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Three Simple Things to Understand About Cloud Security  

According to a recent survey, 77% of enterprises are going to the cloud. Businesses that use the cloud benefit from high utilization and a smooth ride that is ready to handle operational workload peaks and valleys. These companies also see improvements with operational efficiency, reduced overhead costs, enhanced agility, and rapid deployment readiness—within minutes for simple projects and within weeks for the more complex projects. 

The Cloud Can Improve Security

The cloud can also improve a business’ data security. During the earlier days of the cloud, security was a cause of concern. However, times have long changed. Cloud security is now an incentive for organizations to transition to the cloud. It is no longer a deterrent.

Here are three simple things that you should know about security with a cloud service and/or cloud service provider:  

1.    The Foundation: What You Bring and What They Bring

When it comes to determining who is responsible for what, there are different service-level agreements for every cloud service model and provider. There is not any one standard that covers the “shared responsibility model.” It ultimately depends upon the cloud service and provider. AWS and Azure have their own shared responsibility models, which determine what they are and are not responsible for in terms of security and compliance. Many cloud providers follow suit with AWS and Azure’s definition of the shared responsibility model. (TechTarget

Generally, the enterprise is responsible for security management in a private cloud environment. There are some parts of the security and compliance requirements that the cloud provider owns in a public cloud offering. However, the customer owns the management of their overall security profile and hygiene.

In many cases, the cloud provider manages security “of” the cloud and the customer manages security “in” the cloud. What does that mean? In most cases, “of the cloud” means that the cloud provider manages security within the software, hardware, and infrastructure components. When referencing “in” the cloud, it means that the customer is responsible for what happens within the cloud and when your data is making its way to the cloud. An example would be securing data at rest and in transit, while also ensuring protective measures are in place for the following:

  • Platform, Applications, Identity & Access Management
  • Operating System, Network & Firewall Configuration
  • Client-Side Data Encryption & Data Integrity Authentication     
  • Server-Side Encryption (File System and/or Data)
  • Networking Traffic Protection (Encryption, Integrity, Identity)

Always be sure to understand what you and your cloud provider will be responsible for when it comes to your security and compliance needs and requirements. 

2.    Consider Endpoint Security 

The modern cybersecurity landscape has shifted with the growing rate of cloud adoption. If you want to have a strong system of defense against growing security risks, it is critical that your network has a robust level of network security, including firewalls, anti-malware, intrusion detection, access control, and more. Reducing your internal threats, like shadow IT, also helps provide better protection for potentially vulnerable endpoints. 

A managed file transfer (MFT) platform can help mitigate potential endpoint vulnerabilities by providing you with a centralized platform for a seamless and secure data flow, in addition to providing easier access, operational visibility, governance, and control. In short, you can identify security vulnerabilities before they become a bigger challenge.

3.    Protect Your Data at Rest and in Motion

The risk factor for either data at rest or in transit largely depends on the security measures in place for either state. Encryption and key management services are important aspects to consider when evaluating cloud providers. If they offer encryption, you need to ensure that it will work seamlessly with your existing processes, and eliminate the need for end users to take actions to comply with encryption policies by automating the process.

As a whole, securing data at rest or in transit takes a proactive and robust strategy. For many, that includes the security supporting controls of an MFT platform, security policies and training, data protection solutions that categorize and classify data wherever it resides (systematically triggering the appropriate protections), and much more.

A Secure and Seamless Cloud Transition

Either your cloud platform will be a powerful tool in your business arsenal or it can be an expensive liability. In our latest cloud security guide “Top 10 Cloud Security Best Practices,” we discuss how to identify and minimize potential security threats when you transition to or use a cloud platform.