Businesses from all sectors are beginning to understand and reap the benefits of the cloud. Some organizations are just starting to dip their toes, while others have created complex multi-cloud strategies suitable for their specific business models. One of the most significant challenges at any stage of cloud adoption is navigating data security in cloud computing.
Data security in cloud computing requires you to not only deal with threats but also with compliance, government standards and security models. Below are the key considerations for data security in cloud computing to help you develop a strategy that best fits your needs.
Challenges of Data Security in Cloud Computing
As you develop your cloud security strategy, you must keep in mind the variety of possible risks. It is essential to prepare methods of guarding data against cyberattacks and data breaches.
Key cloud-related challenges that businesses may face include:
Failure to meet standards and satisfy government data requirements, such as ISO and SOC.
Loss of customer trust if you compromise their personal information.
Disruption of normal business operations due to failing technology platforms. To combat this challenge, ensure you have a backup cloud to keep operations running. Otherwise, the cost of data breaches and disruptions can result in substantial financial losses.
Options for Keeping your Data Safe in the Cloud
Securing your data begins with a strong understanding of its location. It is essential to have a consolidated view of data from any on-premises infrastructures to hybrid clouds. Knowing what data you have, where it is, how it could be potentially exposed, and what applications access it are key to building data security in cloud computing. Implementing consistent, unified, and automated data protection will help secure your data throughout the cloud environment.
Best Practices for Enhanced Security
Ensure your data is easily and effectivelyvisibleandaccessible.
Use federated access, thus eliminating manual maintenance of separate identities by relying upon an active directory.
Back up data on a variety of media in various locations.
Automate processes to reduce the burden on your IT team. Doing so will expedite workflows with decreased manual intervention, resulting in less room for error.
Utilize encryption for sensitive and critical data when it is traveling and at rest. Ensure your cloud vendor offers encryption. You can even add a third-party encryption solution if necessary.
Monitor who accesses what data in an authorized manner. Anidentity and access management system (IAM) allows the right people to access specified data through a single-sign-on, encompassing your whole cloud environment.
Usemulti-factor authentication to further secure passwords and reduce the risk of compromising sign-in credentials.
Incorporate password policy and other password management solutions for employees and other end-users to maintain secure log-ins
Data Integrity and Confidentiality
Data security in cloud computing relies on data integrity and confidentiality.
Data integrity prevents unauthorized modification of data. Configuration errors, transfer errors, compromised hardware, malicious intruders, and general human errors can all affect data integrity.
Ensuring the integrity of your data involves a variety of methodologies including a high-availability and integrity layer (HAIL) to provable data possession (PDP). By automatically comparing the current state of the cloud to the last-known safe states, you can alert administrators of deviations. It is also critical to implement strict data access controls and regularly monitor user activities, modifications, and sign-in attempts.
Data confidentiality is critical for meeting compliance requirements and maintaining best practices. The largest threat to confidentiality isunauthorized access.
One approach to dealing with this issue is to categorize your data. Ensure you store sensitive data in specified protected locations that only authorized users can access. Additionally, make sure to apply different security controls based on classification.
Another approach involves strong encryption, either asymmetric (requiring one public or private key) or in a symmetric method, where a single private key encrypts and decrypts.
As businesses continue with cloud adoption, the environment will only become more complex. Keeping in mind these options for data security in cloud computing will help mitigate risks as they grow. Work closely with your cloud provider and set up a service-level agreement that guarantees your data security needs are met.
Synopsys, EDA, and the Cloud
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About The Author
Wagner Nascimento is Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer at Synopsys. As the CISO, Wagner is responsible for developing and implementing the Information Security Program for the enterprise . Wagner has over 20 years of experience in the cybersecurity space, leading security efforts in other larger organizations such as VISA, Cisco, and Albertsons. A Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Wagner is adept in security architecture/analysis, cyber threat detection, risk management, incident response, and contingency planning. He has a B.S. in Information Technology from American Intercontinental University and an MBA (Finance, Strategic Management) from California State University, East Bay.