When cloud-based computing and SaaS began to take hold across multiple industries, many worried that losing control of in-house networks meant a loss of jobs. But as the technology matured, decision-makers began to see the value of cloud-based systems. The focus shifted from traditional IT network infrastructure to building and maintaining cloud-based infrastructure to take advantage of this value.
The fear of IT losing to total automation was soon replaced with a more realistic fear that the new technology meant very different and possibly even more dangerous security threats to company data. This meant that IT professionals would need to learn how to keep the new cloud infrastructure secure.
The Most Common Cloud Infrastructure Threats
The tools and technologies used to attempt hacks and breaches are almost limitless. CSO Online has several areas where those using such tools can look for a door into a company's data:
- Human Error – It’s likely that by 20225, as high as 99% of all breaches and related security failures will be the user's fault. From simple errors such as weak password protocols and lack of auditing to the fast-changing nature of the cloud, it’s difficult to monitor the changes and keep pace.
- Understanding Service-Level Commitments – Most cloud service providers specify what security they’ll supply and what the customer is required to supply. If the customer is lax or unaware of the fine print, malicious actors could breach the company's data and uncover exposed IP and trade secret information.
- Shadow IT – IT managers often deploy ad hoc cloud-based solutions to make their jobs easier. This practice creates a patchwork cloud system that lacks established protocols to keep data safe.
- Corporate Strategy – Cloud-based systems offer great value for companies that use them. But cloud-based systems aren’t a "deploy and forget" system. Companies must consciously develop strategies that cover training, password protection, audit processes, update requirements, and more to ensure that skillsets are up to date and that all possible avenues of entry have been planned.
Protecting Your Cloud Infrastructure
As valuable as cloud-based storage has become, it’s serious business to keep secure. Here are a few considerations for protecting your cloud-based infrastructure:
- Use Providers with Strong Security – Companies must do their due diligence to ensure that the provider they consider uses robust security measures. This diligence includes advanced antivirus protection, encryption, firewalls, and more.
- Backup and Recovery – Companies should consider backup options for on-site drives or a second backup provider. Cloud providers should also have aggressive and robust recovery systems if breaches occur.
- Develop Internal IT Protocols – Most breaches can be avoided by having a planned, well-thought-out, and audited corporate data integrity strategy. This strategy may include password protocols, two-factor authorization, the number and type of accounts used within the company, approval processes for adding new software to internal systems, and more.
- Don't Assume – Service contracts can be long and complicated regardless of the vendor. However, cloud security requires a deep understanding of who provides what. By digging deep, companies will understand their responsibilities and can plan for them. It’s also wise to assume that hackers never sleep. Security must be 24/7 with immediate alert and response to attacks.
Driving Business Efficiency and Security
Cloud-based storage has proven its value to a business in the last few years. It allows companies to reduce costs for expensive IT infrastructure. Once up and running, additional SaaS is available through other providers to manage finances, enterprise operations, quality, payroll, and many other external systems.
As an entrepreneur or business owner, access to these technologies will help streamline your operation and make it more efficient. But understanding what you need – and how to deploy it – isn’t easy.
The Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC) at Georgian College has the academic and business expertise to help entrepreneurs determine what works best for their business needs. We provide training in innovation, R&D, and entrepreneurship. We also offer mentorship, training, and more to help you create a business that thrives and whose data is secure.
Contact us today to learn how we can help.