Cloud Computing: 9 Threats Identified, Now What Do We Do About Them?

This is part 1 of a 5 part series on cloud computing security. You can read part 2 herepart 3 herepart 4 here and part 5 here.

An article titled “The Top 9 Threats Facing Cloud Computing” recently came out on ReadWrite.com. This spot-on list of 9 threats is very similar to the ones we published in our recent white paper “Data Protection Issues in the Cloud,” and they can be broken down into 4 major areas that comprise the vast majority of security issues in the cloud today:

Hackers

Hackers figured prominently throughout and at the top of the list of threats to cloud computing. But there are things individual users can do to protect their data before the worst happens. Do you have ironclad passwords? Do you sign out of your services when you’re done using them, or do you leave them open? Is your mobile device locked? Is the network you’re using secure? These are a few of the questions you need to ask yourself if you want to defend against hacks.

Data Loss

Accidental deletion happens a lot more often than people think, but it’s not the only way to lose data. A bad sync, natural disaster or system failure can turn data into memories at the drop of a hat. The only way to protect against data loss is to back up that data and make sure it can be easily restored if and when disaster strikes.

Malicious Insiders

We’ve all heard stories about malicious employees who decide to do some major damage on their way out the door. And it may be hard to see anyone around you who seems like they might do such a thing, but even so, you should make sure no one gets the chance. Ask yourself what kind of access does everyone have to sensitive data? If you were to hear that someone got fired, how quickly could you revoke their access to all of your data? What about on mobile devices? Do you have a solid BYOD plan in place? These are some of the things that, while certainly not pleasant to think about, need to be considered for the long-term health of your organization.

Lack of Due Diligence

Choosing a cloud computing provider (i.e. anything that ends with “aaS”) often comes down to who has the best deal. But before you sign on the dotted line, you need to know who is responsible for what security measures on both your end and theirs. You need to know who’s doing the encryption and how things are going to go when there’s an outage. If you haven’t asked these questions, you could be setting yourself up for some real problems when you least expect it.

As a company that has gone through the SSAE 16 Type II audit process, we take cloud security very seriously. But we want people to feel safe in the cloud because the cloud offers so many benefits – the ability to access your data anywhere, big cost savings, less on-site hardware maintenance – the list goes on. The way to feel secure in the cloud is to be fully aware of security issues so that you can take advantage of all of those benefits without setting yourself up for major problems. In a future series of posts, we’ll discuss each of the above four areas more in depth as well as ways to address them so that we can help keep your cloud computing experience as smooth as it was designed to be.


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