Nowadays the cloud industry is growing more due to its widespread adoption. But the more it’s growing, the more questions arise whether the cloud is secure. People are thinking about risks such as financial losses, lawsuits or losing the company’s reputation and even future progress. That’s why managing compliance has always been a challenge for IT companies. Today’s business environment requires cloud providers who are proficient in ensuring high level of security and who offer comprehensive cloud services at a much lower cost.
But let’s go back to the question – is cloud more secure? No doubt, yes! Almost all data stored in the cloud is encrypted, so the users need a key to decrypt the information. Business should take care more of the question how the data is accessed than – where it is stored.
As a cloud service provider PATECCO shares its best practices in six steps, ensuring better security and compliance:
1. Create an end-to-end security and compliance framework
It’s important to create compliance framework, allowing to view, assess and manage all risks, security, and compliance for the cloud environment. Thanks to the instant access to a compliance infrastructure you can download all the certifications and audit reports you need to demonstrate compliance to your own stakeholders.
2. Create Authentication tools
Authentication, also called identity and access control, gives people permission to access different systems and documents according to their role. With cloud providers, implement multi-factor authentication which is more secure process than single sign-on. It requires a verification code that is texted to the users’ phone, or a link in an email that they have to click.
3. Ensure Encryption
Encryption means systematically scrambling of data so that nobody can read it unless having the code key to unscramble it. What needs to be done is to set up virtual networks which are not accessible to anyone within your company and all the traffic between machines in the cloud is securely encrypted. Let’s take for example Office 365’s service encryption. Office 365 offers customer-managed encryption capabilities, allowing you to have greater control over the protection of your sensitive data.
4. Enforce privacy policies
Privacy and protection of personally identifiable information (PII) is gaining importance across the globe, often involving laws and regulations relating to the acquisition, storage, and use of PII. It is critical that privacy requirements be adequately addressed in the cloud service agreement. If not, the cloud service customer should consider seeking a different provider or not placing sensitive data in the cloud service. For example, customers that wish to place health information subject to the United States HIPAA regulation into a cloud service, must find a cloud service provider that will sign a HIPAA business associate agreement.
Step 5: Assess the security provisions for cloud applications
Companies should proactively protect their business-critical applications from external and internal threats throughout their entire life cycle, from design to implementation to production. Clearly defined security policies and processes are essential to ensure the applications are enabling the business rather than introducing additional risk. In order to protect an application from various types of breaches it is important to understand the application security policy considerations based on the different cloud deployment models.
When developing and deploying applications in a cloud environment, it is critical that customers realize they may forfeit some control and should design their cloud applications with these considerations in mind.
6. Audit and ensure proper reporting of operational and business processes
Offering tools for monitoring what’s going on with your infrastructure and application is quite useful. You can look at relevant log data from your applications or systems to see who’s doing what or if there were any threats. With the cloud, you can go in any time and pull down any number of pre-configured reports.
It’s essential that security controls encompass not only the cloud services themselves, but also the management interfaces offered to customers. Incident Reporting and Incident Handling process that meets the needs of the customer should also be available in the Cloud System.