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Data Safety In Cloud Services

Meenakshi Doppa's profile image

By: Meenakshi Doppa

October 9, 2020


Cloud storage is a remote network that uses a multi-tenant, highly virtualized infrastructure to provide flexible storage facilities for companies that can be dynamically provisioned as required by the enterprise. A large variety of cloud storage services offer this service.

Predominantly, IT departments handling infrastructure-strained data centers would "throw boxes at the problem," which meant constantly adding physical storage devices. Still, as the amount of data continued to increase dramatically, that proved to be both costly and challenging to handle. Clouds, unlike dedicated physical devices, provide:

  • Elasticity
  • Scalability
  • Multi-tenancy
  • Metered resources

The provisioning of services for cloud storage is done via a web-based interface. Many specific cloud-based storage features make it appealing for companies attempting to compete in today's data-intensive business climate.

For example:

  • To allow dynamic elasticity and availability, the resources are distributed
  • For disaster recovery and fault tolerance, the properties are replicated
  • Replication of data is ultimately compatible to ensure the availability

How Does Cloud Storage Work?

At least one data server that a user connects to through the Internet is involved in cloud storage. The user sends files manually or in an automated way over the Internet to the data server, which forwards the information to several servers. The stored data is then available through a web-based GUI(Graphical User Interface).

To ensure their availability, cloud storage systems include vast numbers of data servers. That way, the user can be guaranteed that the data has been replicated elsewhere to ensure availability if one server needs maintenance or fails. The Amazon AWS Cloud, for instance, currently spans 55 availability zones in 18 geographic regions.

While the information in a public cloud is replicated for fault tolerance and disaster recovery purposes in various physical locations, the primary or local location tends to be physically closer to the company's facility so that the data can be processed faster and at lower costs.

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Trends in cloud storage management continue to unfold, with more enterprises extending to the cloud. Public clouds are managed by service providers of public cloud services.

Their infrastructure and services include:

  • Servers
  • Storage
  • Networking
  • Datacenter operations

In the following ways, cloud data storage services can be provisioned:

  • Usage of a web interface by end-users who pay for ability on a per-transaction basis.
  • By users who identify a predetermined capacity prepared in advance of the operation. The client either pays annually for the service or pays a flat rate.
  • By the service provider, which dynamically allocates resources as needed, the payment is based on pay-per-use.

As noted above, pricing can vary, and it can rely on many variables, including the service provider, ability required, time required, etc.

To provide safety and security to cloud data, specific controls are put in place.

Some examples are:

Deterrent Controls: These controls are intended to minimize attacks on cloud infrastructure. Deterrent controls usually decrease the threat level by telling potential offenders that if they continue, there will be adverse consequences for them, much like a warning sign on a fence or a property. (They are considered a subset of preventive controls by some people.)

Preventive Controls: Preventive controls improve the mechanism against events, usually reducing, if not removing, vulnerabilities. For example, strong cloud user authentication makes it less likely that unauthorized users can access cloud systems and that the cloud users are identified positively.

Detective Controls: Detective tests are intended to identify and respond to any events that occur correctly. In the case of an attack, the preventive or corrective controls to resolve the problem would be indicated by a detective control. System and network security monitoring is usually used to detect attacks on cloud infrastructure and threats, including intrusion detection and prevention measures.

Corrective Controls: The effects of an event are lowered by corrective controls, usually by restricting the damage. During or after an event, they come into existence. An example of a corrective check is the restoration of data backups to restore a damaged system.

There are many approaches businesses take to ensure their data is safe in the cloud. Some examples are provided below.

Encrypting Cloud Data: The method of manipulating or encoding data before it is transferred to cloud storage is data encryption in the cloud. Cloud service providers usually offer encryption services, ranging from an encrypted link to restricted, sensitive data encryption, and provide encryption keys to decrypt the data when necessary. So far, encryption is the best way to safeguard your data. Encryption works as follows: by using the software in which the user can create a password for that file, by transferring the password-protected file to the cloud, no one can ever see the content of the file without not knowing the password.

Data encryption is recognized as one of the most powerful data protection methods, transforming the content of any device, database, or file so that it is impossible to decode without a decryption key. Companies can ensure that only approved users can access sensitive data by applying encryption and practicing safe encryption key management. Even if lost, stolen, or accessed without permission, encrypted data without its key is unreadable and ultimately meaningless.

In addition to storage and recovery, several cloud providers include local encryption and decryption of the files. This ensures the service takes care of both the encryption and preservation of the files on the computer.

Organization-wide Security Policies: Security policies related to data security should be implemented by organizations using the cloud (all organizations should adopt them, but it is much more important to do so).

Passwords and general security policies are often related to this. If a person uses a weak password, or if someone from the company leaks passwords and other confidential data to bad actors, the best cloud encryption in the world won't benefit that person. To avoid such scenarios, it's essential to have specified security policies.

Always Backup Data: By its nature, cloud storage is shielded from various cyber-attacks and even natural disasters. It also includes a way to backup data and restores it. Nevertheless, it's wise to back up important company data on in-house servers to ensure that sensitive information is not lost in the event of issues with the cloud provider.

Trust, but Verify: The confidence a person puts in his cloud provider has to be verified. Trust is crucial because if he is going to move and build fast, likely many people must have access to the infrastructure. However, he must also track and audit constantly to verify business-critical behavior and effectively manage risk.

Final thoughts

No system is 100% safe, but the cloud infrastructure almost accomplishes this aim. Data is safe in the cloud, but certain safeguards must be in place to ensure it runs properly. Most of this applies to corporate login and encryption procedures.

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