In today’s world, data security challenges are becoming increasingly common. In fact, almost 50% of small and medium-sized businesses in Ireland have had their cyber security compromised on multiple occasions in the last three years.
There is no denying cloud computing’s importance to the future of business. A cloud-based IT solution can assist companies in lowering IT costs, enhancing system performance, and quickly reacting to and embracing flexible working practices.
However, there are some significant challenges you must still be aware of, none more imperative than those associated with maintaining data security.
Data Security in Cloud Computing
Data security is the process of preventing digital data from being accessed by unauthorised parties, being corrupted, or being stolen at any point during the data’s lifecycle.
The rapid digitisation of businesses and mass transition to cloud computing environments, accelerated by the pandemic, has created a more complex environment for maintaining data security.
This is evidently a concern too for businesses. In a recent study relating to the digital and IT transformation, 64% of companies cited data security as the main challenge that they believe requires addressing.
Here we will discuss some of the challenges pertaining to data security in cloud computing and how to address them.
Data Security Challenges in Cloud Computing (And How to Address Them)
1. Misuse of Data
Data misuse is exactly how it sounds – the use of information outside its intended purpose.
In a digital context, examples of data misuse could be a company using your email address to send you marketing communications without your prior consent or an employee using data for personal benefit, for instance, to gain a competitive advantage.
In cloud computing, the vast majority of data misuse cases result from a failure to properly monitor and manage access.
Individuals should only be able to view and use data on a needs must basis and verification techniques such as two-factor authentication should be employed to safeguard from unauthorised access.
Failure to do so may result in your data ending up at the disposal of someone with malicious intent.
We also strongly encourage investment in educating employees. Awareness training can empower your staff to identify, report, and avoid any potential data misuse.
2. System Integrity and Unauthorised Access
System integrity refers to a cloud computing system’s ability to protect itself from unauthorised access. Therefore, it is no surprise that poor cloud system integrity is one of the most common reasons behind data falling into the wrong hands.
One of the key benefits of cloud computing is that you can access your systems from anywhere with WiFi. However, without adequate security measures in place, the ability to access the likes of API endpoints from any location can leave your system vulnerable.
It is essential to routinely evaluate your system’s security and ensure that it is thoroughly protected in all areas.
We recommend bringing in an external auditor to conduct assessments such as penetration tests to accurately detect any vulnerabilities.
3. Data Breaches and Cyber Attacks
The average global cost of a data breach is $4.35 million, increasing by almost 13% since 2020.
A data breach can be described as any situation in which data or information is accessed and extracted without authorisation.
Preventing data breaches should be a critical priority for any company, especially given the presence of strict GDPR and data protection regulations and the unfortunate rise in cyberattacks.
Cybercriminals target personal data to then sell illegally or hold for ransom. For example, Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) suffered a major cyber attack in 2021 in which the attackers demanded payment to restore access to their systems.
Cloud computing systems can be attractive targets for cyberattacks and thereby susceptible to data breaches due to the vast amount of data and resources hosted within their infrastructure.
Cloud storage misconfiguration, insecure APIs, and malware attacks all place cloud systems at risk of a breach.
To address this data security challenge, it is critical that your cloud computing system is configured with multi-layered data and IT security.
Multi-layered security concerns the use of various security measures to safeguard the most vulnerable areas of your system.
The presence of multi-layered security ensures that should any element of your IT security fail, there are always backups and contingencies in place to prevent breaches and eliminate threats.
If you are concerned about the integrity of your cloud computing service then talk to a member of our team.
Our cloud solutions and computing products help SMEs and organisations to reduce IT costs, increase the performance of their systems and quickly adapt to flexible working practices while not compromising on data or IT security.
We hope you enjoyed our article on ‘3 of the Biggest Data Security Challenges in Cloud Computing (And How to Address Them). Why not check out some of our other articles here?
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