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A Complete Guide to Ensuring Data Security in the Cloud Storage System

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Modern businesses are highly data driven and data such as trends, facts, statistical numbers etc help business leaders make the right decisions for the business. However, some businesses rely on paper-based data that is quite primitive and error prone. This is the age of digital transformation and it is time for businesses to undergo digital transformation. Today we have many professional data conversion services that allow you to switch to digital data seamlessly. It ensures easy access to data, better disaster recovery, environment friendliness, enhanced security and a cost-efficient way of storing data.

Cloud Storage

Businesses now rely on cloud storage system to store data. It is one of the most preferred ways of maintaining digital data. Cloud storage is a service model where data is maintained, managed, backed up remotely and made available to users over a network (typically Internet). It ensures both visibility and protection of data.

According to a recent survey, the cloud will drive 83 percent of enterprise workloads by 2020 and to achieve digital transformation and customer satisfaction, half of global enterprises will be using at least one cloud platform. However, with more and more sensitive data moving to cloud storage, it has become a prime target for data breaches.

Data Security Challenges In Cloud Storage

  • When more enterprises are shifting to cloud storage system for better flexibility, it increases security challenges. The cloud is a lucrative target because of the intellectual property, mission critical trade secrets and personal information it contains. This attracts cyber criminals to the cloud system.
  • With growing data theft, Google recently announced “shielded VMs” to protect cloud-based data. Other cloud services providers have introduced new cloud security strategies to prevent hostile attacks. Enterprises often believe that the responsibility of securing data also moves to the cloud storage providers. It is important for businesses to take some steps to strengthen data security and prevent potential data leaks. When businesses rely fully on cloud service providers for data security, there will a lack of preparedness on behalf of the provider and it can lead to data breach. With poor data security measures, your IT team will have no control over the data which later could lead to data breach. Organizations should have a strong plan to leverage cloud-based IT and processing resources must extensively analyze and evaluate the risks associated with using disruptive technologies like cloud computing.
  • Traditional IT security measures are no longer relevant in online network security. When enterprises are planning to move their data to the cloud, they should first consider how they have secured their data on on-premise servers as well as the checks and balances they have implemented to protect data and control and manage data access.Lack of knowledge regarding cloud security settings can lead to misconfiguration.
  • One of the most common reasons for data theft is keeping data open on public cloud platforms. Businesses should make it a practice to keep data encrypted on the cloud. Encryption of data can prevent data theft to a great limit.
  • Another common challenge is that employees use free file sharing and cloud storage services that are not approved by the organization and may not meet the basic security standards. So, employees can put data at risk due to carelessness.

Some of the Biggest Cyber Security Breaches

  • Equifax: This is one of the worst data breaches of 2017. Equifax is one of the largest credit agencies in the United States. Hackers were able to access social security numbers, birth dates, and addresses of 143 million people. 209,000 consumers’ credit card data was exposed.
  • Yahoo: In September 2016, Yahoo reported two major data breaches of users’ account data to hackers. Initially over 1 billion user accounts were exposed, and Yahoo later revealed that 3 billion of its users were impacted. The breaches knocked an estimated $350 million off Yahoo’s sale price.
  • Dropbox: In 2012, Dropbox announced their data breach and after four years it was found that hackers tapped into more than 68 million user accounts including email addresses and passwords. Those stolen credentials reportedly made their way to a dark web marketplace – the price for them was bitcoins.

Tips to Ensure Data Security in Cloud System

  • The first and foremost step is to ensure that the cloud storage service provider that you sign up with has rigid policies.
  • Use security tools to find the gap between the cloud provider’s security measures and the security measures that you might address. Understand that if the VMs or underpinning software and OS are vulnerable, all applications and data hosted therein could be compromised.
  • Implement comprehensive encryption at the file level forms to ensure safety of your data. Do not stick to the basic security measures that your cloud service provider offers. Use advanced and all-encompassing encryption solution to encrypt data before uploading to the cloud.
  • Two major cloud service providers Microsoft and Amazon have already launched their own credentials management tools that ensure legitimate access to sensitive data and keep intruders out.
  • Make sure to secure end users’ devices that access cloud-based resources with sophisticated endpoint security. Use firewall solutions to protect your network perimeter, especially if you are subscribing to an infrastructure as a service or a platform as a service model.
  • Cloud Security Alliance offers useful guidelines on data security in cloud storage. So, follow the guidelines to ensure safety of data.
  • Other measures:
    • Background checks of employees
    • User Access control
    • Inspect user actions
    • Keep an eye on suspicious behaviour
    • Train your employees on data security

Any organization with critical data in the cloud should take the primary responsibility for data security. Even though cloud storage is prone to data breaches, the demand for cloud storage is still expected to rise. The cloud storage system is safer than on-premises deployments but don’t think that it is completely safe. The above-mentioned guidelines help enterprises to have a safe and secure cloud storage system. Even when using outsourced solutions such as data conversion services that assist to convert all paper-based data into digital format that can be later uploaded on the cloud system, ensure that maximum security measures are in place. Choose a professional cloud storage system that can ensure utmost safety of data.

About Julie Clements

Julie Clements

Joined the MOS team in March of 2008. Julie Clements has background in the healthcare staffing arena; as well as 6 years as Director of Sales and Marketing at a 4 star resort. Julie was instrumental in the creation of the medical record review division (and new web site); and has especially grown this division along with data conversion of all kinds.