Data security in cloud computing: Is your company information safe?

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There are some profound benefits to cloud computing, but there are also some risks. Explore the pros and cons of security in cloud-based software and how to keep your data safe while using it.

Cloud computing is essential for all businesses and is becoming a top priority for any company looking for expansion. The global pandemic changed the business dynamics, and many companies realized the value of the cloud. Many businesses made the shift towards end-to-end cloud-based digital transformation. By 2026 the worldwide cloud computing market will exceed $947.3 billion. With construction projects getting complex, the industry is shifting towards digitization for better workflow management and cost saving.

Cloud computing is an online service, storage, software or application that you use where data is securely stored and accessed via a third-party server. 

Moving your business to a cloud-based service means there's no need to make significant technology investments to achieve growth. Cloud computing is a big cost-saver for business owners. You can pay and have access to tools that provide the functionality your business requires without taking on the responsibility of investing and maintaining it all independently.

Security in cloud computing or cloud data security combines technology solutions, policies, and procedures that a business should implement to protect cloud-based applications and systems. Data confidentiality, integrity, and availability are core information security and governance principles in the CIA triad. 

For any business running on a cloud-based service, robust cloud security is pivotal, especially when it comes to sensitive data. Online security threats are evolving and becoming more sophisticated. Before investing in a cloud-based service, make sure you purchase a cloud solution that includes security customization for your specific infrastructure. Analyzing the product beforehand will let you enjoy the many benefits of cloud-based computing and data security. A genuinely strategic security solution looks beyond on-premise data threats and considers all possible risks - including new versions and types of cybercrimes and digital. 

How is security implemented in cloud-based systems?

Data protection and access control are significant priorities in cloud-based computing. Cloud-based security receives considerable scrutiny regarding privacy and data protection from various government agencies and security experts. 

Today, cloud data security is more sophisticated and trustworthy because the applications and hardware are secure by design. However, implementing some security measures is always necessary regardless of how safe a system is. Security in cloud-based services has more depth than in installed applications and in-house servers due to the three-level approach to privacy, data integrity and robustness in design.

Concerns about privacy in the cloud

Privacy in cloud computing has always been a topic of concern. The cloud-based service provider has access to your company's sensitive data and could accidentally or deliberately misuse it or use it for unauthorized purposes. But such a threat is baseless once organizations implement "zero-trust architecture" while deploying their IT infrastructure on a cloud platform. The zero trust architecture is the principle that a network should employ to determine the level of trust for any particular user or device. The organization's systems only grant access on a need-to-have basis. An example is using multifactor authentication to confirm user credentials before giving access to data. 

Although the cloud has its benefits, your data storage is in hundreds of locations worldwide. Some data protection laws harmonize across various countries, but some do not. The location of the data server determines data protection laws that apply to your sensitive data. Sometimes, it means that the data servers are compliant with data protection laws within their country and are non-compliant with local laws in your own country where the business is running. Therefore, it is best to enquire your cloud service provider (CSP) or application provider about the geographies of your cloud software beforehand.

Data integrity in cloud computing

Data integrity in cloud computing means protecting your digital data from unauthorized access and modification. It is crucial in cloud computing to protect your data from physical and logical vulnerabilities. When there are a lot of data sources, one must be careful to give access to only the right people. 

Data access is the foundational principle of any IT infrastructure, so it's essential to establish definite rules for how data is authorized, accessed and controlled - both in the cloud and on-site. This control ensures authority only goes to those who have earned it through thorough training or approval. One of the most effective solutions to practice is giving access via multiple-factor authentication (MFA). Further, data protection guidelines and cloud SLAs are reliable choices to safeguard against potential losses.

Data protection guidelines for employees

Make sure your employees follow the company's data protection norms. They should protect their access data and never share their passwords or other login credentials with any third party. Also, properly logging out of the systems is critical

Cloud Service Level Agreements

User data relies on unknown servers when using cloud-based services. Cloud service level agreements (cloud SLAs) are a significant component of contracts between a cloud service user and a cloud service provider that maintains a minimum level of service. For increased security, a cloud company can have multi-regional storage, i.e. the data is stored in two regions. SLA should specify on which server your business data needs to be stored.

Robust by design

Large cloud-based companies have robust and powerful security systems like encrypted servers, consistent security updates, data backup, built-in firewalls, third-party testing, minimal human access to servers etc. These systems make cloud services safer from cybercrime. Integrating such an advanced level of digital security for an in-house server is a challenging and highly cost-intensive task. With the regular cyber-attacks and increasing the volume of malicious attacks, a reasonably intact security level is one of the most critical priorities. Therefore, businesses now look for more advanced and secure cloud-based solutions. 

Best practices in cloud security

There are ways to make your data stored on the cloud more secure. 

  1. Encrypted data is challenging to hack. So, use a cloud-based service provider that encrypts your data
  2. Use strong passwords and change them frequently 
  3. Have a secondary backup for your sensitive files on your external hard drive 
  4. Use a cloud service that uses multiple servers to store data  
  5. Always enable two-factor authentication 

To conclude, cloud computing is only as safe as the people who administer it. Yes, cloud-based services have concerns and advantages; digital data security receives the most skepticism. Businesses running on a cloud-based service need robust cloud security to protect digital data. Major cloud providers design their products and services with security at the forefront of their considerations. Cloud-based servers are the way forward for any business. It would be best if you didn't let the fear of hackers and viruses get in the path of transitioning to or managing your cloud server. Fortunately, with the many tools and practices available to choose from, there's something out there for everyone!

Is data access a swelling concern in your construction management company? According to the Sage survey,  85% of contractors have chosen cloud computing solutions with a vote of confidence in the numerous benefits for the team users and the project's progress.  Reach out to Linarc to explore your cloud software options.

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