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Why is Cloud Security so Critical?
The cloud has changed how people use the Internet. This is especially true for companies. Thanks to the cloud, reaching your business’ potential is easier than ever. However, like any digital asset, just because the cloud is powerful doesn’t mean it’s not without its risks. Cloud security is absolutely critical to make sure your organization doesn’t become vulnerable.
The Cloud Isn’t Impervious
There seems to be two really big misconceptions out there about the cloud. The first is that the cloud is incredibly insecure. Perhaps because of its name, a lot of people seem to view the cloud as being “out there” and that comes with a fear that somehow their data is sort of floating around, free for the taking. Of course, this isn’t the least bit true. Servers are still employed by cloud-based applications and as long as they’re high-quality, the service they provide will be too. It’s pretty much that simple.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are those who seem to think that the cloud is impervious. Oddly enough, it might be for the same reason some see it as being a low-security options. This crowd looks at the cloud as being this impossible thing to hack because it doesn’t have any one location (which is completely untrue).
Neither is accurate. The cloud is not impervious though. You can definitely take steps to helping make your cloud use as secure as possible, of course, but unless you do, you’ll be as much a target of hacks as anybody.
Two Things You Have to Know About Securing the Cloud
When you’re attempting to secure your cloud, it’s vital that you understand the differences between this type of infrastructure and the more traditional kind. First, traffic to and from the cloud is going through public channels. This means that encryption like SSL is absolutely vital in order to maintain the integrity of your information.
Secondly, you have to remember that the cloud is meant to be accessible from anywhere. This is a big change from the server you might have working in your office. As such, the security measures you take for the cloud have to be put into place with this in mind.
How to Secure the Cloud
Alright, obviously you’ll want to use passwords to protect access to the cloud. Password protection is always a good idea and that’s not going to change anytime soon. There are some ways you can beef up this kind of measure though. Use MFA (multifactor authentication) at the very least. SSO (single sign-on) can be extremely helpful too.
MFA works by requesting at least two kinds of credentials from anyone trying to sign in to a system. There are generally three types to choose from:
- Something the person knows (this is the kind of password everyone uses: a set of characters, a PIN, etc.)
- Something the person has (e.g. an ID card or key)
- Something the person physically is (e.g. their fingerprint)
SSO makes it possible for your users to sign in via MFA and then have access to all their cloud-based systems. Amongst other things, this helps ensure your employees won’t get lazy with their passwords because they have to remember so many.
That being said, you still want to go beyond something as powerful as MFA passwords and SSO. As the cloud can be accessed from anywhere, you’ll want to keep geolocation in mind. Just because access can come from anywhere doesn’t mean you want it to, after all.
For example, let’s say your IT team is based out of Chicago. That would mean IP requests should be coming from that area. If one comes from, say, Tokyo, you’d want to block it.
When you combine these ingredients, you get a recipe for a highly-secured cloud application. People will only be able to access it if they use SSO software and, even then, they have to have at least two credentials and be from a specific location.