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The rise of cloud computing is one of the most important and transformative trends the business world has seen in many years. In a relatively short period of time, the cloud has evolved from a cutting-edge resource, used by only the largest and most tech-savvy corporations, to a basic business tool that any organization can and should benefit from. It’s therefore no surprise that cloud adoption rates have skyrocketed in recent months, with more deployments likely on the horizon.
However, it is impossible for any organization to fully benefit from cloud implementations without addressing a key issue: cyber security. While it’s true that many of the concerns surrounding the cloud’s security capabilities are overblown, the fact of the matter is that hosted solutions can indeed present serious data protection challenges for firms. To embrace the cloud effectively and safely, both a well-crafted strategy and cyber security resources are essential.
“Data protection in the cloud is extremely possible, but not guaranteed.”
Understanding cloud security
First and foremost, it’s important to understand where the real threats lie in the realm of cloud computing. Some business leaders continue to believe that the cloud is inherently less secure than legacy computing solutions. In reality, though, hosted solutions can prove just as secure, or even more secure, than on-premise alternatives. In both cases, the solutions’ cyber security depends on how well they are implemented. Data protection is extremely possible, but not guaranteed in either case.
To a significant extent, cloud cyber security depends on design and policy. And, unfortunately, many firms come up short in this regard.
A recent study from CloudLock highlighted these issues. As SC Magazine reported, the report examined more than 750 million files and 77,000 apps based in the cloud, as well as the behavior of six million cloud users. The study determined that the average organization has 100,000 files containing sensitive information stored in the public cloud. This would not necessarily be a problem, except that the typical firm was also found to have 4,000 instances of exposed credentials. These could potentially be used by unauthorized individuals to gain access to the company’s intellectual property, financial and consumer data, and more.
Achieving cloud security
For a company to remain secure while leveraging cloud resources, it must therefore take steps to better protect both its cloud credentials, as well as the hosted data itself.
This does not mean that every single cloud-stored file needs to receive the highest level of attention. Speaking to SC Magazine, Alyse Kaya Firat, director of customer insights and analytics at CloudLock, emphasized that security professionals should identify the most sensitive, important information and develop cloud security policies that revolve around these resources.
To achieve this end result, businesses interested in embracing cloud-based services will need to hire skilled, knowledgeable cyber safety professionals to guide their efforts. In this way, the growing popularity of the cloud is yet another factor driving up the demand for cyber security talent throughout the private sector.