How to Minimize Your Cloud Security Risks

Minimize Your Cloud Security Risks

State of the Cloud Survey in 2018 revealed that 95% of respondents use the cloud for data storage purposes, with the number of businesses incorporating the technology increasing every day. In presence of such rapid growth, the possibility of cloud security risks also rises. Malware can penetrate your system and affect your system, allowing it to enter the cloud.

Overcoming these threats requires swift strategizing, adequate management of your operations and a well-planned execution. But how can this be achieved without sacrificing other technical elements of the cloud, such as the flexibility it offers your processes? Here are some strategies that will help you minimize your cloud security risk without hampering the pace at which you conduct your business.

1. Train Employees
The most common source of security threat in an organization happens to be the lack of awareness among employees. They lack security-related education necessary for battling such threats. A solid starting point is to hire a professional trainer who will teach your team how to develop and deploy security strategies, how to update your system’s security measures in time, while also demonstrating defense measures against threats.

Since security is the responsibility of every employee, try to involve the entire workforce of the organization into these training sessions. Keep your team updated with response sheets that will test their promptness and adaptability for a security threat scenario. It would also help to run unannounced security drills as this will keep your workers on their toes.

2. Build a Reliable Data Backup Plan
As we rely more on cloud computing, more data is being transferred in and out of the servers. This means that there is a higher chance of data being corrupted or misused. If your data is not backed up in time, you might end up with corrupt files that would compromise your operations. Make sure that you have a secure backup plan ready in case a mishap occurs. Additionally, distributing data and application across multiple locations will further help your offsite storage and disaster recovery needs.

3. Monitor Data Access
Backing up data is not enough to ensure its sanctity remains protected—limiting its access to only certain employees improves the stability of this data considerably. In other words, the smaller number of hands that touch the data, the better. It also becomes very easy to track down the source of a data breach when portals to access the data are limited and targeted.

This means that, although it it is necessary to grant access to some workers, it would not be wise to give them access permanently. In such cases, your IT managers can take command, monitoring the access of data by establishing access controls. This also reduces the number of access codes, which would limit them to only one sign-on (SSO) authentication.

4. Encrypt the Data
So far, we have learned how to store and access data to minimize your cloud security risks. But, the access to such data should never be independent of encryption. No matter how small the data is, it needs to be protected cryptographically. It might seem unnecessary at times, but remember that there is always the possibility of data breach. If the data is encrypted, you will not be anxious of the possibility of improper handling or unauthorized access of the data midway. In short, your data will always be in safe hands.

5. Pilot Scenarios
Once ready with necessary arrangements for cloud data security, never forget to put it to the test. Devise scenarios where you test whether or not the system you have created can be trespassed or tampered with. The best path forward is to hire someone who has not been in the process of system development because they will not be familiar with any developmental codes. All in all, piloting helps in preventing cloud security threats instead of rectifying them. This move also saves time.

Once you apply the strategies outlined above, you will see a newfound fluidity in your workflow—the purer the data, the quicker the response time. Your decisions will be informed, and you won’t have to worry about any data leak in the course of the data transfer process. By taking these steps towards minimizing cloud security risks, you will be able to secure the integrity of your data with a stronger foundation.

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Cloud Security Challenges for Enterprises

Why Enterprises Should Adopt a Multi-Cloud Strategy

To expand business reach owners are moving to cloud-based environments where they have the flexibility of choosing the capacity of the cloud based on their relevant requirements. Additionally, the cloud gives you the option of accessing your system files and making adjustments to them anytime, anywhere. In short, the cloud is cheaper, more efficient, and market ready.

However, security has long been a concern for cloud-based services, and this is the reason why some firms still refuse to move their application to the cloud. Some of the leading such challenges are outlined below to help you understand the matter.

Tackling DDoS Attacks

Any enterprise that collects more data becomes prone to malicious attacks. One of the most prominent of these attacks is the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks which can cripple a server for hours or even days; these are designed to overload the server with malicious commands that continue running on the server and consume exponential amounts of system ram so that the server doesn’t run smoothly. These attacks may be thwarted if we first take proper measures well in advance, such as deploying DDoS protection that is specifically designed to prevent this attack. Eliminating the possibility of these attacks will help a company restore its compromised wealth, trust, and brand authority.

Avoiding Data Breaches

Another prevalent type of security challenge is data breaches that take within the server; these breaches are mostly external, but sometimes the internal members of the service providers also become a reason for the violation. More than to the customer, a data breach is a threat to the service provider. The service provider has to meet several security compliances and policies. A failure to keep those intact policies results in direct defamation of the brand of the service provider. Therefore, the service providers take proper measures to eliminate those threats and use provider as well as customer lever encryption. Most of the time, the breach happens due to the customer’s improper conduct of sensitive information.

As a necessary security measure, sensitive data on the cloud must be encrypted and given minimal access especially when the cloud is public. Further, choosing the right vendor who gives you added securities such as firewall and software support system would also minimize the probability of a data breach.

Overcoming Data Loss

Another kind of security challenge is tackling data loss from the cloud. Data files can become corrupted in the cloud for several reasons which include improper planning, data mixing, and mishandling. Again, the service provider does not have much space to be responsible for these threats. While maintaining your data, especially the system files, make sure that you close all portals before leaving the session. As a fundamental measure, always keep at least one copy of the data with you, in your drives. The only way you can bring back your data will be that extra copy of the data. It’s very crucial, so make sure you have made the copy.

Strengthening Access Points

One of the actual advantages of the cloud is that it gives you the flexibility of accessing your data from different virtual points. That is, even though your data is primarily stored in one server, you can potentially access it from anywhere else where you have a portal. However, these portals are not always secured sufficiently. To be maintained, security measures require time and funding. Increasing the numbers of access points will invite massive budget imbalance. In such a scenario, the access points not providing sufficient security might fall prey to hackers and cause breaches or loss of data. As a solution, one might want to restrict the numbers of access points so that a proper security model for these access points can be maintained.

Prompt Notifications and Alerts

This challenge sprouts from the multiplicity of access points. As pointed out earlier, we should aim to restrict the numbers of access points. Now, even if a threat arises, it will be easier to locate and eliminate. Additionally, the notification and alerts system will be able to function better, as it won’t seem to spam the notification system. Since the notification system is the cornerstone of your security system, it must be properly maintained—the messages should be prompt, clear, and explanatory. If not kept in such a manner, the notifications won’t make sense to everyone in the company, nor they would be informed in time.

With the right parameters, one can easily tackle these cloud security challenges for an enterprise. Just have the right service provider, technology, and planning by your shoulder to keep the environment running smoothly.

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How Cloud Migration will help Boost Security and Compliance

How Cloud Migration will help Boost Security and Compliance
Although the adoption of cloud services is becoming increasingly popular in the past few years, many organizations are still skeptical of migrating to the cloud due to security concerns. This outlook tends to emerge from a lack of exposure to the emerging potentialities of the modern cloud. However, the case has become precisely opposite—firms, no matter how small or large, can benefit immensely from cloud migration when regarding stronger security and compliances.

Cloud providers reassure organizations of seamless and hassle-free cloud migration and ongoing maintenance; they make the security and protection of third party data their priority because their reputation highly depends on the kinds of services they provide. Once this goodwill suffers a blow, their company sustains a considerable loss, which is certainly not favored.

The cloud providers render security with the help of following measures:

Safekeeping the Data
Cloud providers are not just any organizations; they have grown considerably and have become among the wealthiest companies in the world. Security concerns come to them not as a challenge, but rather as an opportunity. These companies have a highly skilled team of professional IT engineers that are capable of tackling any security danger that may occur. Take for instance the most prominent cloud provider—Amazon. Amazon’s security parameters are well above the average reach of hackers. Amazon and other cloud providers take protecting infrastructure and customer data as their top priority. They apply a significant portion of their budget to meet and often go beyond security expectations. Companies such as Amazon go through a series of exercises that ensure the protection of physical infrastructure and systems.

Shared Responsibility Model
A model that is implemented at the organizational level is the Shared Responsibility Model in which a cloud infrastructure provider is responsible for maintaining the physical security of its data center, including building access, network and server hardware, as well as monitoring the hypervisor in charge of the virtual machines. On the other hand, the customer is responsible for securing operating systems, applications, and data running on cloud accounts. This co-operation is established when both sides are happy and comply willingly. The benefit is mutual, thus, this model is generally upheld. With its implementation, the cloud providers render best practices for controlling access and limiting network exposures which result in a secured infrastructure.

Supply of Personalized Tools
Typically, cloud providers supply tools that complement cloud-based security management tools to help the organization defend their virtual environments. Take, for instance, Amazon Web Services (AWS) CloudTrail; it provides visibility into the actions being taken by both legitimate users and bad actors operating in the cloud environment and acts as an active vigilante for the entire operation. Other security tools such as firewalls, file integrity monitoring solutions, and centralized logging also remain functional and works together in conjuncture with cloud tools. Thus, it all adds further layers of security that are purposefully built for strengthening and monitoring the environment.

Besides security measures, cloud computing is also highly compliant with the modern day needs of an organization. They focus on cost-effectiveness and the ease of use while keeping in mind the procurement of untainted security measures.

Reduced Business Expenditure
From its advent, cloud computing engineers have strived to seek the betterment of the existing platform services. The financial aspect in organizations is of great importance to the engineers too. Therefore, a traceable shift can be seen in cloud computing as far as reducing cost is concerned. Cloud computing is much more affordable than a traditional data center as it works on a pay-as-you-go model. The building, maintenance and retrieval of data in conventional terms is costly and messy as opposed to cloud computing. Cloud computing uses real-time extraction that takes seconds to locate the data, while any modifications can be done without any harm to the existing data. The labor-force employed and time consumed in cloud computing is a lot less than traditional data centers which result in a more cost-efficient solution for the business.

Greater flexibility
Cloud computing enables organizations to become more agile and flexible through a variety of benefits. The cloud allows businesses to expand their infrastructure without any evident disturbance elastically. Organizations can instantaneously start using systems and applications on newly acquired cloud space without having to worry about the organizational insecurity. Instead, the human resource can work on their business strategies. Even for the IT professionals, who manage these clouds, their efforts can be oriented to other more strategic initiatives instead of a web of data complexity.

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Overcoming Cloud Security Threats with AI and Machine Learning

Overcoming Cloud Security Threats with AI and Machine Learning

Cloud-security

The increasing flexibility of Cloud services has made the enterprises to embrace them in storing, sharing and managing their data efficiently. Cloud computing has not only increased their operational efficiency, but also have helped them save thousands of dollars in IT investments.

From helping the organizations deliver faster, cost-efficient and quality results to effectively managing their resources, Cloud services has definitely been a boon for enterprises. It helps them focus on their businesses rather than spending their precious time in building and managing their IT infrastructure.

But, with any kind of new technology comes greater and complex security needs associated, making the universal adoption of Cloud services questionable. Some threats associated with Cloud services are:

-Having large amounts of sensitive data in the Cloud (especially for industries like Finance and Healthcare) can be a promising target for the hackers.

-The enterprises are liable to face heavy dues and even criminal charges in-case of consumer data leakage, under compliance regulations like HIPAA.

-BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) systems have been a great advantage for both employers as well as employees in terms of data mobility and accessibility. But, stolen or misplaced devices, if goes in the wrong hands can be a huge expense for an Organization as they are almost impossible to track without proper tools in hand.

-Weak authentications and leaving the credentials in one’s device can also lead to loss in enterprise data in case of any phishing, ransomware and brute-force attacks.

Offering great value for enterprises in terms of scalability, feasibility and cost savings, it is important that they untangle these security concerns before adopting comprehensive Cloud strategies.

AI and Machine Learning for Advanced Cloud Security Solutions:

AI is a system that has the capability to learn and adapt to the change in its environment. Often used with Machine Learning, AI uses predictive analysis which can pre-model the results by analyzing the past events. With the cyber threats advancing at an alarming rate, there is a real need for us to employ the tools that forges ahead of them.

Crucial Role of AI in Detecting Cyber Security Threats

-A recent study on global security conducted by Nemertes research says: the average time taken for an enterprise to spot the threat and respond with a cloud security solution was 39 days. Some companies were able to detect and respond within hours.

-Faster response time means the threats are detected and blocked immediately from the user’s side, preventing further data leakage.

-The organizations those were able to detect the threats faster employed automation which can only achieved by employing AI and Machine learning based cloud security solutions.

-Fully automated AI cloud security solutions use behavioral analytics to determine a path on which the systems operate. Any deviation from the flow, it takes the system off the network bringing this ‘response time’ to effectively zero. Notably, 28.6% of all companies have already employed full automation to their key business processes, as per Nemertes’ reports.

Moving at a Faster Pace than Cyber-Criminals with AI

Cybercriminals were always ahead of the traditional security standards deployed by the enterprises, posing continuous nightmares to the IT teams. They had to spend most of their time and capital investments in optimizing their security standards, each and every time they experience a data breach.

Now, with the AI and Machine learning technology in hand, their adaptive learning capabilities prove as an efficient cloud security solution for enterprises in thinking and acting ahead of cybercriminals:

-The number of patterns processed by the Machine learning programs increases with the increase in data injected. As the patterns increase, it makes AI easier to give early indications of cyber threats whenever it senses a slight change in this pattern flow.

-Machine learning not only processes the real time data quickly, but can also co-relate them across time and geographical locations. This helps the organizations to be aware of the security breaches and prevent them, days before the event.

-Email has always been an easier platform for cybercriminals. AI and machine learning based cloud security solutions can help to plot relationships between different kinds of content sentiments, mail services and communications. In case of any suspicious patterns, the organizations can alert their employees, days before a threat is potentially identified.

The current machine learning technologies have begun to detect even unusual threat events with high volumes of data. The organizations can now leverage their business process more efficiently through Cloud services with AI in hand as their most powerful tool against security threats.

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Understanding Cloud Security and Its Importance

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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.

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