In this article Ensuring Cloud Security: Protecting Data in the Digital Sky I will write more about the importance of cloud computing security, different issues and risks, how important for businesses to ensure data protected while files are shared on different communication channels and infrastructure.
Recently more and more articles came out how important to protect our data in the digital space. It is not enough if we protect our data in the digital space as individuals, but more important for companies as they need to have values and protections which ensure cloud and cloud computing security as well.
Especially if a company or an individual work with data which protected and sensitive this means general data protection measures need to be concerned especially in the EU.
Cloud Computing Security
Cloud computing is a technology that help users to access computing resources and services over the internet, through
- software, and more,
without the need for owning and maintaining physical infrastructure.
I wrote more how Cloud Computing Services and for example hosting help businesses in the short, and long run in the previous article.
While cloud computing offers numerous benefits, e.g.: scalability, cost-efficiency, and flexibility, it still can raise security considerations. In this article I will write more about security, concerns, risks & solutions as well.
Issues and Concerns
One of the most significant concerns is the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive data stored in the cloud.
Data breaches occur due to
- weak authentication mechanisms,
- insecure APIs, or
- vulnerabilities in cloud infrastructure.
Insecure Interfaces and APIs
Cloud providers offer APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that enable users to interact with their services. However, if these interfaces and APIs have security vulnerabilities, they can be exploited by attackers to gain unauthorized access to data or compromise the system.
Cloud services often utilize a multi-tenant architecture, where multiple users share the same physical resources. This raises concerns about data isolation and the potential for one tenant’s data to be accessed by another.
Compliance and Legal Issues
Organizations operating in certain industries have specific compliance requirements (e.g., healthcare, finance, fintech). For example in fintech the most important data protection regulations are:
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
- Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Regulations
- Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA)
- Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2)
- New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) Cybersecurity Regulation
Storing data in the cloud can raise
- legal and
- regulatory concerns regarding data sovereignty and data protection.
Read more about the solutions below.
Misconfigurations in cloud resources lead to security vulnerabilities. Organizations need to ensure that they configure their cloud environments securely & regularly audit them for potential weaknesses.
Data stored in the cloud is susceptible to loss due to various reasons, including
- hardware failures,
- natural disasters, or
- even human errors.
Adequate backup and disaster recovery measures are essential to mitigate this risk.
Lack of Control and Transparency
When using cloud services, organizations often lose some control over their infrastructure and data. The lack of visibility into the cloud provider’s security practices and processes can be a concern for some businesses.
Although cloud providers implement robust security measures, insider threats within the provider organization still pose a risk. Insiders with malicious intent or accidental actions can compromise data and services.
Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks
Cloud services can be vulnerable to DoS attacks, where attackers flood the service with traffic, causing it to become unavailable to legitimate users.
Strong Authentication and Access Controls
Implement robust authentication mechanisms and access controls to ensure only authorized users can access sensitive data and resources.
Encrypt data both in transit and at rest to protect it from unauthorized access even if the data is compromised. Reas more about file sharing encryption below.
Regular Security Audits and Assessments
Conduct frequent security audits and risk assessments to
- identify and
- address potential vulnerabilities in the cloud infrastructure.
Data Backups and Disaster Recovery
Regularly back up critical data and establish disaster recovery plans to minimize data loss in case of a disaster.
Assesment and segregation
Vendor Assessment and Due Diligence
Before choosing a cloud provider, assess their
- security practices,
- certifications, and
- compliance with relevant standards.
Data Segregation and Isolation
- proper data segregation and
- isolation to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information.
Private Cloud or Hybrid Cloud
Use a private cloud or a hybrid cloud model where critical and sensitive data can be stored
- on-premises or
- in a private cloud,
providing greater control over security measures and compliance requirements.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Implement multi-factor authentication for all users accessing cloud resources to add extra layer of security and prevent unauthorized access.
Identity and Access Management (IAM)
Utilize IAM solutions to
- manage user permissions and
- access rights, ensuring that users only have access to the resources they require for their roles.
Data Encryption and Tokenization
Encrypt sensitive data both in transit & at rest to protect it from unauthorized access. Tokenization can be used to replace sensitive data with non-sensitive tokens.
Cloud Access Logging and Monitoring
Monitor and log all user activities in the cloud environment to track and investigate any suspicious behavior or potential security incidents.
Cloud computing file sharing services
These services are online platforms and allow users to
- synchronize, and
- share files over the internet.
These services provide a convenient way for individuals and businesses to access their files from any device with an internet connection and collaborate with others by sharing files and folders.
You probably use one or two too when you upload your files, photos or videos into the cloud.
Convenience over security
Regarding file sharing and security there are several risks what should be mitigated better how recently are.
Most cloud service providers sacrifice security over the altar of convenience.
What does that mean?
That most file sharing provider apply only
- in-transit and
- at-rest encryption
this means files encrypted truly only while stored on long-term dedicated servers.
However, file exchange infrastructures much more complex than this, which is why this method leaves files in an unprotected manner when rest of the process happening.
Client -> Server -> Storage -> Server -> Recipient
This means the files leave you the ‘Client’ unprotected and unencrypted, travel through unencrypted channels aka on the servers the files are not encrypted so can be indexed and views -> then arrive to the storage where they are protected and encrypted the first time.
In transit aka on the communication channels data can be read and hacked as they are not encrypted, which is why this method is not really safe and secure.
This means when the files at rest the files are encrypted however the file enryption keys used to be managed within the same environment as the encrypted files. This is risky as storing the keys and the files in the same environment involves the potential risks if the system or storage hacked.
Solution for secure file sharing
The name of the solution is Tresorit.
For secure file sharing there is a solution where the whole journey of the file can be secured, protected and encrypted. This is end-to-end encryption and Zero knowledge feature which we need to consider.
This means that only authorized individuals and service providers have the ability to access, view or manage files. The files are leaving the Client in an encrypted formats and transfer through the whole channels and infrastructure in an encrypted way. Tresorit’s files are encrypted twice and are only available from the Client’s side.
It means files are encrypted In transit & At rest too.
To reach Tresorit’s solutions:
- here you can access individual file sharing services from Tresorit.
- here you can access business file sharing services from Tresorit.
A solution non-negotiable for
- businesses and
- individuals as well.
- protects sensitive data,
- ensures compliance,
- improves collaboration
- increases productivity,
- simplify IT management,
- enhances data backup and disaster recovery,
- protects against data loss,
- builds trust and reputation.
A survey showed only 30% of large companies (1500+ employees) using fully enrypted services, which means companies need to innovate in this area.
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