Is My Data Safe in the Cloud?

Posted by Louise Merifield on 16 March 2015

Cyber security is, quite rightly, an issue which raises a lot of concerns. So is my data safe in the cloud and what can I do to ensure cloud security?

We were all concerned, although maybe not surprised, by the Snowden revelations, which continue to rumble, that the NSA was listening to our phone calls, and by the fact that Google is sharing our search engine history. All of this raises issues about cloud security. Is it safe to store my data in the cloud and how do I know that my cloud provider is not going to sell my knicker size to Walmart so they can bombard me with underwear catalogues?  Or worse (marginally) that someone can access my sensitive business data? Our data used to be stored on a server under the desk or in the corner of the office. Where is this cloud and can it be trusted? What should you consider when choosing a cloud provider? There are several issues here and it is important not to confuse security of the cloud with that of the applications you want to run there.

At the cloud level:

Using cloud resources means you can hand over the responsibility for security of the underlying IT infrastructure to a professional. When you sign up to your cloud provider, make sure you read those terms and conditions no one reads,  at least the section regarding security.  Are you happy with their guarantees?  If not, choose another cloud provider.  And remember that Amazon and Google are not the only stores in town.

Is private cloud is more secure?

You can read more about that in another post, but basically a private cloud is managed solely for your organisation and could provide a higher level of security. Consider a local cloud, such as the NuvlaBox then your data is stored at your location, giving full control, but also implies responsibility.

At the application level:

You can’t blame the cloud provider for the security of the applications you deploy there.

Check security at that level too. A cloud management platform like SlipStream can help. SlipStream deploys and manages applications, removing any pilot error in the process.  You can even include post-deployment tests to ensure everything is working correctly before you switch the light on. There are many other solutions in this field, like Apprenda.

A large number of security breaches are due to human error.

At the end of the day, it’s like the security of your home or business. As alarm systems become more sophisticated, criminals will discover more inventive ways of breaking in. Basic rules apply. Only give your key to someone you trust and don’t leave the back door open. The same applies to cloud or any IT system.

If you would like further information about cloud managment platforms or private cloud solutions, don't hesitate to get in touch.

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Cloud Basics

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