Keeping Your Data And Applications Secure On The Cloud

Keeping Your Data And Applications Secure On The Cloud

When you have all your data and applications permanently stored within your enterprise, you can get away with big security holes and poor data management practices without a serious external threat. However, once your applications and data move to the cloud, your margin for error becomes much smaller. Confidential enterprise data could be traveling all over the public Internet, enabling your employees to work anywhere, anytime, while at the same time exposing data to malicious eyes.  In this post, I will cover some of the things your organization needs to get right to prevent unauthorized access.

Mind the channel

If you are on a public network with an unprotected Wi-Fi connection (such as in an airport or a coffee shop), avoid accessing confidential corporate data. An attack could range from a low-tech physical eavesdropping of your screen to a more high-tech capturing of your data in the channel. Make sure your channel is authenticated and encrypted with protocols such as IPSec,TLS/SSL, SSH and systems such as VPN. If you are sending critical data in plain text, you are inviting trouble.

Implement well-designed user access control

Properly planned user access control is needed for all your data and applications. Employees must be able to access only data they have a need to access. Also mind the flow of information outside the security perimeter. For instance, you must never allow your sales people to export all the CRM data to an excel sheet that they could easily take with them when they leave the company. Always make sure that data access happens through your security interfaces and very few bulk export options are allowed for regular security privileges.

Compartmentalize/segregate data

In 2009, Twitter had a bad security breach that made all the internal discussions and confidential business data public and threatened the future of the young network. The hacker gained access to a single compromised personal Gmail account of an employee and was able to successfully access spreadsheets and documents on Google docs that contained all the corporate information.

Although Google was not at fault in this case, it shows how easy it was for the hacker to access all the corporate information after gaining access to one account. Audit your data storage systems and make sure they are compartmentalized enough to avoid cascading security failures. Classify the information based on the security level and implement high-level security for the most confidential information. Thus, a breach of a low-security account should not expose the data in a high-security account.

Educate your employees

No amount of secure protocols will help if your employees are not trained in security best practices. Mandate them to have strong passwords that are periodically changed. Educate them to never send the passwords as plain text through SMS, email, etc. (you would be surprised by how many employees in tech companies break this basic rule). All the data must be properly encrypted, and the keys must be recycled carefully.

By Balaji Viswanathan

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comics
Is Machine Learning Making Your Data Scientists Obsolete?

Is Machine Learning Making Your Data Scientists Obsolete?

Machine Learning and Data Scientists In a recent study, almost all the businesses surveyed stated that big data analytics were fundamental to their business strategies. Although the field of computer and information research scientists is growing faster than any other occupation, the increasing applicability of data science across business sectors is leading to an exponential…

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups Cloud platforms have become a necessary part of modern business with the benefits far outweighing the risks. However, the risks are real and account for billions of dollars in losses across the globe per year. If you’ve been hacked, you’re not alone. Here are some other companies in the past…

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Revenue Imperatives “Follow the money” is always a good piece of advice, but in today’s recurring revenue-driven market, “follow the customer” may be more powerful. Two recurring revenue imperatives highlight the importance of responding to, and cherishing customer interactions. Technology and competitive advantage influence the final two. If you’re part of the movement towards recurring…

The Key To Improving Business Lies In Eye-Interaction Tech

The Key To Improving Business Lies In Eye-Interaction Tech

Eye-Interaction Technology Analysts at Goldman Sachs predict virtual reality revenue will surpass TV within the next decade. More than just some gaming fad, VR represents a whole new way for organizations to train, research, and explore vast amounts of data. Despite its popularity, however, VR is still not in the hands of the majority, and…

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

Incident Response Planning – Part 1 The topic of cybersecurity has become part of the boardroom agendas in the last couple of years, and not surprisingly — these days, it’s almost impossible to read news headlines without noticing yet another story about a data breach. As cybersecurity shifts from being a strictly IT issue to…

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security It’s no secret many organizations rely on popular cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft for access to computing infrastructure. The many perks of cloud services, such as the ability to quickly scale resources without the upfront cost of buying physical servers, have helped build a multibillion-dollar cloud industry that continues to grow each…

Through the Looking Glass: 2017 Tech and Security Industry Predictions

Through the Looking Glass: 2017 Tech and Security Industry Predictions

2017 Tech and Security Industry Predictions As we close out 2016, which didn’t start off very well for tech IPOs, momentum and performance has increased in the second half, and I believe that will continue well into 2017. M&A activity will also increase as many of the incumbents will realize that they need to inject…

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud Cloud computing is more than just another storage tier. Imagine if you’re able to scale up 10x just to handle seasonal volumes or rely on a true disaster-recovery solution without upfront capital. Although the pay-as-you-go pricing model of cloud computing makes it a noticeable expense, it’s the only solution for many…