Most likely, you have a security system at your home or business. It probably includes an alarm system, cameras, or keypads. More sophisticated systems offer biometric registration to access various departments. A security system is there to add an extra layer of protection. While not perfect, it assists in mitigation of possible threats.
In this sense, cloud computing is very similar. Although it is used to safely store data — adding a layer of protection — there are still potential security issues. Here is what you need to know about security systems within the cloud:
- It is a system, not a protocol. Your business should have a documented set of protocols you are required to follow to avoid corruption of data. This may include segregation permission ranks by use of passcodes or account limitations to access various levels of company data. Unlike a protocol, a security system takes literal action against threats as opposed to simply providing guidelines. This then adds another layer of protection to those already adopted into the cloud. This can include an interface, which allows IT team members to examine blind spots in protection, to increase or decrease accessibility, and to determine if any updates are required. They may even be able to view when an attack is taking place and stop it before any significant damage is done.
- It protects physical machines. Contrary to what the name implies (and what pop culture might have you believe), cloud data is not stored in the air. There is a physical component to it, which also requires protection. Security systems provide this for both the device storing the data and the delivery point. Therefore, should the security system detect a problem with data as it begins its transfer to another device, it will halt the delivery and examine further to determine if there is anything malicious.
- It allows for virtualization. Though it may come standard on some security systems, virtualization in the Cloud is an add-on which should be carefully considered. With virtualization, a duplicate environment is created at another location. If a malicious hacker or power outage compromises your cloud environment, the security systems switch to data protection protocol. This is done in situations where Continuity of Business (CoB) is necessary to maintain business and avoid loss of income and data. In these types of situations, data changes are copied to the virtual environment on a schedule. Should there be a compromise to data, the security system would pick this up and halt the process. It may even lockdown the primary cloud environment and switch to the secondary.
Without an extra layer of protection your risk of data attack greatly increases. Before you consider moving your data to the cloud, speak with prospective service providers to determine what they are doing to make storage as secure as possible.