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Data Security in Cloud Computing: Top 6 Factors To Consider

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14th Feb, 2024
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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.

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Read: Top Cloud Computing Models Explained

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‘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.

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Top Factors For Data Security

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

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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.

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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

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.

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.

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

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.         

Benefits of Cloud Data Security:

The following are the benefits of data security in cloud computing:

Protect brand reputation

Customer interest in a brand is increased by its reputation as it sheds light on business performance. Every data leak that makes headlines damages a company’s reputation as a trusted brand. Organizations can shield themselves by minimizing these dangers with the help of cloud computing securities. 

Greater visibility

Robust cloud data security procedures enable you to keep track of the internal operations of your cloud, including the data assets you have and where they are located, the people using your cloud services, and the types of data they are accessing.

Data encryption

Sensitive data must be protected whenever and wherever it moves. By using many levels of sophisticated encryption to secure cloud data in transit and at rest, cloud service providers assist you with secure cloud data transport, storage, and sharing.

Cloud Workload Protection

Workloads in the cloud significantly broaden the attack surface. To secure the complete cloud-native stack across all workloads, containers, Kubernetes, and serverless apps on any cloud, visibility and discovery of each workload and container event are required.        

Why companies need cloud security

Increased Agility

We are currently in the big data era, in which businesses produce, gather, and store enormous volumes of data every second, ranging from highly sensitive customer or business data to less sensitive data like marketing analytics. 

In addition to the expanding amounts of data that businesses must be able to access, manage, and analyze, enterprises are utilizing cloud services to increase their agility, decrease their time to market, and support their increasingly mobile or hybrid workforces. 

Lower costs

Because users share the cost of the infrastructure, cloud storage is typically more economical for enterprises and organizations.

Resource optimization

Generally speaking, the CSP maintains cloud-based servers, databases, hardware or other cloud elements in a cloud data model. Additionally, hosting and maintaining on-premises components are no longer required by the firm. In addition to lowering total IT expenses, workers can be reassigned to concentrate on different problems, including customer support or business modernisation.

Advanced access

Cloud-hosted databases can be accessed by any authorized user, from any device, in any location, wherever there is an internet connection, which is necessary to enable the contemporary digital workforce.

Scalability

Cloud resources, such as databases, are adaptable, which means they can be swiftly scaled up or down based on the changing demands of the organization. 

Security issues in cloud computing

  • Data breaches
  • Misconfigurations
  • Unsecured APIs
  • Access control/unauthorized access

Conclusion

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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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Our course will teach you the basic and advanced concepts of cloud computing along with the applications of these concepts. You will learn from industry experts through videos, live lectures, and assignments. Moreover, you’ll get access to upGrad’s exclusive career preparation, resume feedback, and many other advantages. Be sure to check it out.

Profile

Rohan Vats

Blog Author
Software Engineering Manager @ upGrad. Passionate about building large scale web apps with delightful experiences. In pursuit of transforming engineers into leaders.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What is cloud computing security?

Cloud computing security, loosely termed cloud security makes optimal use of applications and policies to protect users’ devices, infrastructure, data, and services. Customers who use cloud service assessments security often tend to fidget with the internal IT, people, and buildings. Therefore, everything boils down to keeping the cloud environment safe, protected, and away from harm. Cloud security plays a vital role in keeping customers' data safe and protected. Moreover, it also ensures that servers and equipment used are equally protected to avoid data breaches.

2What are the risk factors of data breaches in cloud security?

At least 80% of organizations confirm to have witnessed data breaches in the last 18 months. 43% reported more than ten breaches. A data breach often results in losing data or data theft. This can further destroy data confidentiality, data availability, and integrity. The prominent reasons for data breaches include insecure APIs, insufficient identity, credential management, phishing, etc. To mitigate such risks, companies are introducing multi-factor authentication methods, data access governance, enabling user behavior analytics, organizing data loss prevention, etc. Once these best practices are implemented by businesses and large organizations, avoiding data breaches will be very easy. Plus, keeping the logs enabled at all times could also help if a data breach occurs. The logs will capture all the details of the incident, and prevent any further breaches.

3How secure are cloud security solutions?

A cloud solution’s security depends on the quality of the service. Most people assume that online transactions and banking processes are safe. This is primarily because banking sectors use advanced high-security methods. This broadly states the perks of cloud solutions over on-premise. Working on cloud servers is healthy for any organization since they use extended security measures to update their firewalls. The difficulty with traditional on-premise is the trouble of keeping the patches and firewalls updated. Therefore, it is best to move to cloud servers where such risks can’t come through.

4What is cloud computing security?

Cloud computing security, loosely termed cloud security makes optimal use of applications and policies to protect users’ devices, infrastructure, data, and services. Customers who use cloud service assessments security often tend to fidget with the internal IT, people, and buildings. Therefore, everything boils down to keeping the cloud environment safe, protected, and away from harm. Cloud security plays a vital role in keeping customers' data safe and protected. Moreover, it also ensures that servers and equipment used are equally protected to avoid data breaches.

5What are the risk factors of data breaches in cloud security?

At least 80% of organizations confirm to have witnessed data breaches in the last 18 months. 43% reported more than ten breaches. A data breach often results in losing data or data theft. This can further destroy data confidentiality, data availability, and integrity. The prominent reasons for data breaches include insecure APIs, insufficient identity, credential management, phishing, etc. To mitigate such risks, companies are introducing multi-factor authentication methods, data access governance, enabling user behavior analytics, organizing data loss prevention, etc. Once these best practices are implemented by businesses and large organizations, avoiding data breaches will be very easy. Plus, keeping the logs enabled at all times could also help if a data breach occurs. The logs will capture all the details of the incident, and prevent any further breaches.

6How secure are cloud security solutions?

A cloud solution’s security depends on the quality of the service. Most people assume that online transactions and banking processes are safe. This is primarily because banking sectors use advanced high-security methods. This broadly states the perks of cloud solutions over on-premise. Working on cloud servers is healthy for any organization since they use extended security measures to update their firewalls. The difficulty with traditional on-premise is the trouble of keeping the patches and firewalls updated. Therefore, it is best to move to cloud servers where such risks can’t come through.

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