For years, security perils have curtailed many from migrating their critical data to the cloud technology platform. The recent attacks on US government systems are a stark reminder of vulnerabilities that have caused both monetary and reputation loss for the government. This catastrophic event once again highlighted the importance of securing electronic devices, proprietary data, including networks against infestations by hackers. Stringent security checks and vulnerability scanners to be put into action by clients to limit direct access to confidential data systems by overseas end-users, and by managing systems loaded with sensitive data and applications behind the government firewalls.
In the race to keep them up in the service providers’ chain, many established cloud benefactors are heavily investing in security to win their clients’ trust. Such benefactors are eyeing on government agencies that are seeking to host their data and applications onto the cloud. In the present scenario, such organizations are not keeping their data outside confidential information and are teaming up with government bodies to become a robust partner for national security.
Even though the adoption rate in government organizations is not that impressive, still there are many who are leveraging cloud benefits at its most. Not to mention, to succeed in today’s cut-throat competition, a thorough understanding of security channels deployed at the web hosting service provider’s end including devices and technologies are important undertakings.
This blog attempts to highlight a few factors that businesses should consider when planning to migrate their workload to cloud platform:
All Applications Are Not Meant For Cloud: Understanding this point is critical as every business is different with its own unique set of skills and responsibilities. Collaborating with a host that has a cloud solution to fit into your business requirements is important. This approach is applicable to all – whether you seek email server hosting, web hosting, or even CMS hosting. There are instances where clients adopting cloud solutions are troubled with a chaos spurred owing to the incompatibility of legacy systems with the adopted cloud environment. It is observed that many large corporations are reluctant to move their critical systems like ERP, HRMS, CRM to the cloud ecosystem due to ‘lack of trust’ factor. They believe that letting others handle their personally identifiable information is like giving invitation to security breaches. However, small scale companies and startups are showing more inclination towards cloud as they lack top-grade security frameworks and IT professionals to replicate their business needs.
Elastic Network Architecture to Serve Corporate & Personal Client Needs: For years, network administrators are loaded with the onus of managing BYOD and IoT needs. And, companies at large have invested a lot in network automation and other requisites to keep it away from intimidating security issues. In addition to procuring new tools and hiring resources, the evolving network architecture demand separate data access needs. The service provider should have a well maintained network architecture that alleviates intimidations, provides separate access, and holistically accommodates corporate and individual needs of clients. For instance, cloud vendors can meet these evolving demands by making use of virtual machines, including hypervisors and containers to manage and access data.
Every Business Needs Unique Migration Strategy: Not to mention, most cloud-based applications are based on virtualization and thus may not offer the similar benefits as offered by onsite servers. This is also one of the barriers that handcuff many to embrace public cloud, which feeds motivation in them to opt for the hybrid cloud that is accompanied with bare metal servers to safeguard critical data and information. Therefore, it is indispensable to connect with a provider that proficiently charts out a strategy to take up a successful cloud migration process.
Incredibly Stringent & Granular Security Controls: From the encryption standpoint, it is quite difficult to achieve entropy by making use of the virtualization technique. Additionally, accidental key sharing between virtual machines make encryption process a worrisome task. If reports are to be trusted, a lot of the attacks happened in the past were targeted on VM templates. The reason for citing this information is to mention that such nefarious acts can entail problems in the smooth running cloud ecosystem. Going forward, there are many who are struggling with loosely-held container solutions, wherein keys are placed in the containers without adhering to an adequate security strategy. This probably gives access to hackers to steal the cryptographic keys and perform unethical attempts. Thus, it is of the utmost need to see if the cloud provider has stringent and granular security controls to resonate your security requirements – right from software applications to physical security.
Service Level Agreements for Transparency: Not only should cloud service providers be capable of ensuring hosting and delivery policies, but they should also provide guarantee at each level – from network level for application and security. Fact – that BYOD and IoT are expanding at a faster pace, which is making it hard to keep up with security and performance needs. It is important for clients to confirm the availability and support level the selected provider offers, including the certifications it has accessed, techniques it has deployed, and what network uptime it offers. Besides, check whether the vendor regularly audits and review their security controls w.r.t HIPAA, PCI, etc.
There is no denying the fact that cloud adoption is changing our lives – breaking stereotypes and adding value proposition. But, the other side of the cloud- that it has a few security disconnects as well, that can’t be overlooked. As mentioned in many of my previous posts that security robustness depends on the provider’s adeptness to architect and manage different security needs. I would reiterate the same. If you really want to leverage the booming Big Data, BYOD, and IoT – you need to ensure that your vendor follows the best security practices.