Data Security in Cloud Computing: Top 6 Factors To Consider

Traditionally, the data was stored in local servers. It used to take a lot of hardware allocation and manage the entire server along with the website, thus introducing Cloud Computing. ‘Cloud Computing’ is a way to store the data on a remote server over the internet. The process of storing, managing, and processing data is handled by the third-party, which is providing cloud computing services.

Now, as we are moving to a public cloud or hybrid cloud, the issue of cloud security or data security has to be addressed. As every individual or enterprise trusts the cloud service providers by providing their essential folders and files for the deployment on their server for which the third-party charges fees. As the number of users increases day-by-day, it is quite challenging to provide data security.

Read: Top Cloud Computing Models Explained

‘Data outsourcing’ is a process wherein users of the cloud are relieved from the burden of managing and storing data. Now, various factors need to be addressed to protect the data and thus provide security to cloud users.

Top Factors For Data Security

  • Privacy Protection
  • Data Confidentiality
  • Data Integrity
  • Data Availability
  • Data Privacy
  • Governance

1. Privacy Protection

Privacy Protection involves safeguarding the data from any other person other than the owner of the data. Although the data is saved on the servers of the company from which we are purchasing the cloud computing service, it is essential that the privacy of the data has to be maintained. The data has to be encrypted so that only you can access the data as you are paying for the service and the data which you are storing on their servers has to be preserved and must be shown to you only.

The privacy of the data stored has to be considered; otherwise, there is a chance of hacking the data from their servers, which would cost up a huge amount of money to both the organisations.

2. Data Confidentiality

Data Confidentiality refers to protecting data from reaching unauthorised parties as it would result in data breaching. Data breaching is one of the threats to the data; it is always addressed in cybersecurity. 

Data breaching causes the revelation of the data to the unknown sources. It is like leaking your secret information to the anonymous person who is scary to the business and for an individual.  

Also Read: Cloud Computing Ultimate Guide

3. Data Integrity

Data integrity is maintaining the original data and protecting data to be modified or deleted. Data integrity is pretty simple for a single database system, but it gets very complicated with multi-cloud databases. Also, in a server, there are multiple data stored. So even preserving integrity is very important for the data.

These days, the organisation utilises multiple servers and multiple people from organisation access the same server from different ids, so it’s important to consider the user’s authentication before modifying the data from the database. Now to maintain that the two most prominent methods used are two-factor authorisation and trusted platform module (TPM) for remote data checks.

4. Data Availability

As we all know, our data is on someone else’s server, so it’s imperative to consider the responsibility of having an agreement. The service-level agreement (SLA) is pivotal, and users must read it carefully.

Some points to consider with SLA. SLA provides information about the various policies of the company providing cloud computing services. For example, AWS, asks the user to choose the location of the server; now, this helps with compliance and response time/latency. 

All the available services are available for different purposes. So, it’s essential to know one’s organisation needs and research the available options and choose the best from the available ones.

5. Data Privacy

There are many national and international data residency laws. It is the responsibility of all the cloud computing providers and consumers to be aware of that. 

For example, the U.S. includes laws such as: 

  • the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), 
  • The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), 
  • the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the 
  • Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH); 

In Europe, there are laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

Also, there’s the United Kingdom Data Protection Law, the Russian Data Privacy Law, the Swiss Federal Act on Data Protection and the Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

So, it’s always better for all the cloud services consumers to know the laws, rules and regulations related to data and to check if the cloud service provider abides by the laws.  

And if they don’t, one can register a complaint to the government or cybersecurity department regarding one’s complaint. 

Must Read: Scope of Cloud Computing

6. Governance

Governance refers to adopting the appropriate policies within the organisation and giving them access to the servers to the trusted employees only. Many a time, it is observed that the hackers are within the organisation only. Maintaining proper rules and regulations with the handling of data is crucial for every organisation.                  

Conclusion

The data security in cloud computing depends on both the user and the service provider! Make sure to proceed step by step and to check all the factors mentioned above accurately. Data Security is everyone’s responsibility to deal with data including data scientists, engineers, developers, infrastructure providers, service and security.

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