Cloud computing is ushering a new era of computing globally, with powerful technologies being used to deliver convenient technology solutions cost-effectively and hassle-free over the cloud.

Moving to the cloud has its own set of challenges, as it involves moving the data that you have been protecting for last three decades in a self owned environment to an internet based environment.   Although data in the cloud is more secure than on-premise solutions, security and associated risks  is an  important criterion. In order to maximize cloud's advantages, businesses must build secure cloud applications and services. It is important to understand the implication of security breaches and organizations need to change the data protection solutions policies.

·         Be prepared for a data  breach
Moving to the cloud brings its own sets of risks such as data leaks, threats from APT and insiders and regulations. Organizations need to plan, as there are significant changes in their information lifecycle, business continuity; apart from that they need to address legal and regulatory issues. Planning has to be a major part of cloud security   

·         Incorporate security in your cloud model
A completely logical and well structured model based on an understanding of your needs and policies is the key to a robust security system. Such a cloud model needs to take into account essentials like data value, compliance, attitude to risk, and potential exposure points, etc. It is also important to identify the business priorities for moving into the cloud, as an understanding of the business context will help you weigh security concerns more accurately.

·         Reinforce your security at the hardware level
Security need not only be a software matter but can be included at the most basic hardware level to reinforce defenses. Edge devices that are more exposed to compromise, and attacks are those devices that are increasingly being mounted on at the deepest levels, below those of the application or operating system.  Providing security in hardware at the processor level allows you to start your security chain with a root of trust.

·         Protect Data with Encryption
Encryption ensures data protection for data that is at rest, in process and in flight because, even if it gets lost, it remains unusable without the right keys. You should consider encrypting data in flight over networks, using protocols. Despite the concerns of some IT managers about the computational burden of encryption, the advances in today's hardware can reduce these complexities.

·         Authenticate identities before going into the cloud
Authentication ensures that people and machines can be trusted. The process of verification of individuals and devices is critical to any security process. When moving to the cloud, you are implementing a new set of entities, which makes it imperative to ensure that the starting point is secure. This requires a trusted root of security that can measure the compliance of platform components.

Cloud security is not a process that can be completed in single step. It requires constant innovation; building new methods to overcome traditional security issues with every feature enabling the easy and secure usage. Partner with a service provider that uses new technologies to ensure a secure cloud application.

Also read on - risk management frameworks, identity access management

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