Is Cloud Hosting secure?
There are no two ways about it. The question about internet security is always present, especially in the field of data storage, where the last twenty years have brought on fundamental changes.
With the advent of cloud hosting, a new age of data handling has entered our business and private lives, which, of course, raises the question about how secure our most cherished data is.
So, let’s have a look at what host-level security in cloud computing is and why it’s very much one of the best and safest options to store your data.
What is cloud security?
Cloud security is a vast system of different protection mechanisms that ensure that your data is safely stored and always available.
(see: What is cloud hosting?)
This approach to host-level security in cloud computing ranges from firewalls and compliance standards to encrypted authentication procedures.
It is a diverse and tightly wound safety net, which has made cloud hosting the most efficient and proficient way of data storage,
MGT- COMMERCE incorporated as the basis for it’s latest cloud management product: CloudPanel
Why is cloud hosting secure?
6 reasons why:
1. No Data Loss!
One of the most significant advantages of cloud level hosting is that it protects your data over a large set of machines instead of a single server.
With a single server solution, the danger of losing your data, it is breached or attacked by hackers, is infinitely bigger than if it is stored within a virtual hosting structure (aka "The Cloud").
On a server farm, your data is "traveling" from one virtual space to another, making it harder to be the victim of an attack or an unforeseen hardware problem.
2. Constant Backup!
Due to a redundant backup system (i.e., multiple servers in a single location), your data is not only shared over various machines but also continuously backed up, which gives you the most secure data hosting solution possible.
With this level of redundancy, your productive data is always available, and chances of losing it are strongly minimized.
3. Next Generation Firewall Software!
A firewall keeps out unwanted traffic, removes malware, counters phishing attacks, and hacker intrusions.
Firewalls used to be physical machines that were installed between the incoming web router and the server. These days a next-generation firewall program is installed on the server itself.
It also used to be that firewalls mainly filtered the in- and outgoing traffic. But this has been radically augmented not only with anti-spam and antivirus features but also an IPS (Intrusion Protection System), which detects an attack and simultaneously launches countermeasures.
4. Encryption Methods!
Data encryption processes and transforms hence encodes your data before it is moved into cloud storage.
There are different algorithms of encryption offered by the various hosting platforms such as Amazon or Google.
They range from an encrypted connection (via VPN) or dedicated customer encryption keys, either supplied by the cloud provider or the customer.
5. Compliance standards!
General cloud security also needs to comply with a number of recognized and certified security standards, which have been released by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and are based on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, that was signed into law to govern the privacy of patient data. To not comply with this law is a serious breach of data protection.
It is, therefore, essential to only work with cloud hosting providers, which are registered and certified regarding the various compliance standards.
6. CloudPanel security!
CloudPanel is also adding to these multilayered security walls with a number of protocol features, which are implemented in the CloudPanel solution.
How data is securely stored in cloud computing?
As mentioned above, there are many different ways of protecting your data, of which the most potent is encryption.
While a firewall checks and, if needed, block unwanted traffic directed at the cloud hosting structure, it's the encryption method that keeps the raw data safe from misuse.
One of the most secure methods is the "Advanced Encryption Standard" (AES). AES is symmetrical encryption where the key to encrypt and decrypt has to be identical. This approach is highly dedicated and, consequently, very secure.
Another form of very safe encryption is the "Authenticated Encryption" (AE), where your data is not only encrypted but is combined with a "Message Authentication Code", which checks the origin and the integrity of the data.
With one of these encryption algorithms, any unwanted attack, theft, or destruction of data is severely limited.
Possible security risks in cloud hosting
Yes, there are some risks. Let’s look at some of the most common and how they can be mitigated.
1. Theft or loss of data
Stored data can still be susceptible to certain attacks and malware intrusions, which can destroy data or have it stolen by hackers. If this data includes sensitive information and/or intellectual property, the ownership of the data can be exploited and used against the will and intention of the original owner.
A crucial form of preventing this lies in risk-management, whereby possible vulnerabilities within the cloud system are researched. This may include to outsourcing cloud monitoring to an external security firm as well as eliminating all possibilities of shared cloud accounts with regard to sensitive inhouse data or customer information.
2. Violating compliance standards
Most companies adhere to the regulatory restrictions of their data, whether it‘s HIPAA or FERPA or any number of government oversight regulations. Within the umbrella of these mandates it’s important that every company knows exactly where and how their data is stored and maintained.
However, if a company allows its workers to use their own cloud, (known as BYOC ‘Bring-your-own-cloud’), it violates the terms and agreements of the regulatory restrictions and puts the company in a difficult position due to noncompliance. Be sure to check the cloud provider’s guidelines regarding the regulatory restrictions they adhere to.
3. End user breach
It is imperative that companies exert control over their worker's usage of the various cloud hosting services. By failing to provide a stringent overview of their cloud hosting structure, the company risks loss or theft of data by one of their own employees. This is a risk factor that ultimately lies in the hands of the cloud service provider. Again, a thorough look at the company's structure is advisable.
Even though a next-generation firewall provides strong security regarding to cloud hosting, there is a risk that a malware infection can release a dangerous attack. Twitter and filesharing services can be used to destabilize the system, which then leads to a malware attack on the system.
But despite these risks, there is an overarching concept in host-level cloud computing, which safeguards your content and, as a result of all these various protective elements, is the most efficient and secure way to maintain your data and be able to connect to it from any place and on any device.
It’s, therefore, important to create a contained firewall structure wherein sensitive data is encrypted and decrypted establishes an important security zone. Surveying the firewall concept of the cloud hosting provider should be part of your risk assessment.
Conclusion: Is cloud hosting secure?
In short, yes, cloud hosting is secure. The above-mentioned risks are mitigated due to various safety features (firewalls, encryption et al.) and external regulations, which allow even sensitive and personal data to be safely stored within the framework of the various cloud hosting providers.
Based on these cornerstones of cloud hosting security mentioned in this article, your company (be it a Start-up or a global player) can rely on an ever-expanding technology, which will carry out all your demands in the field of data handling, while at the same time maintaining a high level of security from unwanted attacks or a large number of threats.
Getting started with CloudPanel
With all this information at your disposal, start your cloud management today with CloudPanel.
Cloud Panel is the latest and best solution for maintaining an overview of your various cloud applications and to keep a proficient and secure check on your daily cloud hosting operations. (See: CloudPanel Highlights) And it’s 100 % free! Forever!