A few years ago, cloud security was an oxymoron. Businesses refrained from jumping on the cloud computing bandwagon despite its advertised benefits due to privacy and security concerns. The thought of storing sensitive company data on the cloud server beyond the internal firewall of the company was disconcerting for many. To be fair, most of these concerns surrounding cloud security were legitimate.
Over the last few years, new solutions to provide encrypted communication, access management and policy-based firewalls have been developed to address cloud security concerns. Cloud service providers now more than ever invest in security tools and controls to ensure the security of customer data. These include, advanced encryption, physical protection, automatic backup, multi-factor authentication, identity and access management controls.
This heightened security has encouraged many companies to adopt cloud computing. The mass migration could also be as a result of the evolution of the overall understanding and attitude towards cloud computing. Either way, entrepreneurs have realized that the benefits of cloud computing go beyond providing convenience in their daily operations. Improved data security plays a huge role in optimizing operations and boosting profitability.
Here are a number of ways that cloud-computing security can benefit your business.
#1 Access to Advanced Security Tools for Music Hosting
By implementing cloud-based security, you will be able to access advanced security tools whose quality and variety is as good as any other high-end internally hosted commercial offerings. The cloud-computing concept of economies of scale makes these tools available at very affordable prices since cost is shared among their customers. The cloud provider will also maintain these tools, so you will only be accessing security as a service without the headaches of purchase or maintenance.
#2 Adequate Physical Security
Physical security is very important in keeping your sensitive company data secure from breaches. Vandals and data thieves can exploit vulnerabilities in your physical security and cause you massive losses. As a small or mid-sized business, it can be difficult and expensive set up and maintain strong physical security to host your information. Reputable cloud computing vendors have very secure facilities where they host their clients’ data. This saves you from investing a lot in physical security for your data.
#3 Reduced Risk of Human Error
Unlike humans who forget, overlook and misplace, computers are practically infallible. They are able to provide consistent and error free service. Cloud-based security is more automated than most companies’ in-house security. As such, it is less likely to be breached as a result of human error.
Additionally, in the event of data loss from your company’s servers or mobile devices like laptops, cloud storage provides a secure backup. You can use any other machine to access your data stored in the cloud.
#4 SSL Encryption and Authentication
Giving up control of sensitive company data, not knowing where it physically resides or if it is safe in transit and the possibility of accidental disclosure are some of the concerns that stop businesses from migrating. These concerns are quelled by SSL encryption and authentication. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificates, have for a long time been a primary security standard of the internet.
SSL device authentication keeps rogue devices from accessing the data by identifying and vetting all devices involved in the transactions. SSL encryption on the other hand, prevents unauthorized interceptors from reading data moving between servers.
The cloud service provider must install Extended Validation Certificate on the server to improve their site security & trust by validating their business existence through a strict validation process. The primary benefits of Extended Validation (EV) Certificates are to create a secure connection between user browser and server, enable green bar and display company name in the green padlock bar. Once a business verify their business information through judicial proceedings, EV SSL enables browser green padlock and display company name in the green padlock bar.
You should also make sure that your cloud provider uses the services of a trusted CA. You can install cheap SSL certificate of Comodo starting just $12 per year and provide arguably the best data protection in terms of encryption and authentication.
#5 Staff Augmentation
We can automate many activities in information security but human beings are usually required to make judgment calls. Human labor is always necessary and most businesses do not have enough to keep at bay the ever-increasing risk of cyber-attacks. As such, breaches often go undetected by the security team since no one has had time to interpret the log data from network devices, servers, firewalls and intrusion detection systems.
Cloud based security is all about sharing resources to achieve an economy of scale. In the cloud-based security model, teams can be dedicated to specific activities such as log monitoring freeing in-house security to focus on higher-level risk management activities. The cost is spread across the many different customers making the cloud security service not only effective but also economical.
#6 Access to Contextual Expertise
Access to Contextual Expertise that You Would Otherwise Not Afford to Maintain in-House. Being a very broad subject, there is no practical way for anyone to know every detail of information security. Inadequate human resources in most organization’s security programs, only makes the situation worse. Some security professionals only focus on one aspect of security while others maintain knowledge that is a mile long but an inch deep. Blind spots created by these knowledge gap results in serious security vulnerabilities.
Cloud-computing security can address this problem for your business by providing contextual experts and resources focused on particular aspects of information security. Some cloud providers focus on detecting exploitable systems on the internet using vulnerability scanners maintained by experts. Others focus on offering protection against denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. Your internal security team can be freed to focus more on strategically managing your business’ information security risks and less on technical details.
#7 Higher ISO Standards
Cloud servers are built to stricter security standards than average servers. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) demands that cloud-computing vendors adhere to strict ISO standards in addition to regular security audits.
#8 Layered Security
In addition to exacting strict standards, cloud computing takes a layered approach to security. It includes encryption with an Extended Validation Certificate, key management, strong access controls and superior security intelligence. This approach makes it hard for hackers to penetrate.
Cloud computing security may not be fool proof since no security system is but it offers robust security as a service, which can be very beneficial to your business. It is about time you moved your business data to the cloud.