Very few people actually try to verify and understand how secure their storage infrastructure is. “To Cloud or Not to Cloud” is proving out to be a decision hard as nails for modern enterprise thrusting on the principle of “on-demand”, yet considerate about the security of their sensitive data.
Late 2014 in Cloud Usage: Risks and Opportunities Report, over half of respondents reported that their organizations were developing custom cloud apps. The facts were very well confirmed in 2015 with figures and tweets published by research and advisory consultancies likes of International Data Corporation (IDC), claiming the net worth of global SaaS markets around $49 Billion. It won’t be a surprise if more than 90% of the consumed data by 2018 was liable to Mobile Apps hosted over Cloud!
Biggest reasons to move to cloud comprise of encrypted Secure Pipelines; Ease of Scalability; on-demand availability; Customized Solutions for Compliance; and Automation. Cloud adds the advantage of doing more with less and reduces the time to market by almost 10X for any product that relies upon storage and data processing. Security is the top most reason to move to cloud as it hosts plethora of tools acting as intelligent layer over the assets with advanced analytics and requirement based construct.
Cloud Security in real sense appears as a result of an overall cloud strategy. Before adopting Cloud, decision makers at an enterprise must pass a holy grail of questions to the Service provider to confirm whether the offered suite of services fits their Budget, Compliance and mentality of a Risk based approach to secure data assets. This becomes important as, with the growing dependence on the Cloud Infrastructure (thanks to the ease of scaling and on-demand nature of service), so grows the demand for hardening the security post regular audits. Security factor of assets on cloud is a clear differentiator between “do it right or don’t do it at all”.
Drilling down deep into what Cloud offers in terms of security and what needs to be done well, it’s advised to make the following practices common right from the beginning while adopting cloud and being more secure:
- Moving over traditional IT practices and implementing stringent access control based on user context; quick adoption of best practices infrastructure wide following a unified procedure in a 10X efficient, cost effective and secure manner.
- Clear understanding over Security policies must prevail at all times and all physical locations of the servers. There should be no miscommunication/ false presentation/ misinterpretation of the capacity of the service/ storage infrastructure provided in the name of Cloud.
- Sure Use of encryption before the data is uploaded to cloud (commonly referred to as at-rest and in-transit), authentication protocols and access management matching industry standards.
- Service Provider must ensure that the Customer is in control of the files and there is almost 0% human element involved in dealing with the data once it is encrypted and uploaded.
- Select employees carefully and manage access on strict control. In a lot of cases, employees pose the real threat to security when an enterprise lacks the implementation of strict data-access norms and practices.
- Use of special Security and Cloud Hardening tools/services to maintain uptime without compromising on security. It’s important to be confident during upgrades and fresh deployments with resource richness, luxury only Cloud can afford. Insist on using tools like Dome9 that make Network security and Identity protection simpler to manage and even harder to crack. Another such tool that data doesn’t require any software installations is Qualys. It takes care of compliance while it detects the threats, in case of a breach suggests fixes on the spot. Further it scans the whole setup to make sure if the problem was fixed.
- Ability to see through the infrastructure on actual terms, which gives an enterprise better understanding of how to design workflows with levels of security, planning a pre-emptive strike to manage outsider attacks, manage inside security with automated inspections, set triggers and automate fixes to issues raised.
- On Cloud, it’s possible to design a perfect combination of scale and automation which can further adapt to needs.
Cloud has enabled and facilitated IoT and Data Science based companies and each year the market is getting flooded with connected devices, enhanced data accumulation and analytic tools and improved versions of healthcare equipment relying largely on cloud for their flair features. IoT and Data Analytics put together basically work with the flow of large amount of data.
Sensors à Communication àData Collection & Storage àAnalysis àAction
Intricate processes execute repetitively at a high frequency at node level in IoT to make a meaningful machine, only a Secure Cloud Infrastructure can support seamless execution of such an arrangement.
It’s become even more important to possess secure, infinite and reliable storage infrastructure which come on-demand with automation to catch exceptions, pre-defined scenarios or a threat before it becomes one.
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