Cloud Security

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There are two sides to the argument with regards to the security of clouds.

One side believes that the centralization of data allows for larger concentrations of security resources while the other side says that hackers may have a larger incentive as there is only one security system to hack and they gain access to data from multiple sources.

The truth is most security breaches don’t come from some random hackers. They generally come from an internal issue or a disgruntled employee. Using the cloud does have advantages and disadvantages:

Lack Of Control

The agreement that you have with your cloud provider will determine the extent to which you have access to your data. This includes who can access it and under what circumstances.

Updates

Regular updates increases your data security level and reduces the risk of unfixed bugs creating weaknesses. It also ensures that everyone accessing the cloud is using the same version of the software and newest version because updates are done automatically.

Physical Security

Any of the major data centers in the world will be much more secure than your office. Most offices do not have a secure location for their servers and place them wherever there is some spare room, such as a hallway closet or storage room.

The greatest risk to servers in most cases is physical damage from water leakage, extreme heat, or even clumsy staff.

Data centers are specifically designed for the single purpose of creating the best environment for the servers. They are build with climate control, anti­static measures, and have extremely restricted access. The bigger centers are located in anonymous with their locations hidden from the public. They generally come with a team of technicians monitoring the equipment at all times to ensure they stay up and running.

Encrypted Data

Data stored anywhere should be encrypted, whether that is on your own server or on the cloud. If encrypted even if someone gets their hands on it, it will be very difficult to decipher. Especially if moving data to and from the cloud it needs to be encrypted.

A breach of data could easily mean the end for a firm. Clients need to be able to trust you with their confidential information. Jeff Borschowa lists some questions that you should ask when considering different cloud service provider in his book, 8 Pillars for Exponential Business Growth:

    • Who has access to your data?
    • Is your data encrypted? Who has the encryption key or keys?
    • Who owns your data? If you leave your cloud solution, can you take your data with you?
    • What certifications or compliance standards are they following? Ensure that the levels are appropriate for your individual needs. For example, the medical industry has specific requirements as determined by legislation.