Cloud and security: is your business data safe?

Date of issue

10. 11. 2021

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Cloud and security: is your business data safe?

While no one can guarantee 100% security, generally speaking, data in the cloud is usually more secure than data you have on local storage in your business.

How do cloud providers protect your data?

Cloud providers are well aware that security is a key part of their services and pay maximum attention to it. It is therefore almost standard today:

  • Data encryption. Data on cloud servers is encrypted. To get to the data, an attacker would have to decrypt the provider’s encryption keys in bulk. This is theoretically possible, but very difficult. Encryption also has a preventive effect – an attacker usually does not want to waste time on decryption.
  • Firewall. Data in the cloud is protected by a firewall managed by top experts. These “gateways” detect all suspicious network activity, making it difficult for hackers to penetrate the system with malware or viruses.
  • Data backup. If one of the cloud servers gets corrupted, nothing happens. Your data is stored in at least two (usually more) places, so you can continue to access it as if nothing had happened.
  • Update. Cloud server providers use the latest and daily updated software that is resistant to current virus or malware databases.
  • Penetration testing. Many providers regularly test data security with penetration tests – simulated attacks designed to find weaknesses in server or application security. A group of hired attackers try to infiltrate the system and, after the test is completed, submit a report to the company describing the security weaknesses discovered. Some companies even use the advanced Red Team method, in which a group of hired ethical hackers try to hack into the company’s systems in any way they can. It doesn’t even let you know about its attack in advance, it’s often several months in the making, and it doesn’t just target a selected app or service, but the entire company.

Add to that the fact that the cloud servers are physically stored in an unknown location and under 24/7 surveillance by an IT team that monitors all suspicious activity. Many companies are unable to provide even comparable, let alone better care for their local server.

How can you improve cloud security yourself?

It is said that the biggest weakness in IT security is the people – the users, and this is doubly true in the cloud. To prevent potential data leaks from your cloud servers, follow basic security rules:

  • Unique password. Have a unique (i.e., you don’t use it for any other service or application), long and complex password for accessing your company data in the cloud. The password manager is a good tool for this, as it will generate and save such a password for you.
  • Or completely without a password. Today, progressive companies are making their employees’ working lives easier. Why have a password for every business application? Thanks to modern technologies such as OKTA, it is possible to access corporate donations completely without a password.
  • Two-factor authentication. If your cloud provider offers it, take advantage of the multi-factor authentication option where, in addition to entering a password, you must, for example, copy a code that you receive as a text message to your mobile phone when you log in.
  • Custom data encryption. If you have really sensitive data in the cloud, you can encrypt it yourself before uploading or use the option to encrypt it with your own key to the cloud. An attacker won’t be able to get to the data even if they break the provider’s encryption keys, and you’ll also protect the data from any nosy cloud administrators.

Is the cloud something to worry about?

Corporate data on a server under your own roof may make you feel more secure, but cloud servers are so highly secured today that most companies can’t even replicate their security measures – let alone surpass them.

Today, proprietary data servers are used more by companies that have this anchored in their (often historical) security guidelines and have not yet had the time or will to update these guidelines. However, if an attacker were to hack into your data on a cloud server, there’s a good chance they could just as easily hack into your local server.

Local servers make sense for companies with extremely sensitive data and a dedicated IT team of security engineers who can perfectly secure and continuously monitor the servers. For everyone else, the cloud is a more convenient and often safer option.

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Alena Valeckova

Alena Valeckova

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