With the number of data breaches spiraling up, it’s no wonder that businesses and customers worry about data security. Data security in cloud computing is no exception to those concerns.
It sounds problematic on the surface. You take sensitive customer and business data and hand it over to a third-party service.
When handled properly, though, cloud data security can actually prove better than in-house data security.
Cloud Data Security Is a Three-Part Problem
The first part of the problem is physical security. That falls on the shoulders of the cloud computing service providers. On the whole, they do a good job of securing the physical hardware and facilities.
The second part of the problem is security for the digital infrastructure. Operating systems and firewalls need persistent updates to remain secure. The service provider handles security measures to keep viruses and malware at bay.
The third part of the problem is digital security for the data itself. The businesses using the cloud service must take responsibility for this. Cloud service providers can and usually do provide lots of options to secure data, but they can’t configure it.
They can’t know which employees should get access to what data. They can’t decide for you what should get redundant backups or what needs encryption.
It’s up to the business to make those decisions and configure the security options.
Make Your Data Private
While forgetting to set up a password for your cloud data might not expose classified materials, it can expose you to legal liabilities.
Password protection and encryption are security 101. Any cloud service provider worth the time will offer those options as a default. Take advantage of them.
Tiered Data Access
Your own employees often prove the biggest threat to your data security. Limit their ability to do harm by creating tiered data access.
Odds are good that the cloud service provider offers you a way to limit access based on rules or user roles. You can even use APIs or service accounts to limit the data a given program can access.
Then you just need to limit what programs a user can access based on their job.
Avoid Data Loss with Backups
Data security isn’t just about avoiding hacks. It also reaches out to avoiding data loss.
Let’s say you store your customer contact and billing information in the cloud. What happens if the hardware at the server farm where it’s stored gets damaged?
You lose all your customer information with zero ways to recover it. The solution is asking for backups on separate servers, preferably in a different physical location.
Parting Thoughts on Data Security in Cloud Computing
Data security in cloud computing isn’t a pipe dream.
The problem usually stems from expecting cloud service providers to manage all of the security. Service providers generally do take responsibility for physical security and digital infrastructure security.
It’s up to you to configure the security options offered by your service provider to meet your specific security needs.
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