There’s no doubt that cloud computing has changed the nature of communications and the nature of business over the last few decades. We have unprecedented tools to share data and communicate, which have changed how our society functions.
Unfortunately, as with any new development, some people look to take advantage of it. Cybercriminals and hackers are constantly looking for and finding ways to access data to use for identity theft, ransom, and other illegal means. Plus, simply having data in the cloud presents risks from errors and lapses by those entrusted with it. So, while cloud computing is undoubtedly an important part of our infrastructure, we still must protect our cloud environments and protect the data we store on them. Here are some ways that cloud computing has changed cybersecurity that all organizations should be aware of.
Constant Internet Connection
The whole concept of cloud computing is that the user is connected to the internet. While this provides amazing convenience, it is also what makes data more vulnerable than ever before. Networks that are accessing the internet can be accessed by hackers from anywhere in the world.
Cloud services mean that workplaces are running business processes and storing data using online applications. Unfortunately, there are many weak spots when working this way. There are the individual users themselves, the networks, IT departments, and the applications. A hacker could find a convenient gap to exploit at any one of these points. It’s up to organizations to ensure that every possible measure is taken for protection.
User Access Control
Using cloud computing means that you will need to control user access to certain data. You might want to have security levels so that certain people can access certain data but not other data. This can be tricky and requires regular management. With so many users possibly involved, you will most likely need a dedicated IT professional to manage it all. Organizations should use a cloud enterprise password management solution to make it easier for users to have complex passwords and for IT to manage them. Cyberattacks tend to involve compromised passwords and improper handling of access levels, and you must be careful with your authentication procedures.
Trust and Transparency
Using cloud computing solutions means placing your trust in third parties. They will have access to your client files, financial records, staff files, or anything else that you put in their applications. This means that you need to know how well they protect that data. Do they have secure enough encryption? Is it a private cloud server, or do they have several tenants, making it more public? How much separation is there between your data and that of the other clients they have?
These are all important questions that you need to ask, and you have to feel that you can trust the answers. Your third-party vendors must be completely transparent about their security practices and procedures so that you can entrust them with your data. Before cloud computing, it was much easier to identify the security apparatus of any third party that might be handling sensitive documents or objects. You could physically see cameras, locks, and other security measures. With cloud computing, these things are invisible, and you must be diligent in making sure they are in place.
The more a company or organization outsources to cloud computing services, the more they run the risk of having too much sprawl. This can happen when there are too many access points for users to access data. This can also occur when employees download their own software to help with their jobs. Sprawl can become challenging to manage, and there may even be portals that are no longer used and have been forgotten.
This can cause disorganization and chaos for IT departments. There are too many portals to manage, and some may be very vulnerable if they are from disreputable vendors or used by users who aren’t diligent with security. With so many possibilities for access or for viruses to take hold, there is a great risk. Companies should have a policy regarding software downloads and cloud applications so that IT departments can have control over what comes into the network and what employees are using for their work.
We live in an age where we can connect with anyone in the world with the click of a mouse or a tap on a mobile screen. Employees worldwide use cloud computing applications and portals to do their work and store important and sensitive data. Cloud computing has changed how we live and work and has made our lives easier. However, it still has its drawbacks. If your organization or business uses cloud solutions, then you need to take steps to make sure that your data is secure from hackers and criminals.
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