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These days, business is done in the cloud. But the more that we operate, launch applications, access information, and collaborate in the cloud, the more that we potentially expose ourselves and our companies to risk. Cloud security is the answer to these threats, but a lot is not known (or is widely misunderstood) about cloud security. From data privacy to reputational damage, we’ve compiled a few of the things everyone needs to know about cloud security.

Which is more secure, public or private cloud?

Neither. While it’s true that private cloud offers greater customization and level of control over your data, the public cloud isn’t inherently less secure. What makes a cloud secure has more to do with the strategic planning, implementation, and management of security controls across your network and systems.

Data at rest and in motion are both security risks.

Storing data in the cloud has certainly enabled collaboration, networking, and efficiency across the enterprise, but even if data “isn’t being touched,” it still represents a security risk. All data should be encrypted and authenticated while in storage and in transit. Encryption ensures that data cannot be deciphered without a securely controlled decryption key. If not, an insecure software interface like an API could be used by hackers to gain entry to the entire network.

Most companies will experience a data breach at some point…

Is your organization prepared? Part of cloud security is the prevention of data loss or compromise, but the other part is preparedness for what to do when (not if) a data breach occurs. Disaster recovery plans should include data replication, redundant backups, defined recovery time objectives, and open communication with stakeholders.

…yet many companies don’t have comprehensive security policies in place.

An alarming number of organizations (over a quarter!) indicate they have no security policies or procedures in place to address cloud security. Other organizations think they have adequate protections, only to find out they were neither robust nor comprehensive enough after a security incident brings the company to a halt.

The biggest threat could come from within.

While cloud security managers routinely focus on threats from external hackers and foreign interference (which are indeed serious concerns), statistics show that most security incidents arise from internal employees. Some of these could be malicious, like a rogue employee passing along sensitive information. Often, however, the threat is passive and not realized, like accessing the network over an insecure Wi-Fi connection, installing third-party software, downloading a virus or worm, or even using a weak password. Security is a company-wide mission, not just for those in the IT department.

Cloud security must be uniform across the enterprise.

With the proliferation of work-from-home, bring-your-own-device, or access to the network across several platforms, many cloud applications and tools are being comingled with those directed by the company. The result can be a patchwork of loose ends and open doors that threaten the integrity of the network. A robust cloud security plan addresses these concerns.

An investment in cloud security can reduce cost and administration.

Cloud security providers bring proven expertise and rigorously tested hardware/software to the project, so that your data and applications are protected with the latest, strongest, and best. Compare that with what your internal IT team might be able to put together on their own. Cloud security providers lessen the time, cost, and headache of securing your entire network. Plus, robust cloud security can prevent the reputational, legal, and financial damage that could follow any type of security incident.

Quantity doesn’t equal quality.

The market for cloud security is dramatically expanding, with a wave of new organizations clamoring to get your business. How do you select from among so many cloud security providers? Choose a partner with a longstanding reputation for expertise and customer support – not a company that’s here today and could be gone tomorrow.

If you have questions about cloud security, ask GovDataHosting.

GovDataHosting has decades of experience in comprehensive cloud infrastructure, managed security compliance, technical support, and disaster recovery support. Our cloud security specialists provide simple, swift, and government-certified cloud hosting bundles to Federal, state, and local agencies (and their supporting contractors). If your organization is looking for a proactive and robust cloud security solution, contact GovDataHosting today.

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