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A Practical Guide to Ensure Your Data is Secure in the Cloud for Cloud Backup Solutions
As more and more businesses turn to the cloud, it is vital to protect the data that is stored in the cloud. Furthermore, the transactions need to be secure and safe to ensure that the cloud-based services run smoothly and securely.
What this article is about:
- Cloud Whereabouts
- Secure Protocol
- Strong Access Policies
- Adopt and Control Bring Your Own Device
- Encrypt The Data When Dealing With Cloud To Cloud Backup Solutions
- Test Your Cloud Thoroughly
- Adopt The Right Access Tools
- Get a Cloud-to-Cloud Backup Solution
The vast expanding mobile device ecosystem spearheads the computing over clouds. Businesses of all sizes, from start-ups to SMEs to Fortune 500 companies, have started leveraging the significant advantage of the cloud to roll out more services across all areas to strengthen their businesses, especially when working with Cloud to cloud backup Solutions.
In fact, the cloud has proved to become a must-have and not only a nice-to-have for businesses to excel. But how secure is the cloud and its access? How safe is the data stored and managed? These questions still prevail and this article will present a few factors to ensure your business or data is secure in the cloud.
During the time of mainframes, a huge amount of data was stored in centralized computer systems, such as mainframes, that were small enough to be placed in a single location.
However, at the moment, the data exist virtually somewhere in a corner of the world without even the user knowing where it is stored. How secure is the physical location and what sort of environmental, fire and safety measures are ensured by the cloud storage provider to keep it safe?
These things are rarely thought about as more and more businesses want to establish quickly and reach out to the market. Knowing the physical location of your data and how it is secured is an important factor to consider before moving to the cloud.
In business and financial apps, the volume of transactions becomes a prime concern. Managing such a volume has to address two things: firstly, the real-time processing of the transactions and secondly, the transaction has to be secure and free from any kind of hacker attacks.
While this may seem of little interest to the cloud-based entertainment businesses, it is the prime concern for financial companies fearing to move to the cloud.
Cloud to cloud backup solutions show statistics from the Ponemon Institute report indicated that around 43% of companies experienced threats which originate from attacks on the data that is stored in the cloud.
The cloud provider has to ensure the use of secure protocols, such as SSL, IPsec, HTTPS or any other applicable protocol, for safer transactions and storage of the data. There are many public and private cloud providers claiming to provide a secure infrastructure, but most of these break down when the transactions reach high volumes. The providers need to be thoroughly verified for the use of the protocols and the volume of data that is being managed by their cloud infrastructure.
Strong Access Policies
There are many layers of security that have to be built when dealing with the cloud infrastructure. The first level of security has to originate from the user who accesses the cloud data on a daily basis. Almost 60% of the data that has been compromised originate from the employees who access the cloud data, according to Data Breach Industry Forecast.
Strong access policies and privileges have to be set while migrating your business to the cloud. Passwords also have to be strong enough and the level of access needs to be defined. They have to be administered by strict security policies and should be changed periodically to protect access to the data stored in the cloud.
Adopt and Control Bring Your Own Device
As cloud-based apps mostly cater to the mobile ecosystem, it is difficult to control the device that the user will use to access his or her data stored in the cloud. This becomes a perennial challenge since new devices are being rolled out every day by device manufacturers. Companies adopting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) pose a greater risk in the cloud-based work environment. This is because the IT policies are difficult to set on these devices, especially when they are new.
However, it is equally important to adopt these devices because discouraging them will hamper the cloud-based services. Security policies have to be evolved to ensure that the cloud protection measures are taken care of while adopting the BYOD for any organizations doing business in the cloud.
Encrypt the Data When Dealing With Cloud To Cloud Backup Solutions
While this may make things a little slower and make the cloud more expensive, encrypting the data is one of the secure ways to protect your data in the cloud. With public and private key mechanisms, the data in the cloud can be kept secure and even if there is a compromise in the cloud, the data are rendered useless by the attacker.
This would still not completely protect the data arising from the physical and environmental threats, but the data remain in safe hands with the encryption keys only known to the user who uses them.
As said before, the cloud security needs to be built in layers right from the system to the user and in every part of the network nodes that sits between the user and the physical cloud.
Test Your Cloud Thoroughly
As clouds seem to be secure for smaller volumes and data, the vulnerability creeps in once the data grow and the volume increases tremendously.
The hardware and performance capability seems to throw great threats in terms of security and availability. So the cloud needs to be planned in a scalable manner and security aspects have to be built.
Test your cloud in a defined and random manner to ensure it does not break down or become vulnerable to the attacks as it grows in size. Things like the middle of men attacks, stress testing, and penetration testing will help evaluate the cloud’s security before it is put to use.
Adopt the Right Access Tools
A right key is a solution to the right lock. Similarly, the use of the right tool is the safest way to keep your data secure.
The use of VPN-based access and setting up host-based intrusion prevention systems are important to have a secure cloud environment. Furthermore, this can be administered by firewall policies to allow the apps that are intended to use the cloud environment. This will prevent unwanted access to the data that is managed by the cloud.
Get a Cloud-to-Cloud Backup Solution
You may be assured by your cloud provider that your data will never be compromised or lost. However, can you leave your businesses dependent on someone else?
Also, it is not just about data loss opportunities. Even a single downtime for a couple of minutes can break your business, especially if your business deals with a huge amount of data.
You may remember Google Drive went down the first week of October this year. This means you can face downtime even with the biggies like Google. So, an inevitable solution for this is a cloud-to-cloud backup solution.
You should get your online data backed up daily and automatically to different cloud storage. This will ensure that, even if you experience data corruption or theft with your online data such as Office 365 or Google Apps for Work, you can still recover it as your data are already backed up to a cloud storage, such as Amazon web services, as a backup.
This will thus ensure that you never have to be worried about data loss and that you can focus on your core business operations.
Data is very precious in the present day and securing it should be of prime importance to businesses running in the cloud. Thus, a secure cloud is key to winning the confidence of your customers and a success in the cloud environment itself.