Cloud computing involves the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer. The technology offers a number of advantages over the traditional approach of using on-premise infrastructure. One of the advantages is that data stored in the cloud can be accessed from anywhere and at any time as long as the user has a device with an internet connection. The user does not have to be at a specific location in order to access data from the cloud servers.
The downside of this advantage is that it raises security concerns over data stored in the cloud. Data is increasingly becoming a valuable asset in the modern corporate world and companies relying on cloud services may be adversely affected in the event of a security breach on sensitive data stored in the cloud. Security is a major concern for organizations when you consider to opt for cloud computing. The data in the cloud is more accessible to anyone – not just the enterprise, and therefore, hackers attacking a cloud can reach a much greater number of resources than when targeting a physical data center. Sensitive data if accessed by unauthorized persons may affect the operations of a company. Whereas in traditional information technology environments the administrator had full control, that is not the case in the cloud environment where control of the infrastructure is diversified, increasing the complexity of ensuring network security.
However, cloud services have proven to be more reliable and secure than on-premise infrastructure.
Cloud providers being more appealing targets for they can easily be attacked than many of the single-user data centers, take further steps to make sure that they are indeed secure. Most providers have the advantage to do that. This advantage comes in the form of economies of scale. A great cloud provider can average the cost of security in multitudes of customers, affording to invest more on data security than the many of private data centers.
It is interesting to note that most security breaches that occur within company premises and are caused by employees. Cloud service providers are very keen on securing clients data and a physical security breach is next to impossible. As a matter of fact, service providers ensure safety since servers are secured in several locations hence minimizing risk of access as compared to on-premise storage of servers which is more often than not in one location. Whenever there is any interruption or any fishy activity, service providers are swift in informing clients to prevent any security breaches.
Protection from Emergent Virus Threats Effectively
When a comparison is made on protecting data from virus threats between cloud services and on-premise services, the former has an upper hand by all means. This is because a cloud service provider does the tedious work of ensuring that virus signatures are up to date and security measures taken. In addition, since the service provider has several other clients, they focus on ensuring a more thorough protection as one of their core business.
Below are some of the ways through which cloud service providers ensure reliability and security.
1. Employing Competent Employees
Service providers employ competent people who understand security. The plan to ensure so is more often than not so comprehensive that it covers not just computer systems, it also covers the building, people, visitors, facility, and also the change of management. Having dedicated teams is crucial. Microsoft for example has the Azure Trust Center, which is in charge of planning and implementing wide scale security measures. Another team which reacts to security issues, such as the denial of attacks, handles monitoring.
2. Thorough Background Employee Checks
A background check of staff is important too – the last thing a fully secured data center needs is an inside job. This however is not enough. Behavior needs are scrutinized to identify patterns that can hint that employees aren’t conforming to all the security order.
Privileged users go through this scrutiny as well. Security protocol requires that they never share usernames and passwords, and strictly observe two-factor authentication. Majority of users just have access to the systems that they work on and should not have right of entry to customer data. External engineers coming to the site are normally given a work permit. This permit shows the exact job which they are to do and the places they can access of which they must be looked after each and every time.
Cloud technologies do more than ever to invest in ensuring the security of customer data. This includes security tools and controls such as physical protection, advanced encryption, multi-factor authentication, automatic backup, identity and access management controls. All in all, the likelihood that even a careful cloud provider of all will be prone to experience occasional security shortcomings is real. However, they follow all the right policies and ensure the damage is quite minimal to none. Because cloud providers know well that they are vulnerable to attacks, they always tend to be better prepared for any kind of shortcomings than a company’s private data center. As this is their main line of business they also tend to be better updated on the various potential and current risks. Thus, businesses should have confidence that data is secure and definitely opt for a cloud service.