that the encryption of data in transition is end-to-end. Third parties being able to look into data has turned out to be one of the primary sources of data breaches. Companies should conduct all interactions on servers over SSL transmission (TLS 1.2) to ensure optimum security. Also, the SSL should be programmed in such a way that it terminates only within the cloud service provider network.

Storage Encryption
Although it is necessary to encrypt data in transition, encrypting stored data is no less critical. Most of the data collected will happen to be sensitive in most companies. If you have that data, it becomes your responsibility — keeping stored data encrypted keeps it intact from the threats that come from within; this also helps you comply with privacy policies, regulatory principles, and obligations of your company vis-à-vis particular client or company as a whole. Generally, a cloud service provider provides field-level encryption where the customers get to specify the fields they want to be encrypted. However, AES-256 is an excellent tool for encrypting data on cloud disks as it also generates regularly rotated master key that helps keep the encryption keys safe.

User-Level Data Security
You must opt for role-based access control (RBAC) features through which you will be able to enable your customers to set user-specific access and grant specific permissions to their data. You must ensure that you are not defying any law; therefore, you cannot take non-granted looks into the user’s data. Thus, add protective layers to the data to meet compliance with data security standards.

Vulnerability Testing
You should rigorously use the vulnerability and incident response tools as provided by your service provider. Solutions from these incident response tools render automated security assessments which can test security threats and decrease the levels, and threat severity, in critical security audits. For better security, these tools should be used rigorously, almost on a daily basis. But, depending on the nature of your data, the assessment cycle can be readjusted, and auto cycles can be scheduled.

Deletion Policy
You must never leave data unattended. Data has its cycles of use, and if the cycle of one data set is complete and no further processing is required, that data should be deleted from the server. Review the deletion policy from your provider and make sure that your information is programmed to be removed at a pre-specified time as mentioned in your contract.

Certifications
Another overarching measure for security enhancement is having proper compliance certifications — check what certifications your provider has. The two most essential certifications are PCI DSS, which signifies that the SaaS provider has undergone detailed audits that ensure secure storage and transmission of sensitive data, and SOC Type II, which tells that the internal risk management processes, regulatory compliance oversight, as well as vendor management programs are being carried out by the provider successfully.

Virtual Private Cloud
Having a private virtual cloud and network has its security advantages. In this scenario, you have entire control and access to your data and no other client. You don’t need to share the cloud with others, which inevitably results in increased security. The customer can securely connect to the corporate data, and all traffic in their VPC can be routed directly to their corporate data center.

These are some of the practices that must be incorporated for cloud security. The essential enhancer of cloud security is ultimately your service provider. So, make sure that you have one that’s trustable and experienced.

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Top 5 Cybersecurity Challenges for the Financial Service Industry

Cybersecurity Challenges for the Financial Service Industry

Every year, millions of consumers are affected by cybersecurity threats. It does not matter how prepared an organization is, hackers find new ways to break into systems and cause information breaches. The problem is that much more sensitive when it comes to financial service organizations. With crucial data at stake, organizations face many challenges in beating these threats. Elaborated below are the top 5 cybersecurity challenges for financial service organizations.

Evolution of Organization

Technology is transforming our everyday lives; what we do today seems to become obsolete in the next year. The progression of technology is so rapid that we cannot afford to embrace stable scenarios. The same mentality goes for the finance industry. Customers expect new features to be continuously extended; they want attractive interfaces with zero loading wait. Although these features are appealing, customers often don’t realize that these things might come at a cost.

Often during updates glitches may be introduced. Additionally, financial organizations need to maintain security measures and not let data become compromised at the expense of exciting new features. The government also sometimes imposes specific restrictions on the elements that a finance organization can extend to the public. Therefore, the pressure is double fold—at one hand they want to forge modernity and satisfy the customers’ expectations, on the other, they must conform to security measures.

Evolving Threats

Believe it or not, many of the minds involved in breaching information are much more skilled and intelligent than the ones involved in creating the information base. Every year, the loss due to cybercrime continues rising. Hackers have access to all minute details; complexities that are unethical to be explored by even engineers. With such restrictions, engineers often find it challenging to match pace with overriding hackers.

Security matters become worse when hackers keep evolving their attacking strategies and growing more dangerous with every advancement; they have ready procedures for future updates and can form specialized teams to target particular releases. In such scenarios where criminals are always one step ahead of the organization, tackling threats becomes very difficult, resulting in a significant loss of data, productivity, and time.

Security Planning

You must acknowledge that cybersecurity is more than just a technology problem; it requires a strategic approach to optimizing the system entirely. Building a firewall is indeed a crucial step toward real-time security, but your defense arsenal cannot be limited to one measure. You must also weave a strong cybersecurity web into the full management structure. It is vital to learn to prioritize data based on a sensitivity index. The higher the index, the more intricate security system you must deploy to your data.

Changing Dynamics and Increased Threats

Organizations cannot lag when concerning the expectation of its customers. Features such as e-wallet support, internet banking, and SMS banking have become increasingly popular. While being handy and easy to access with your fingerprints and quick passcodes, these invite potential risks too. Often security updates are not installed on smartphones can make the apps installed vulnerable to attacks. With continuous updates, firms can reduce the threat level, but it eventually depends on the device’s security level. An old platform will soon succumb to internal and external threats and will quickly perish.

Threats Inside Out

It is often reported that internal sources cause security breaches. In some circumstances, employees find sensitive data lucrative and try to smuggle it out of the system. If not, then they might use it for their benefits — such deals bring no significant wealth since the banking systems employ 2-step verification in most domains, but it nonetheless affects the reputation of the organization. The faithfulness of employees needs to be in constant check to reduce the scope of such threats. Employing strict surveillance and encrypting data may be the initial measures that can be taken.

We have discussed some of the most prominent challenges that financial service organizations are facing. Some things cannot be avoided, such as meeting customer’s expectations, upgrading services, etc, but what is equally necessary at the same time is that advancements don’t come at the expense of security. By seeking help from experts, organizations can become prepared to face these genuine challenges.

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Understanding Cloud Security and Its Importance

cloud - securityCloud security is still an ever growing concern, despite the various set of advantages it provides to the individuals and companies alike. As per a recent survey, there are still close to 90% of companies which remain skeptical about putting in 100% trust in the Cloud infrastructure, simply due to the Cloud security problems.

Understanding Cloud security

Despite so many trust issues, there are a lot of things which organizations are yet to realize when it comes to Cloud security. The Cloud is not an insecure platform; the security model is relatively different than some of the other platforms available in the market currently. Due to this very reason, there are a lot of new relationships which need to be fulfilled with respect to data storage.

Cloud centers can be quite secure, especially more secure than their traditional counterparts. However, in order to understand Cloud security, the security aspect needs to be understood in the right context.

Cloud security myths busted

In order to ensure maximum security, it is imperative to review the security posture and understand what controls need to be put in place to enforce it. In order to be secure, any organization wants a platform that can offer an array of services which can address different requirements in one go.

• Breaches: However, a lot of people feel that there are a lot of breaches within the Cloud storage. On this day, it can be clearly stated that this is one of the biggest myths till date. Internet threats are a bigger threat as compared to Cloud security breaches, simply because Internet attacks are dynamic and can’t be detected easily.
• Not the client’s concern: At the same time, when it comes to maintenance, a lot of people differ in their views. Some people feel that since the Cloud services are provided by a third party, the security will always be lax. However, that is never the case.
• No management needed: While the infrastructure of the Cloud is managed, it is not safe to assume that the security is also a managed service. For this very reason, given this assumption, many client organizations assume that the service provider has taken all the necessary precautions for securing the Cloud service, which often ends up creating rather than solving Cloud security related problems.
• Single tenant systems vs. multi tenant systems: Multi tenant systems offer double security when it comes to a comparison with single tenant systems. There is a double security layer, which makes it even more secure than its counterpart. With multi tenant systems, there is always a third layer of protection called logical content isolation, which helps take the security up a notch.

Importance of Cloud Security:

When it comes to the importance of Cloud security, there are no two ways about it. With so many recent breaches and technological attacks, maintaining security has become all the more important. For this very reason, companies are become more and more particular about risk and the unknown disadvantages they fear of the unknown. Since the Cloud structure is still relatively a mystery, there is a lot to be investigated, especially from a security perspective. But this does not negate the fact that organizations are increasingly looking for Cloud service providers which are stable, secure and offer more than one layer of security for their client’s data.