Cloud Security in 5 Steps

Hot trends have a way of making us re-evaluate our choices, especially if they stick around for a good period of time. The cloud is one trend that seems here to stay. With the increased use of mobile devices for business-related purposes, and the fact that more and more organizations are relying on applications and services from around the world, from "the cloud" has become increasingly important. I would claim it is vital for success in the world today for secure mobility to include cloud strategy.

When organizations make use of the cloud, they tap into a range of benefits.  Not only can they make data available to a global audience, but they gain additional data capacity without spending money on building out their infrastructure. Yet despite these advantages, a huge number of organizations will not touch the cloud for any reason.  The problem?  Cloud security, or at least, organizational perception of cloud security.

For example, according to a study released by Kaspersky Lab, more than 62% of IT managers said one of the obstacles to cloud adoption was 'concern about cloud security'.  With so much critical information available online, it is understandable that organizations could believe the cloud be generally as vulnerable as the Web.  But the fact of the matter is, the cloud can be just as safe as any other network technology – it all depends on organizational precautions against threats.

Given the importance, it is time to reconsider your use of the cloud.  The following five steps will guide you in creating and maintaining a secure cloud architecture:

1. Create a cloud architecture capable of being secure. First, you need to separate software from the actual hardware, allowing multiple virtual machines to coexist on a shared server. It’s not always an easy transition, but with time and effort, it’s completely possible for a company to construct a fully virtualized environment. Next, focus on automation, which allows multiple unmodified operating systems and their applications to run independently in virtual machines while sharing physical resources.

2. Simultaneously develop the security framework. Whether you conduct the developments in house or hire a service provider, your framework should detect attacks, protect data, and provide regular reports. Make sure your cloud security offerings allow individual users to access what they need, when they need it; fully protect the physical infrastructure that supports the cloud; and protect transactional data as it travels in the cloud.

3. Evolve security with the virtualization architecture. As your cloud environment evolves, so should your security. Remember that different applications have different levels of criticality, so they don’t all need the same level of protection. Develop “trust zones” within your virtualized environment to ensure that critical and non-critical apps can coexist without conflict and risk.

4. Strategically utilize the public cloud. Using the public cloud can reduce infrastructure costs for certain non-critical apps, as well as add capacity for peak traffic without building out a costly infrastructure that is only needed occasionally.

5. Secure the public cloud. Because most service providers don’t secure the public cloud for customers, you’ll need to establish a cloud security framework to evaluate whether certain public cloud environments are right for you. Look for public cloud service providers that offer a security service level agreement; a full complement of security offerings that detect attacks, protect data, and provide reports; and established experience in assisting customers with their specific security requirements.

For more details on creating and maintaining cloud security, Contact Us or give us a call: (914) 623-8433