The cloud is becoming as inherent to many businesses today as things like accounting and human resources. It’s just a necessary part of operations. But there are some security issues that come along with this transformation. Here are six tips for creating a secure cloud environment.
Encryption is one of the most essential parts of building a secure cloud environment. Without encryption, there’s no way to guarantee the safety of your organization’s data.
People tend to associate encryption with sending data. While this is of course one necessary time to encrypt, it’s not the only case. You also need to ensure your stored data is encrypted. Without this guarantee, sensitive information could be sitting vulnerable to dangerous parties looking to exploit it.
Test Hard and Often
Maybe in some things it’s okay to assume that what you’re doing is good enough. For instance, if everyone in your family says you make the world’s best meatloaf, you might as well take that as truth. But the same can’t be said for building a secure cloud environment.
There’s no room for assumptions in the world of cybersecurity. This is why organizations need to be brutal and thorough when running stress tests. If you’re finding cracks in your own system, you can be sure that dangerous outside parties are going to sniff those out and exploit them. It’s also important to keep testing your system over time. Cybersecurity is always changing. This isn’t something where you can wipe your hands and say it’s done.
Work with Third-Party Security Services
When you want something done right, you need to call experts. Now, there are going to be experts within your own organization in the IT department. But these experts aren’t necessarily going to have the same knowledge or perspectives as those working at a dedicated cybersecurity company — nor the time to focus on the cloud 24/7.
If cloud enablement and security is a top concern at your organization, you can’t just rely on your own internally grown opinions. Talk to and work with dedicated security services that see it all. They’re going to have different layers of expertise for keeping your cloud environment secure.
Build Smart Permissions Levels
Permissions are another key thing to consider when developing your cloud strategy. Not everyone within an organization needs to have access to the same things. In fact, operating this way could be extremely detrimental to your enterprise.
Think of an extreme example where a new hire gets application access and instantly can parse through all the same data as the CEO. This is dangerous because there’s no way to certainly verify the intentions of every employee. Furthermore, people are prone to mistakes; the more people with comprehensive access, the greater the chances of something getting through the cracks. Role-based access control lets organizations control who gets access to what parts of applications. This can lower the chances of something going awry in your cloud environment.
Do Your Own Back-Ups
Using the cloud is remarkably convenient for how organizations operate today. However, it’s important to play things safe as well. Backing up your data to a local server—or a secondary cloud location—minimizes the chance of your organization losing its critical information.
There’s also a chance you might experience network latency or lack of Internet at some point in time. Having an offline back-up can allow for business to proceed even under those undesirable circumstances.
Ultimately, you need to provide your employees with the right information for how to foster a secure cloud environment. These are very new concepts for many people. No one is born with the innate knowledge of how networks or cloud computing work. Due to this, it’s important to have plentiful and ongoing employee education.
Everyone needs to be on the same page in order to build a truly secure cloud environment — this means executives in the C-suite all the way down to entry level employees. Human error and social engineering need to be a primary focus, as these remain top reasons for network vulnerability.
All organizations want to have secure cloud operations. But this can only be accomplished by following some of these industry best practices.