Cloud Security and Big Data

Today, huge amount of sensitive and confidential information is being stolen or made public. Such data breaches are quite disastrous for both businesses and consumers, because of the enormous volume of data that is manipulated and misused. People these days are hacking into cloud-based files and systems, and this has become a serious threat for enterprises.

Data breaches are not only a matter of concern for cloud storage, they are also a threat for cloud users. Cloud computing is vulnerable to certain risks like shared storage, staff that looks after the cloud services, and partners of the cloud service providers, and because of their access to big data, cloud providers are the bull’s eye for attackers.

In today’s era of big data technology, cloud security is especially important. But it is believed that hackers are major security threat, but the fact is, employees present an equal risk. The reason is not because of maliciousness, but because of human carelessness. A report published by Experian in 2015 mentioned, about 60% of security incidents were caused due to the staff. It got bad when employees started working remotely, and used their own mobile devices for accessing data and resources from outside the organization’s network. Employees should be taught to use secure connections when they access their work outside organization.

Here are some ways to prevent data theft:

  • When you opt for a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) make sure the terms and conditions related to data security are clearly stated in the Service Level Agreement (SLA). The terms should inform the customer about the kind of security CSPs will use to protect the data, and consequences the cloud provider will have to face for non-compliance.
  • It has been observed that cloud providers usually offer good security to guard their consumer’s data. The consumers are also in charge of protecting their own data, even if it is placed in the cloud. Enterprises can protect their data by setting up security programs. People and organizations should take this step seriously, specially when there’s sensitive data like credits/debit card details, addresses, etc.
  • Almost all cloud portal users are given the option of creating new Containers and Virtual Machines (VMs). These users usually create them and then forget to close them, also known as ‘zombies’. Zombies are security threats which give way to openings into other parts of your system. Since the use of VM and container is an immature technology. Remembering to turn the project off when not working on it, is a solution to maintain ‘zombie’ security.
  • There are some cloud providers that offer customers with encryption as a part of their package, but a lot of CSPs do not. It is important to have complete control over the encryption process. Also, make sure you decrypt your data only when you are using it. A number of cloud providers want you to send them your data in an unencrypted format, i.e. in plain-text format and unencrypted data transfer might put your data in risk.

As we know cloud technology is still evolving and we can also see the increasing number of cloud security challenges and solutions. Data hacking, breaches and information hijacking are some of the critical issues when it comes to cloud security. All we can do is stay educated and informed about recent security advances that would provide a safety net which otherwise would not exist.

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