Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Ravi Rajamiyer

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Article

What Are the Top Security Concerns When Moving to the Cloud?

You need to understand what you can't afford to lose and what can protect you

Cloud computing brings a myriad of benefits for any enterprise, but it is also a cause for concern in a world where, according to InformationWeek, cyber criminals are now targeting "any company where they can find data to resell, disrupt or exploit."

Moving your company's sensitive data into the hands of third-party cloud providers expands and complicates the risk landscape in which you operate every day.

In order to understand what concerns should be given emphasis in your cloud security strategy, you need to understand what you can't afford to lose and what can protect you.

Understanding what you can't afford to lose
Data breaches, according to the Cloud Security Alliance, are the top cloud computing security threat for 2013 and beyond. Sensitive data can be of enormous value to a hacker, so you need to consider what sensitive data you are storing in the cloud.

This might be anything a criminal can use to determine or steal someone's identity, such as personally identifiable information (PII) like full names, addresses, birth dates, some IP addresses, and online logins and passwords; and financial information such as bank account numbers and PINs. Furthermore, you should consider any confidential corporate information you might share in the cloud.

Essentially, ask yourself "What do I have that others might want?" and "What do I have that I can't afford to lose?" Data privacy regulations often demand public breach notifications in the event of a malicious data breach or inadvertent data loss - particularly if the information is in the clear.

If your security strategy fails to protect sensitive data, your enterprise could face severe consequences in terms of business and reputation loss as the result of disclosure.

Understand what can protect you if you do lose your data
Businesses migrating to the cloud should lock down any sensitive data before it leaves the premises. As the Snowden leaks indicate, third-party cloud surveillance is ubiquitous, so the more open your data and access policies are for harvesting, the greater the risks to your cloud security strategy.

Deploy an encryption scheme that provides limited, controlled, enterprise-exclusive encryption key access. When you retain exclusive control of your encryption keys, you eliminate that concern of a data breach regardless of where your data resides or how many copies of it exist.

In many jurisdictions, a breach of strongly encrypted data to which the enterprise holds the key does not require public notification.

Even the systems you and your CSPs may have in place to prevent accidental erasure of your data can pose dangers to your enterprise's data privacy.

While backups, redundancy and other failover strategies protect against data loss due to deletion or system failures, they also create extra opportunities for the theft of this data that you consider important.

Keep in mind that, if you terminate your services with a particular CSP, you can never be certain the data has been digitally destroyed.

Moving to the cloud need not be complicated. An important element is for businesses to decide what data to put in the cloud - and then to encrypt it and retain the keys.

More Stories By Paige Leidig

Paige Leidig is SVP at CipherCloud. He has 20 years of experience in technology, marketing, and selling enterprise application solutions and managing trusted customer relationships. As SVP of Marketing, he is responsible for all aspects of marketing at CipherCloud. Paige was previously in the Office of the CEO at SAP, where he was responsible for leading and coordinating SAP’s acquisition and integration activities on a global basis. He has managed a number of marketing initiatives at SAP, including responsibility for all go-to-market activities for SAP’s Cloud applications portfolio. Preceding his SAP career, Paige held senior management positions with Ariba, Elance, and E*Trade.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
The Founder of NostaLab and a member of the Google Health Advisory Board, John is a unique combination of strategic thinker, marketer and entrepreneur. His career was built on the "science of advertising" combining strategy, creativity and marketing for industry-leading results. Combined with his ability to communicate complicated scientific concepts in a way that consumers and scientists alike can appreciate, John is a sought-after speaker for conferences on the forefront of healthcare science,...
Disruption, Innovation, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Leadership and Management hear these words all day every day... lofty goals but how do we make it real? Add to that, that simply put, people don't like change. But what if we could implement and utilize these enterprise tools in a fast and "Non-Disruptive" way, enabling us to glean insights about our business, identify and reduce exposure, risk and liability, and secure business continuity?
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...