Over one billion gigabytes of data are stored in the cloud networks worldwide. Processing and storing data in the cloud has revolutionized the IT world and is both an efficient and cost-friendly way to store data. There are two types of clouds: private clouds and public clouds.
A private cloud is an organization’s own cloud that contains only their compute infrastructure and data. On the other hand, a public cloud is a cloud that is shared by multiple different organizations, also known as a multitenancy. In a multitenant architecture, tenants share infrastructure resources such as their web server, application services, middleware, their database, and compute resources. Even though the resources are shared, the tenant-specific data is accessible only to that particular tenant.
You could think of private cloud as owning your own home, while public cloud is like living in an apartment complex. When living in an apartment, you may share resources such as water, electricity, etc. However, your unit (or data) is secure and only accessible to you. In this post, we’ll be talking about how/where the data is stored, how the data is secured, ways that this data can be breached, and how to mitigate your risk.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about cloud storage is where all of this data is stored. Cloud data is stored in data centers that can be virtually anywhere in the world. Most cloud storage service providers offer storage on a pay-per-use-basis, so you would pay for each gigabyte of data per month. The user can connect to the database server via the internet and manually or automatically send files over. All of this data can be accessed through a web-based interface.
At this point, you may be thinking, how do organizations know that their data is safe? Cloud providers use authentication, access control, encryption, and built-in firewalls to keep your data safe at the most basic level. Authentication is the type of security that is used on most websites and devices such as passwords and security questions. Access control restricts access to the data if you are using an unknown, unauthorized, or public device. You can test these security measures by engaging with a cybersecurity professional who can validate and assess security measures and provide additional extra security measures. Encryption is one of the strongest ways to secure your data by using algorithms to scramble the data so it can be accessed only by the users who are authorized to access the data. The built-in firewalls make sure that those who are not authorized are not able to access your cloud infrastructure.
Sharding is another way of securing data where it is split into chunks and encrypted on its own, meaning if the code was to be decrypted then they would only find the data in blocks, rather than all of it. Some cloud providers only let you preview the content instead of downloading the data, so that it is more secure to share. Highly regulated organizations are also starting to use the hybrid approach in which they keep sensitive data in a private cloud and the rest of their data in a public cloud.
However, this does not mean your data is 100% safe. It is not impossible for cybercriminals to get into these files by guessing security questions or bypassing passwords. Your data could also at any point get wiped out, lost, or stolen. The data is stored on servers and systems that are not yours meaning you don’t have control over them. As a solution to this, some cloud providers are starting to let the users choose their own encryption keys, so no one from the provider’s side has access to your data.
The good news is there are many more solutions for improved data security! You have options such as backing up your data locally, engaging with cloud service providers that offer local encryption of data, implementing multi-factor authentication and protecting the computer systems that access your cloud resources by implementing anti-virus and anti-spy security controls. Overall, with cloud storage the positives outweigh the negatives. With governance and adoption of the right risk-mitigating strategy offered by companies such as Brite Systems, you can select the ideal cloud service (Public, Private, or Hybrid) and secure your data safely. If you’d like to explore your options for cloud security solutions, consult with our cloud experts today.