No Cloud without Security: Why Data Protection is Still Paramount for Migration

According to a , 59 per cent of IT managers believe that a fully outsourced managed security service is necessary to support roll-out of cloud technologies, with 78 per cent of respondents citing concerns over secure migration.

The revolutionary concept behind cloud computing eliminates the need for companies to build their own data centre, instead allowing them to access and utilise business IT from a remote location. Essentially, it means that computational power sits in abstract space somewhere on the net.

The fact that companies no longer need to invest in hardware, which can be costly and prone to depreciation, and instead pay on an ‘on demand’ basis for what they actually use, puts a great deal of financial incentive behind a move to the cloud. This vast potential for elasticity and scalability within the software market, coupled with the fact that business data is busy growing exponentially, makes resistance to this new age in computing futile.

But one thing keeping IT managers up at night is the obligation to protect their data , regardless of where it is.

Protection in the Cloud

The cloud may seem like a highly abstract space. But the reality is that it’s comprised of a series of very tangible servers, which therefore present a tempting target to cybercriminals.  One of the most fundamental concerns for businesses is protecting sensitive and confidential data, both of the business and their clients.

Some of the most famous and damaging examples of data leaks include Google, Facebook and Apple, amongst many other tech giants, demonstrating how imperative it is to get security right. Most recently, Washington DC-based discount site Living Social admitted that hackers had accessed names, email addresses, the date of birth and encrypted passwords of some 50 million of its users.

It’s unsurprising that migrating to the cloud makes organisations wary. However, by properly orchestrating the move, it is possible to build a secure haven for your data and ease the anxiety.

Data Encryption

Some hosting providers, such as Google are responding to security concerns by providing automatic encryption of data for paid users.

To illustrate, when LivingSocial’s data security was breached, the passwords that were stolen had been subject to a number of security protocols, including ‘hashing’ and ‘salting’. This basically translates as being mashed up with a mathematical algorithm, before having random digits appended onto the end, making them difficult – but not impossible – for hackers to crack.

Outsourcing Concern

Managed security refers to the practice of outsourcing responsibility for your company’s security concerns. A managed security provider will address and manage concerns such as:

  • Prevention of data loss,
  • Secure remote access,
  • Penetration and vulnerability testing,
  • Firewall & threat management, and;
  • Data encryption.

Clearly, the need for security services in the cloud will never abate, and for this reason, continual advancement in the field of data security will be vital to its success.

It’s important for businesses to recognise that although cloud hosting providers are greater targets for cybercrime, they also have a more specialised knowledge of the risks to data through loss and theft, and how to take preventative measures. The key to security in the cloud is to fully understand and trust the security protocol of your provider.

About the author : This is written by Ali Raza on behalf of . Ali is a very keen blogger and writes content to please emerging business audiences.

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