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Cloud computing security and shared responsibility

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Here at Urban E-Recycling, we get into some interesting discussions with customers who bring us their e-waste to recycle. Computers are among those items, so we often talk about desktops and laptops, which leads to related subjects like cloud computing. Security is an issue for businesses that entrust their data to the cloud, primarily if they use a public rather than a private cloud. But what are the problems with cloud security, and how does a company address them?

About the cloud

The cloud functions on the internet, and cloud security refers to measures taken about issues connected with cloud-based operations. Cloud computing refers to on-demand data storage and computing power. Technologies, policies, and controls go into computing security to protect the data and applications maintained on the cloud.

There are three types of cloud deployment:

  • Private cloud deployment: Provides on-demand computing services for a single entity
  • Public cloud deployment: Provides computing services over the general internet, and customers use servers and data centers as “tenants.”
  • Hybrid cloud deployment: To manage the expense, customers deploy sensitive assets on a private cloud while running less critical operations on a public cloud.

Risks of moving to the cloud

Whether an enterprise moves complete or partial infrastructure to the cloud, there are certain risks to consider:

  • Cloud environments do not have well-defined boundaries
  • Cloud service providers do not give full infrastructure details to clients
  • Laws governing the storage of data are coming into effect everywhere
  • Through so-called “shadow IT,” cloud computing allows anyone in the company to procure services, bypassing policies set by the IT department
  • On the cloud, data is transferred constantly across networks using web services, and for security purposes, clients must have encryption, authorization, and access controls in place
  • Cloud service providers give broad access to permissions, so users must clearly define privileges for adding and deleting assets on the cloud to limit exposure to cyberattacks
  • An organization having assets on a public cloud is vulnerable to hacking and social engineering attacks, requiring security awareness training for employees.

Best practices

Hacker with his computer on dark background

There are benefits but also risks in making a move to cloud computing. Be careful to whom you give access privileges and constantly monitor such access. Form a security team to perform regular vulnerability scans so you can ensure data protection and fend off potential hackers. Use firewalls to control traffic at each endpoint and employ encryption to ensure safer data storage. You can also consider cloud penetration testing, which simulates cyberattacks and helps identify the system’s strengths and weaknesses.

Shared responsibility

Cloud computing keeps pace with the ever-changing technology that today’s businesses face. It also fulfills the needs of small companies and startups that do not have the money to build their infrastructure. McAfee’s 2019 Cloud Adoption and Risk Report shows that an average enterprise uses over 1,900 cloud services! And though cloud service providers offer safe housing for sensitive data, those who use these services must monitor cloud security regularly.

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Mother Nature doesn’t want your old computers but we do. 

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