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Published on July 1st, 2016 | by Guest


Data Security with the Cloud Computing

It took time to develop trust in the security of cloud computing, but recent statistics show that consumer confidence has been steadily rising. One reason is that professional IT providers have more resources and expertise to devote to security than most other types of businesses do. While most people still refer to it as “the cloud”, in reality there are different types of clouds with varying levels of security. Public cloud computing is characterized by many organizations and individuals sharing the same infrastructure.

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Private cloud infrastructure is not shared. There are two types of private clouds, on-premise and externally hosted. Both types are used exclusively by only one organization, but one is hosted by a third party that specializes in building cloud infrastructure. Hybrid clouds utilize a combination of the public cloud and private clouds for storing more sensitive data. Some organizations use their own infrastructure the majority of the time, using cloud services only during sudden increases in internet traffic that surpass their system capabilities. This practice is known as “cloud bursting”.

90% of businesses now utilize some form of cloud computing. There are so many cost-saving benefits that it has become virtually impossible to remain competitive without doing so. One of the ways it saves companies money is that it eliminates the need to invest in expensive hardware and maintain a well-paid professional IT staff to oversee it. Some cloud computing service providers are platform independent, which gives business professionals the ability to access and share data from any location or device using any operating system.

For some professions, like the medical profession, that ability can literally mean the difference between life and death for a patient suffering a medical emergency. It also increases the level of care for all patients by making it possible to quickly consult with specialists without having to schedule a meeting in person. Medical professionals have instant access to all of the relevant data necessary to plan the best course of treatment.

According to IT security experts, there are a number of things to consider before making the transition from a legacy system to cloud computing. The first thing to consider is what data will be uploaded to the cloud environment and what special security requirements may apply to that data. There are laws regulating the level of security for different types of data. Medical data is more strictly regulated and requires a higher level of security. A good cloud-based service provider will have a thorough understanding of data security requirements for specific industries and have adequate measures in place to meet them.

The best SaaS companies provide automatic security updates as well as seamlessly integrating software upgrades. Those upgrades require constant innovation. Good SaaS companies reserve a healthy percentage of their budgets for research and development to ensure that their software remains on the cutting edge within their industry. They also utilize multiple storage locations for backing up data, so that in the event of a disaster, whether natural or man-made, no important data is ever lost.

Cloud security is constantly evolving. As each new potential threat is detected, IT professionals update their software to eliminate it. One of the most recent threats was posed by “Locky” a type of ransomware. The perpetrators of this cyber-crime encrypted users’ files using a macro infected with a virus embedded in an email. They then demanded payment in bitcoins to decrypt them. The virus was discovered by security researchers at PhishMe after being sent to nearly half a million potential victims. While the real cost of these security threats is difficult to accurately determine, in April, CNBC estimated that in just the first three months of 2016, ransomware had cost approximately $200 million dollars.

Organizations like the Cloud Security Alliance provide research and important educational information and skills training regarding data security. Since so much vital data is now stored in computers, data security has become synonymous with both national and global security. The technological marvel of the internet has made humanity more aware of the true extent to which we are all connected. Today’s IT experts and software developers are helping to ensure that more of those connections are mutually beneficial, rather than criminal.

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