Addressing the Security Risks Associated with Cloud Data

Cloud Data

Since cloud storage and computing have made it feasible for every company to transform into an AI-backed, intelligent digital company, businesses will never return to their former data and security postures. Businesses need to modify how they use and store critical data in the cloud in a sensible way.

Technology has advanced over the past decade, making it simple and affordable for businesses to gather, store, and use enormous amounts of data. Businesses of every size today can quickly have a mature data practice and leverage unprecedented amounts of data to inform and streamline operations.

Both businesses and society have significantly benefited from the exponential development in their ability to handle and leverage data. However, this sprawl has a price: As each organization’s data collection has grown significantly, its security measures haven’t. Sensitive data is at risk of theft because it is not managed, protected, or noticed.

The public sector and the security industry must collaborate to establish strategies and implement technologies to ensure good data management and security.

Also Read: 5 Strategies for Building a More Secure Cloud

Data-centric Security is Now Even More Necessary

Security teams before cloud transformation focused on securing the perimeter that is around a physical data center and securing it. Data could be stored and managed easily because it was just a few rooms or buildings away. However, the days of a clearly defined perimeter are long gone, and businesses now need to shift their focus from safeguarding premises or infrastructure to safeguarding the data itself.

The difficulty in this situation is that data security is quite tricky. Sensitive information is continually being moved, duplicated, and modified in an environment of endless data sprawl. Even when critical data is fully secured, that security posture does not apply when the data is duplicated or moved. Legacy security tools designed to safeguard a single asset in a single location cannot keep up with petabytes of cloud data constantly changing in location and shape.

Moving Controls Are Needed for Moving Targets

The objective of security data is not to lock down data and ensure that it can never be changed or moved. The goal of cloud data security is to enable businesses to use the scalability and speed of cloud computing while maintaining adequate and effective access controls.

Access management principles have grown and evolved along with cloud architectures, and as a result, businesses have witnessed an entire industry – Identity Access Management (IAM) – emerge. IAM faces a challenge with cloud data, and data access tools frequently have trouble addressing the issue of “what happens if the data moves?”

The biggest security issue currently facing businesses is that when data is moved, copied, or updated, access controls do not apply. A fundamental shift in how businesses view data as it flows between cloud environments is necessary to protect sensitive data. The data must be examined along with the access control policy that surrounds it, including where the data has been, who has access to it, and all other relevant contexts.

The Context of the Data is Missing

Data context goes beyond security posture. Recognizing the data that is sensitive and that isn’t sensitive also requires understanding the context in which the data is being used. If a “severe” endpoint flaw doesn’t contain any information that could harm the company, is it even worthwhile to rush to patch it? Would businesses have paid more attention if a low-priority flaw was discovered to be linked to customer data or source code?

Also Read: Reasons Why Cybersecurity Compliance is Vital for Businesses

The industry must ensure that every business follows two standard practices as they pivot for the future of cloud computing and data. The first thing they need is a well-organized, concise catalog of their data that includes context, such as how valuable the data is and the protocols used to protect it. Second, companies must ensure that even when data is copied or transferred, the data and the context in which it is used remain stable.

Security teams can prioritize their efforts by understanding the significance and worth of each dataset. The efforts of the security teams are worthwhile because security controls are maintained as data is transferred between cloud services. Organizations will be able to move confidently and take advantage of big data and cloud computing thanks to these two best practices. Anything less puts their customers and their business at risk.

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