13 Nov 2017

How to protect against vulnerabilities in the cloud

Cloud technology’s popularity has exploded in the security industry during the last five years.

However, you can’t speak about the cloud without acknowledging some people’s security concerns around the technology. As companies migrate more of their data and infrastructure to the cloud, naturally the question of cloud security rears its head.

When organizations are considering a move to the cloud, the primary question asked is this: does hosting our data in the cloud make our business more vulnerable to attack? 

IT GOES WITHOUT saying that all systems, whether cloud-based or traditional, are vulnerable to attack. Therefore, they should be regularly tested by third-party professional hackers to make sure they are secure. Vulnerability testing is a must, as, simply put, untested systems are unsecured systems.

Location also plays a key role in cloud security concerns. Whether the server is on your customer’s premises, or in Microsoft Azure is not the main concern. The means of access to it is. Look at how the data is accessed, and look specifically at opportunities to breach. Open ports should be locked down. Networks and websites should be password protected. Necessary firewalls should be in place.

Again, this boils down to vulnerability as most of the data breaches develop around finding a weakness – not whether it is cloud-based or on-premises. Concerns about cloud security are the main obstacle to widespread conversion. But one of the best cures for that concern is cloud encryption. 

THE GROUNDWORK FOR many of the cloud’s security worries is that organizations are ceding control of their data and depending on cloud service providers to preserve it for them. But cloud encryption delivers additional levels of defense, providing an effective antidote to this anxiety.

Vanderbilt understands the concerns around data integrity in the cloud, which is why it has ensured the highest standards of security are maintained always. For example, when using SPC Connect, Vanderbilt ensures the process is highly secure thanks to the implementation of the FlexC protocol. This uses AES 256-bit SSL encryption at server level – the same grade used by banks and hospitals.

By encrypting anything before you send it to the cloud, it adds an extra cushion of control and power over that data. It not only provides an added defensive structure around a company's information, but it also adds peace of mind to the equation when relaying this data to the cloud.