Cloud Security And Why On-Site Solutions Are Inferior

Posted by ClearCloud

Cloud formation

We get it, you don’t want company data leaving your doors. But cloud infrastructure provides a security solution that on-premise alternatives can’t hope to match.

Just consider your vulnerabilities. Dated applications act as gateways for cyberattacks, and only by routinely modernising them can you protect yourself. And, without expertise in-house, this is no small task.

Cloud platforms, like Azure however, have policies in place that automatically block risky applications. Anything outdated or that presents a threat to your data is cut off, with Azure acting as the first line of defence in even the most basic security set-up.

With cloud, you can expect much more than risk mitigation. This is security redefined.

The cloud is built to handle breaches

If you’re a giant organisation with the resources to build an IT department expert in cybersecurity, then cloud’s formidability may have less of an appeal. For most businesses however, your cloud platform can act as a controller, setting permissions and access levels while minimising human error.

Azure takes this one step further by allowing you to create rules that govern your entire policy. Say you’re using cloud for database, domain and storage purposes. You can enforce a policy whereby these applications can only be opened on HTTPS to ensure secure communication. You can also insist your database is encrypted to protect against theft.

If a member of staff mistakenly (or malignly) tries to build applications without factoring in these rules, Azure will deny the deployment. If it doesn’t meet the standards, it isn’t going live. This is a hell of a lot cheaper than purchasing monitoring tools or asking IT personnel to monitor activity.

The result? AWS users have the control and visibility they need to demonstrate their compliance with regional and local data privacy laws. AWS also has similar privacy policies.

Provided you know how to use it…

There’s still room for error though. One of the most common pitfalls we see is the mismanagement (and eventual exploitation) of virtual machines.

Sadly, despite being the ideal environment for testing, virtual machines are prone to attacks. When you add security rules to virtual machines, you have the option to leave your software open instead of restricting access to certain IP addresses. This allows criminals to access your information and perform a dictionary (password guessing) attack.

Often this can even be an automated process performed by a machine and lots of victims that we’ve spoken to are completely unaware that they’re being attacked. Not only will this cause issues with your applications, but server connections will also begin to destabilise.

Stolen and deleted data is the worst-case scenario causing significant damage to your business and credibility. While it’s uncertain whether you’ll get penalised under GDPR legislation for this, should customer information be stolen, you may find yourself accused of negligence.

ClearCloud can prevent that

For those currently at risk or exposed, our first course of action is to perform a full review of your environment. We conduct this according to the AWS Well-Architected Framework, or the Azure equivalent – Azure Architecture Framework.

For clients new to cloud, we can prevent against any exposure to vulnerabilities from the get-go. This is thanks to Infrastructure as Code, meaning all compliance, data assurance and code is dropped into your solution in template form – as opposed to being built manually in the portal within your infrastructure – and therefore protected from human error.

These templates are tried and tested, whereas manual changes aren’t proven to protect you from threats. In fact, a lot of client vulnerabilities stem from manual interference, which is why we only allow changes to be made via our CI/CD pipelines. User access to production environments is restricted to read-only – preventing these mistakes from being made.

In short, there’s little opportunity for cyberthieves. Should you feel you want some additional reassurance however, we’ll design a battle plan so you can protect yourself if the worst were to happen.

Do cloud right

One of the greatest benefits of cloud software is reinforced security. But you still need to protect your business by not undermining it through exposure of data and applications.

At ClearCloud, we can conduct a health check of your set-up according to which cloud platform you use. We’ll give you an honest opinion about where you may need to invest a little more resource if you hope to sustainably grow your infrastructure and evolve your service.

Sound good? Get in touch by calling 0161 533 0286 or requesting a call back today.

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