The Perils Of Ignoring Cloud Security Assessment
- By Ray Parker
Cloud computing means storing data over the internet instead of your hard drive. Cloud has often given the impression to consumers that it is a secure platform. However, this is not the case. Just like we purchase insurance for our homes and other purchased items, we need to go the extra mile of securing our data over cloud, with cloud security assessment.
In 2012, Netflix service lopsided, that too on Christmas eve, disappointing their vast audience of movie buffs. In 2016, salesforce.com had an outage of over 24 hours. Likewise, Office 365 clients lost their email services for over 12 hours several times in a span of two years till 2016.
Even giants like Microsoft have had their failures. In 2014, the Microsoft Azure storage service had a big outage due to the increased number of software updates. Even though the data was pieced together, it remained corrupted. After the Microsoft Azure crash, Kenneth C. Green, founding director of the Campus Computing Project represented the average customer’s voice in her not-too-optimistic remark, “This highlights once again whether you’re an individual, research group or institution, wherever you store your data, you have to anticipate the possibility of a crash or a security issue.”
Examples of cloud computing crashes are far too many to list. However, all these instances point in one direction: the growing need for cloud security assessments. If cloud security is ignored, these crashes would inflict huge business losses as disappointed customers will lose trust and switch over to alternative products.
Cloud computing lapses take place when a business grows faster than a manageable capacity. Clouds are bigger targets for hackers because of their massive scale as compared to private data centers. Because businesses are reluctant to hand over data storage security to third party vendors, they underestimate the need for cloud security assessment services. Other times, they are tied down by small budgets and neglect security testing. Businesses may have a lack of expertise for security audits and poor administrative processes that make the cloud vulnerable to breaches.
Cloud security includes all guidelines and technologies that protect the data, applications and infrastructure of cloud computing. A cloud security assessment company will check and ensure the software is meeting compliance requirements. SaaS deployment is configured. They will identify the type of information being stored. They will also check if the software has the capacity to restore data, in the event it is lost. On that basis, they can guide the user on how they can better share their data. Security assessment will detect malicious behavior and report irregularities as a preventative measure. A cloud security assessment company will examine the security tools and processes used by the business, suggest improvements, predict the effect of new services with respect to the gains and risks involved. Thereafter, it will provide a road map and costs to migrate services to cloud computing.
While we debate if cloud computing is the way forward or not, one thing is certain, it cannot proceed on its own. Cloud computing must be complemented with cloud security assessment, if it has to sustain and survive in the industry.