In the cloud computing environment, there is a cloud service provider that facilitates and manages the services. This on-demand service has become increasingly popular owing to the reasonable and easy to use cloud storage. However, data security has consistently been a major issue in various information technologies today. In the cloud environment, it becomes particularly serious because the data is located in different places across the globe. Data security and privacy protection are the two main factors of user's concerns about the cloud technology.

This blog provides an overview of various challenges and security guidelines for protecting data on the cloud. We have also enlisted some handy tips that are aimed at enhancing the data security and privacy protection for the cloud environment.

Data Protection on Cloud - Challenges & Solutions

The major issue in cloud computing is the resource security including unauthorised data replication and data loss, resource management and resource monitoring. Currently, there are no standard laws and regulations to deploy applications in the cloud. Numerous techniques have been designed and implemented in cloud; however, these techniques fall short of ensuring total security due to the dynamics of the cloud environment.

Complacency can no longer be an option and it is time to take heed of all aspects of one’s data handling processes. Let’s take a quick look at the various challenges with data protection on cloud and their respective solutions.

  • Unauthorised Data Replication

Organizations take snapshots and data backups on a daily basis which are automatically transferred and stored in the cloud. Companies must be able to answer basic questions such as where the data is stored and who can see and access it? Can unauthorised copying of your data be identified?  At any point in time, data can be accessed by users and applications with different roles and permissions from regular users, applications with service accounts, APIs to admin users.

Organizations need to identify who has access to the data at all times and whether it is an authorized user or system. Not only should you know who has access to the data but you need to know what they do with that data. The security profile of data needs to be addressed at all points during the lifecycle of data from creation, storage, archiving and its destruction.

  • Legal & regulatory framework

As the data residing on the cloud platform increases, so will the uncertainty about the data-related legal and regulatory obligations. The primary focus for all cloud providers must be the privacy and security of their customers’ data. Current regulatory landscape demands adherence to many legal and compliance challenges when data moves from one country to another. With the emergence of regulations such as GDPR, CCPA et al, rules on privacy, data retention and law enforcement access can lead to ambiguity.

Consider a scenario where data has been created in the UK using a software hosted in India and stored in China with users based in the US. To ensure every business and country gets full advantage of cloud computing, there is a significant need for different countries to shake hands together and devise a multinational framework on data privacy and security in the cloud. Companies must implement such solutions which enables them to address the above issues with ease.

  • Data Loss

Data loss is a disaster for any business. Data can be easily exposed or lost as it moves between VMs or in the cloud. Organizations must be sure that the authorised users are accessing their data within predefined policies.  Authority must be given to designated teams to block any user who is violating data use policies.

Requisite tool must be implemented by the organization with superior machine learning capabilities. It must be able to pick up the work of configuration and optimize the prevention time from several months to a matter of minutes.

  • Implementing Encryption

Encryption is difficult to implement internally due to various reasons such as key management and maintenance, performance issues, and access controls. Organizations need to ask certain questions such as how will administrators manage encryption keys for data and systems in the cloud? The time when encryption keys need to be generated or revoked needs to be clarified. Companies also need clarity on whether the cloud service providers (CSPs) need access to keys, and what kinds of risk will this introduce.

Companies should look for solutions which provide them with encryption and decryption of files and information other than storage and backup. This implies that the selected product or solution must take care of both encrypting your files as well as storing them safely on the cloud. Organizations must ensure that no one including the service provider or administrators can have access to the data files.

  • Security Monitoring

There are many security monitoring techniques commonly used in internal data centers including intrusion detection, network flow analysis tools, and host-based agents. Ensuring systems are properly monitored in the cloud is, however, a different story. Cloud providers may or may not allow and support services such as advanced monitoring technologies or processes.

A dashboard interface makes it convenient to identify the operational status of the platform being monitored at any time. Below is a dashboard screenshot of the industry’s first Autonomous AI-powered data protection tool Kogni. An ideal solution will enable the organization to discover hidden databases as well elements which are not performing as per the prevailing standards. By identifying such issues, an organization can take corrective actions to prevent loss of data or service.

Conclusion

As we all know, data is playing a bigger role in making business decisions. Cloud computing has emerged to be one of the most reassuring technologies for this generation of IT applications. When it comes to protecting data, organizations need to view it as an innate entity of their security and privacy program. Many products have been introduced into the market to achieve the highest level of data security and protection. However, there are still certain gaps to be filled to make them more effective.

Organizations struggling to address the myriad security and privacy regulations around data should look no further. When it comes to selecting a solution that helps you navigate the complex data security and privacy regulation aspect, Kogni is your best bet. For a comprehensive free data-centric security risk evaluation, please reach out to Kogni at contact@kogni.io or visit us at kogni.io

References

Drolet M., (July, 2019) How a decentralized cloud model may increase security, privacy. Retrieved from-  https://www.csoonline.com/article/3405439/how-a-decentralized-cloud-model-may-increase-security-privacy.html