Cloud Hosting is More Secure
Imagine storing all of your income and assets in your own home.
Cash is hidden under the mattress, your retirement fund is buried in the backyard, and all of your valuables are locked in a safe in the closet. Sounds risky, doesn’t it? Allowing the bank to secure our money and valuables seems like a no-brainer; it has been an established practice for centuries!
And yet this approach is how so many companies still secure their data. Many businesses bury their data “under the mattress” in self-hosted servers on in-house equipment, and guard it with one or two IT experts whom they’ve hired or contracted individually. The security of their data relies entirely on their own in-house resources.
Consider, instead, the security of the cloud: the global scale of the enterprises that host the cloud and the abundant resources available to them to analyze, mitigate, and defend against security risks. Much like banks, these entities are designed for the sole purpose of hosting your data securely and conveniently.
Imagine, instead of one individual IT expert, your company has an entire team of highly trained and skilled Microsoft architects and engineers at your disposal.
Would you rather have the entirety of Microsoft’s team securing your data or one or two IT individuals?
However, some have expressed legitimate concerns. This article will address some of them.
What if another company on the cloud does not have the same rigorous security policies? Won’t I be at risk if they experience a breach?
Yes, if another server experiences a security breach it is possible that your data will also be vulnerable to the breach. However, your data may not necessarily share the cloud with another server. Most CSPs (Cloud Service Providers) offer the option of hosting your data on a private cloud, separate from other companies. If you are hosted on a hybrid, or shared, cloud, your CSP likely manages the entire cloud and maintains the same security policies throughout the cloud.
Who owns my data? What if the CSP gets acquired or goes out of business?
You, the client, still own all data that is hosted in the cloud. Service agreements, made before migration to the cloud, often spell out the ownership of all data that gets migrated, and will include the CSP’s plan for cloud-hosted data in the event of acquirement. Typically the data will remain in the cloud and the acquiring company will simply gain responsibility for your data without any change in the data’s ownership. Regardless of the CSP changing hands or going out of business, your data is solely yours.
What measures do CSPs take to prevent breaches of security?
CSPs take breaches of security very seriously and are constantly reviewing their security policies in response to the ever-changing risk landscape. A secure CSP will hold high expectations for the following areas, and take responsibility for improving as new information arises. Here are a few questions you can expect your CSP to answer thoroughly.
- Identity and access management: Who has access to my data? Do you use multi-factor authentication to minimize password hacking?
- Physical property management: How do you limit access to the building? How do you dispose of secure documents?
- Application firewalls and network security: How do you secure your internal network? What firewalls do you use to protect apps on the cloud?
- Web, email, and communications security: How do you protect secure communications with clients? What measures do you take to prevent breaches through spam emails?
- Data encryption and segregation: Where is my data stored and who holds keys to the encryption? How do you prevent encryption accidents from corrupting my data?
- Ongoing threat analytics: What risks are already known and analyzed? How do you research new threats and update your security policies to maintain security against those threats?
- Disaster planning: What measures do you take to prevent disasters? What is your plan for data recovery in a disaster situation?
- Third-party security assessments: Are you willing to undergo a third party assessment of your security measures? Do you have a record of a third party assessment of your security?
How will my data be recovered in the event of a security breach? What if my data is corrupted?
A full copy of the data is constantly stored as a backup in case of an outage or corruption. These backups can happen as frequently as every fifteen minutes, with backups stored in a variety of locations to prevent any single breach taking out the entire collection of data. These backups can be restored quickly to minimize downtime.
Now consider the following risks associated with hosting on-site:
- Lack of expertise from IT personnel
- Permanent loss of data in the event of a natural disaster such as flooding or fire
- Risk of breach through physical access to the equipment (Ever seen a TV or movie character break into a server room and cut wires or insert USB drives?)
This is obviously not an all-inclusive list of answers to concerns for security of hosting on the cloud. If your concerns have not been addressed here, consider starting a conversation with your CSP of choice to gain confidence in the measures they will take to meet your concerns.
We at RAKE Digital Company would be happy to answer your questions and assure you of the meticulous and thorough security the cloud has to offer.