Data Protection In The Cloud: Challenges And Best Practices

Data Protection In The Cloud: Challenges And Best Practices

The advent of Cloud technology has fundamentally altered how businesses operate today, and traditional computing methods don’t provide the flexibility and advantages that Cloud computing offers. Gartner research indicates that by 2025, more than 85 per cent of enterprises will adopt Cloud-first. Without adopting Cloud-native architectures and technologies in tandem, these organisations will not be able to execute their digital strategies effectively.

One technology many enterprises are turning to that supports both a hybrid and a multi-Cloud approach is the open source database PostgreSQL (also called Postgres). With the importance of data ownership and portability taking center stage, enterprises are increasingly looking for options that reduce dependency on a single vendor. Open source databases, such as Postgres, allow organisations to run the same database on any Cloud platform without vendor lock-in.

While Cloud computing offers numerous business benefits, data security issues remain a growing concern. There is a constant need to innovate and develop original solutions to combat evolving security threats. Cloud data protection aims to secure data in a Cloud environment and these procedures have become essential for enterprises today. With the increase of organisations storing most of their data in the Cloud, including sensitive and critical information, data protection is more crucial than ever.

Common Data Security Challenges In The Cloud

Unsecure data access

With Cloud services, a user may access data from any location and device. Threat actors look for exposed databases to infiltrate data and gain financial advantage, and since components like API endpoints can be accessed from anywhere, there is a significant security risk. Exposed APIs can result in a threat actor gaining access to the API and gaining control over the data. The integrity of the data is undermined when a threat actor can view and manipulate it. Insecure API endpoints that are compromised can end up costing organisations a lot.

Data breaches

Data breaches in the Cloud are typically caused by insecure or misconfigurations. While not a new occurrence, the Cloud has become a primary target for data breaches because any misconfigurations could expose vulnerabilities in the Cloud environment that unintentionally leak data to unauthorised users.

Loss of data

Data is the most valuable asset an organisation has. Hence, losing that data can be the worst nightmare for a business and its customers. Numerous factors, including erroneous deletion, physical damage, natural disasters, insufficient data backups, automatic data loss controls, audits, risk assessments, and software corruption, can cause Cloud data loss.

Best Practices For Cloud Data Security

Regular data backups

Since data loss can occur anytime, anywhere, backups are essential for data security. Important files and information must be protected against data loss situations by a frequent data backup based on an organisation’s tolerance for data loss. With reliable backups in place, the business could endure occurrences like system failures, hard disc failures, corruption, and even ransomware scenarios. Additionally, modern cyber criminals are quite adept at figuring out where backups are kept, so it’s critical to keep a tap on the location of backups and make sure they are managed securely. Regular backups can recover up to 100 per cent of files with minimal effort, saving a business from the cost of downtime and disruption.

Routine audits

Exploiting outdated and unpatched software vulnerabilities is a common pattern used in successful cyber-attacks. This is especially true when the program was created by smaller teams unable to effectively manage their systems. Here, having a group responsible for the upkeep of systems is undoubtedly crucial. Additionally, routine audits allow businesses to discover gaps in areas where the need might not have been realised or as a result of acting rapidly to meet a deadline. As a result, the systems’ security increases, and potential threats reduce.

Robust data security models

It’s important to take into account several aspects when adopting a data security model. At the top of the list is confirming the model being used permits direct access to databases or isolates the control plane and available access to the providers. As a result, internal systems and accounts are less accessible to outsiders, allowing organisations to lower their risk and attack surface.

Transparent data encryption can also aid in securing confidential data and Cloud data assets against accidental exposure and unauthorised access by attackers lacking the necessary decryption keys. The organisation should focus on creating a unified security architecture that can prevent security breaches.

Stay focused on security

There is no denying the fact that Cloud technology has proved to be a boon for organisations. But it has posed some serious challenges for them along the way, and one such challenge is data protection. The ability to access data through Cloud services from any location and on any device raises the risk of data loss or theft. In addition, unauthorised or excessive access to data is frequently the source of data breaches in the Cloud. Therefore, organisations should adopt regular backups and routine audits to address data security and reduce potential data-associated risks, as well as adopt a robust data security model to lower their risk and attack surface.

Dan Garcia is the chief information security officer at EnterpriseDB

[Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs, and views expressed by the various authors and forum participants on this website are personal.]

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