What is the cloud?
It is 2021 and you may not want to ask, but you’re still not sure what the cloud is fully. Though we hear it referenced often in our day-to-day lives, we don’t all have a clear grasp as to what this elusive sect of tech is. To learn how to protect the cloud, we have to learn first what it is. The Cloud is the name given to the servers with on-demand availability of computer system resources. This includes features like data storage or computer power. This cloud is not like your computer’s hard drive where you are in control of it directly, instead it is something available to many Internet users at once. This gives people the benefit of increasing data storage or computing power without adding on the physical servers typically needed to have these things.
Cloud Cyber Risks — Lack of Visibility and Control
A major risk when it comes to the cyber integrity of The Cloud is the fact that this is not something purely under the company who uses it and their control. There have been many instances of businesses accidentally exposing internal data by it being left out on an unsecure cloud. This is not only a loss of data and reputation for a company, but this loss will disrupt a business’ typical operations because the data is gone. Another risk similar to this is that it is difficult to use typical security measures. This lack of visibility is a common theme among the typical threats associated with cloud security. Cybersecurity is a major part of keeping a business safe and operational, so giving up any portion of this control is a risk. Not only this, but you don’t know what other data may be held in the same cloud computing service that may be putting your information at risk.
Cybersecurity and The Cloud are tough to mentally mesh together sometimes because The Cloud is an off-site space where your information is linked to — typical cybersecurity advice would be to keep things all secure and on-site. However, cybersecurity is possible even with the risks of a low amount of visibility and control compared to internal operating systems.
- Access security is key — Employees and other crucial uses can either be a company’s strongest security defense or weakest security link. Determining who has access to The Cloud where the data for your business is stored is important because not everyone needs access. Limiting access only to those who are integral to the management and protection of data is key so that there is less likelihood of human error-caused issues.
- Know what your company is responsible for when it comes to the cloud — Once you have determined who within your company should have access to The Cloud, you need to know what exactly is expected of your business. Though the cloud computing company does have an obligation to you to be a good steward of your data, it does not mean you can wash your hands of having any involvement in managing and protecting this data. Work with your cloud computing provider to ensure duties of each party are clearly defined so that you both may act as partners when it comes to cybersecurity defenses and The Cloud.
- Work to improve visibility issues — Cloud computing providers offer tools for companies to monitor their information on The Cloud to some degree — not as much as they have when this data is held interior to the company, but it is still an option that can help you to feel better about a decision to utilize The Cloud. This monitoring allows companies to see unauthorized access attempts and other issues that could threaten the security of their data. Cloud computing can be very beneficial to your company so that you can avoid physical additions to the network and operations for your business. Be sure to shop around and find a provider that gives you the flexibility and visibility you are after.