Over the past few years, a majority of technology companies have migrated to the Cloud (or, at least considered moving to the Cloud). Today’s tier-1 Cloud platforms – AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform – are among the most secure and robust enterprises; each of these companies invest millions of dollars securing their data centers, both physically and logically, and strive to achieve the highest levels of third-party compliances – ISO 27001, SOC 2, etc. – to give you confidence that security controls are in place to protect your data.
Public vs. Private vs. Hybrid Cloud
There are three major types of Cloud storage: public, private and hybrid. When most people think of the Cloud, they are usually referring to the public Cloud. This includes providers such as AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. Public Cloud providers are multi-tenant, meaning they share their resources with their customers. In a private Cloud, resources are dedicated to the individual customer, which may be due to rigid and strict security concerns and is more expensive compared to public Cloud. For example, businesses that need to adhere to strict compliances may need to consider a private Cloud. Hybrid Cloud is the mixed-use of public and private Cloud, and most organizations employ the hybrid model. A good example is a hospital where the private Cloud would be used for highly confidential patient data, and the public Cloud would be used for day-to-day operations that do not have compliance restrictions.
Advantages of the Cloud
Companies that migrate to the Cloud can realize several benefits. In a Cloud computing environment, enterprises have access to their data anywhere, anytime – this is especially convenient today with many employers having remote workers due to the Covid pandemic. Enterprises do not need to worry about unexpected downtime and other instances where data is temporarily unavailable. And oftentimes, costs are also lower compared to on-premise. Enterprises only have to pay for the resources they use. The pay-as-you-go model for Cloud security means that you do need to pay more for resources that go unused.
And from a security standpoint, Cloud providers are much better equipped at providing the most current software upgrades and patches – after all, this is what their business model is all about.
Traditional Data Center Vs. Cloud
We have taken a look at Cloud options. But in several industries, there may be situations where Cloud is not feasible. For example, clients at certain large law firms and accounting firms may not want their data stored in the Cloud. And there may also be local regulations that prevent companies from migrating to the Cloud. Compliance with local and federal regulations is always evolving and it is important to make sure your data and your customers’ data are compliant.
With traditional on-premise storage, enterprises have a few different concerns. First, companies will need to handle all of their own data security. Exploits and vulnerabilities can cause many problems for on-premise data centers. Updates and patches need to be manually applied to avoid these issues. Second, on-premise data centers lack scalability. Expanding hardware, storage and computing power will cost time, money, labor and expertise. And finally, on-premise data centers need to be managed by dedicated IT personnel. By going with a Cloud storage model, enterprises can free up IT’s resources and time.
Just because you have selected a tier-1 platform doesn’t mean you should ignore the essentials for protecting your data. All the leading Cloud platforms will provide you perimeter security, a first layer of security that poses challenges for intruders. But that’s about it. Most organizations don’t settle for the basic perimeter security and look for additional security layers. An easy way to understand perimeter security is by looking at a castle. Most castles have a moat and a brick wall. An intruder that can make it past these items will have free reign inside the castle. So, it’s important to make sure you have a secure perimeter AND you also monitor your data. Here are things to consider:
- Two-factor authentication (2FA) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) should be used in addition to the standard security protocols. 2FA works by requiring the user to input a second form of authorization or approval to sign into the account. MFA works the same as 2FA except it requires more authorizations before the user gains access.
- Zero Trust is a security model in which user devices are continuously verified as a means to mitigate breaches. The traditional security model revolves around the phrase “trust but verify”, while Zero Trust revolves around the phrase “never trust, always verify”.
Yes, it seems like we hear about security breaches quite often. But keep in mind, nearly every security breach is caused by the weakest link – which is human negligence.
So… What’s Next?
As technology evolves around the world and business needs change, the Cloud storage model offers feasible and valuable options to manage your data. Scalability, cost-cutting, security, and compliance are all ways that prove that Cloud is the future of IT security. Keeping data up and online ensures that organizations are productive and thriving.
Want to know more about how to employ Cloud in your organization? CloudView Partners can help! We help our clients adopt the Cloud the right way. Reach out today and CloudView Partners will discuss your Cloud security needs.