Cloud Security: What Is It And Why Do Business Leaders Need To Know About It?

The cyber security landscape is evolving significantly in 2023, especially with the rise of AI tools that are making it easier for hackers to create malicious code and convincing phishing emails.

While AI might seem like one of the biggest threats to global cyber safety, Cloud security is actually the main focus for IT industry experts.

As almost 90% of UK businesses use some form of Cloud services, it’s clear that the IT industry needs to focus on educating business leaders on the importance of Cloud security and what they need to do to keep their data safe.

For business leaders, educating yourself is crucial, as you need to find out more about how Cloud computing works and what you need to do to keep your valuable, business-critical data secure from any potential threats.

Keep reading, and we’ll explore the nature of Cloud security and what business leaders like yourself need to know to reduce the chances of a cyber attack devastating your organisation.

What Is Cloud Security?

Cloud security refers to the processes and digital tools used to protect digital software that is hosted on the ‘Cloud’, the online storage system used by millions of businesses and individuals around the world.

Cloud computing systems come in 4 main types:

  • Public Clouds: Cloud storage systems that are open for the public to use but owned by a private organisation. Users can create a private space but the wider infrastructure is available for the public to buy space in.
  • Private Clouds: Private Clouds are owned and operated by one organisation and secured behind its security tools. They are private and managed by the company itself, so others can’t make an account and use the space.
  • Hybrid Clouds: These tools are a combination of private and public Cloud systems and might be used by franchises or massive organisations with international locations.
  • Multi-Clouds: Multi-Clouds come from more than one Cloud services provider. All hybrid Cloud systems are multi-Clouds, but the reverse isn’t true, as some multi-Cloud systems that are entirely made up of several private or public servers can be exclusively that type.

These storage systems don’t require physical storage for end-users, but the businesses that manage the Cloud will need an on-premises data centre to host the information.

In general, most smaller businesses use public Cloud systems, while larger companies will create their own Cloud storage space. However, that’s not always the case, and any organisation can choose the right type of Cloud storage tool to meet its data needs.

These systems contain a lot of sensitive data, which can be a target for cyber criminals, which is why a robust Cloud security process is essential.

Cloud security processes are part of a wider cyber security strategy and specifically apply to the Cloud system in place. They help to keep it safe and include a range of practices that are constantly evolving as the technology changes.

How To Protect Your Data Stored On A Cloud

Every business using Cloud storage solutions, no matter what kind, will need some form of Cloud security. Without it, you will run the risk of an attack and might not be complying with relevant data protection regulations. These are some practical tips to help you select the right tools and processes to keep your data secure and comply with relevant data protection regulations.

Understand The Cloud Security Landscape

To ensure that you make the right decisions when choosing and implementing Cloud security tools, you need to understand the basic principles of Cloud security. That means learning about how Cloud tools can be secured, and the ways that hackers could potentially try to get through your defences. You should also learn about the regulations that are in place to ensure that companies take their data protection obligations seriously. Ignorance is no excuse for failing to do everything in your power to keep your client and service users’ data secure, so you need to understand the rules in place currently and what you need to do to comply.

Implement Strong Cyber Security Practices

Having a robust cyber security plan in place will help to reduce the chances of any attack, including one on your Cloud storage system. As such, businesses need to focus on ensuring that their entire IT infrastructure is protected, as any infiltration can leave your Cloud storage system vulnerable. Expert providers of cyber security services like ROCK can help you to secure your entire digital infrastructure and ensure that your business is protected from all current and future threats. Providers like these are particularly important for large businesses that run a private Cloud system and have sensitive data to protect.

Make Clear Cloud Security Processes And Train Your Staff

Cloud security relies on users who are informed and make smart decisions, so as well as informing yourself and learning about keeping your Cloud data secure, you also need to inform your staff. That requires a robust Cloud security process and regular training to help your staff understand what they need to do and why it is so important. Make sure that you provide guidance even for temporary or part-time team members, as anyone who interacts with your Cloud system needs to be fully trained and knowledgeable about the safety procedures you have in place.

Choose The Right Cloud Services Provider

Whether you’re using a public Cloud tool or building your own private Cloud, you need to make sure that you use the right services provider or developer. When you’re looking for a new Cloud services provider, check their security procedures and ask them what they do to stay on top of potential new threats. If you’re working with a Cloud developer or manager, ask them for examples of previous projects and talk to them about how they will protect your Cloud system and what security measures they’ll build into the infrastructure.

Encrypt Sensitive Data

For exceptionally sensitive data, you might want to consider encrypting your data. Cloud encryption allows you to turn your plain-text information into a code, which can only be broken with the correct key. The key is only provided to those who need to access the data. This approach is great for adding an additional layer of security to your Cloud system while still ensuring that team members who need to access the data can do so. Some public Cloud systems already have encryption services that you can use, or you can build your own encryption keys with the help of a cyber security expert. These accessible tools can make your data extra secure quickly and show your business stakeholders that you are deeply committed to keeping their information safe.

A Brief Conclusion

Ultimately, while Cloud storage is often considered to be safer than local storage, that’s only true if you take the right steps and ensure that your Cloud system is secure. Complacency could lead to vulnerabilities in your system that allow hackers to enter your system and endanger your valuable data. As such, you need to be aware of the security practices used in Cloud computing and what you need to do to protect your system. These tips are relevant now, but the cyber security landscape is constantly evolving, so make sure that you keep evolving and adapting to ensure the ongoing safety of your Cloud infrastructure.