Tuesday, November 13, 2018
CX Tech

Is the Cloud Safe?

David Balaban
October 29, 2018

3 minute read

Gauging by the standards of traditional businesses, the cloud is a toddler that splashed onto the scene just recently. When viewed in the context of the rapid IT evolution, though, this technology is already quite mature. Yet there is still an awareness gap that spawns myths and continues to instill a sense of insecurity in some.

Cloud apprehension typically stems from scarce knowledge about the fundamentals of the cloud and its security characteristics.

Is the Cloud Safe?

Let’s have a look at some stats:

Cloud tech has become the norm. Your organization is most likely using the cloud in one form or another, too.

Is the Cloud Safe?

Incentivized by safety

Essentially, information security is a process, and there is no such thing as absolute protection. But with appropriate configuration in place and profound understanding of the technology, cloud services can prove safer and more reliable than on-premise infrastructure.

Let’s look into the ways that cloud solution providers are incentivized to embed safety into their services.

  • Customer security is the alpha and omega of a cloud provider’s business. In order to withstand the rising competition, these services invest heavily in all aspects of their customers’ security: software and hardware, IT security specialists, as well as physical protection of the data center. Clouds can spend more money on security than other organizations.
  • Robust security of the cloud revolves around innovation. It’s the cloud providers that pioneered in adopting Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).
  • Clouds conform to rigid regulations and are subject to regular audit reports.
  • A provider’s responsibility is mandated by the service-level agreement (SLA) commitments, where customers prioritize their security preferences.
  • A focus on regular security patches is also on the plus side of cloud services. Remember Meltdown and Spectre, the notorious CPU vulnerabilities? Cloud providers promptly updated their infrastructure to address these flaws that allowed customers escaping downtime or even reboots.

Is the Cloud Safe?

Data protection considerations

People who ask the question: “Is the cloud safe?” often tend to worry about their data. When it comes to data protection, consider the following:

  • Cloud providers help maintain effective and regular backup mechanisms.
  • You may require the cloud provider to transmit and store your data in an encrypted form.
  • Cloud services usually store several copies of each data item in different data centers around the world.
  • The cloud boasts safe sharing options, where you can give people URLs eliminating the need to make copies of the files or send them via email.

Overcoming fears while ignoring the hype

Obsession with the myths prevents companies from acknowledging the benefits. Cloud infrastructure can coexist with your on-premise systems and complement them, allowing you to put the same controls in place.

So, overcome the fears and ignore the hype to get the big picture. Figure out what really matters to you security-wise. Ultimately, the more you know about the cloud and about your security needs, the more protection you can get.

David Balaban
David Balaban
David Balaban is a computer security researcher with over 15 years of experience in malware analysis and antivirus software evaluation. David runs the Privacy-PC.com project which presents expert opinions on contemporary information security matters, including social engineering, penetration testing, threat intelligence, online privacy and white hat hacking. David has a strong malware troubleshooting background, with the recent focus on ransomware countermeasures.
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