In cloud security and almost everything else in IT, progress is what you make of it.
You’ve probably met colleagues who’ll tell you that the transfer of sensitive information and migration to the cloud has been nothing short of a nightmare.
Ask them why, and they’ll tell you that it’s a journey full of uncertainties, vulnerability-induced sleeplessness, and creeping fear.
Then there’s the other end of the spectrum.
These are those colleagues who are optimistic about the migration to the cloud and the data transfer that comes with it.
They’ll tell you that they’ve been waiting for a solution like this since back when Bezos had hair. And they couldn’t be happier.
To them, migrating and data transfer over the cloud means:
- Improved data security and assured privacy for their customers.
- The acceleration of task and workflow creation.
- More flexibility and scalability.
- Happier customers due to assured accessibility and reliability.
How you approach your cloud security will play a significant role in determining which end of this spectrum you end up on.
That said, this piece will tell you how to use the cloud, its disadvantages and its variations, such as Managed File Transfer (MFT), to your advantage.
Yes, the Obstacle is the Way
The concerns you have about cloud security and sensitive information are valid.
Turn left, and you’ll probably see systems teeming with DDOS vulnerabilities. Turn right, and you’ll be met with the prospect of crippling data theft and privacy concerns.
The statistics don’t give very much hope either:
Weekly cyber-attacks increased 50% in 2021—an all-time high, and a record experts expect will be broken this year.
Oh! And don’t forget the marauding teenage gangs of ransomware attackers who can cripple entire governments from their parents’ basements.
But what if someone told you that the key to unlocking growth, strengthening your systems, and securing your endpoints potentially lies within those vulnerabilities?
Once again, the obstacle is the way. Every single weakness in the cloud infrastructure will only work to make the security of your sensitive data (at rest and in transit) stronger and more robust.
Securing Sensitive Cloud Information 101: Useful Tips, Hacks and Best Practices
As you’ve probably realized, migration to the cloud is no longer an if, it’s a when.
There once was a time when executives could sit across a table and discuss the remote possibility of the cloud going mainstream. Those days are gone.
The cloud and its subsequent data transfer are here, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
That established, there are only two possibilities this side of a cloud-dependent ecosystem. At any one time, the cloud is either:
- Working for you.
- Working against you.
The following tips will help you leverage the cloud’s inherent security advantages to secure your endpoints and sensitive data at both rest and transit.
Use a Cloud Service Provider with Encryption
Compared to on-premises systems, the cloud increases the transfer of information between remote endpoints in your organization.
One perspective you might take is that bringing the cloud as an intermediary exposes your sensitive information to an increased risk of vulnerabilities.
However, that’s not the only way to look at it. Whatever the cloud takes away on one hand, cloud security replaces it on another.
You could say that the cloud allows you to benefit from encryption that protects your sensitive data from these vulnerabilities and increases the efficiency of your data transfer while at it.
By outsourcing your sensitive data transfer to an effective secure cloud storage and managed file transfer system, you can benefit from more complex and robust encryption systems that secure your sensitive data.
These systems will be able to encrypt your data:
- In transit.
- At storage.
- During manipulation.
Leverage Automated Patches and System Updates
On one hand, you can argue that migration to the cloud necessitates more frequent software updates and patches to mitigate its ever-evolving risks and vulnerabilities.
On another hand, however, one can argue that your patching and updating are made infinitely better with any cloud security and managed file transfer infrastructure.
That’s because these systems give you the ability to seamlessly patch your systems and OTA updates to counter these risks. You no longer have to worry about:
The next software update
Manual software updates are an expensive and annoying necessity. Anyone who runs more than ten systems owes you a story.
With automated updating, your teams get to save time(and productivity) they spend on manually updating multiple systems. Subsequently, you no longer have to spend money man hours for updates across several systems.
Forgetting a patch
Patch management is a thorn in the foot of anyone who runs a cloud system. Often, you may be tempted to ignore a patch and run the current system “till the wheels fall off”.
Fortunately, this is something you won't have to worry about with automated patching; just set the controls, sit, kick back and sip coffee as all patches across all systems get updates.
Having to patch multiple systems
Patching a single system is manageable. A dozen is too, but you’ll have to find new excuses for getting home a bit late, missing dates and dinners.
Anything above that is a nightmare.
With the automated capabilities of an effective cloud system, you can automate and scale your patching and updating workflows across multiple systems, saving your time, money, and sanity while at it.
Leverage Automation to Reduce Human Contact
Did you know that 50% of all data breaches are caused by human error? That’s shocking—just don’t scream yet.
That statistic is about all data breaches. Let’s narrow it down.
When it comes to cloud security, Kaspersky says that 90% of all cloud infrastructure data breaches are caused by human error.
Now you can scream.
That’s the bad news. In one instance, you could argue against cloud and cloud security by saying that the cloud makes having human teams a security risk.
However, there’s another perspective (if you can see the bigger picture).
Automating humans and attacking surfaces out of your systems has never been easier with the cloud and managed file transfer.
With an effective cloud data transfer ecosystem, you will never have to worry about manual, error-prone systems or the humans that run them. That will be because you will be able to automate:
- Infrastructure provisioning.
- System monitoring and response.
- Manual Scripting.
- Inaccurate or inconsistent reporting.
- Manually setting up servers and networks.
These data transfer automations will enable you to reduce your dependence on manual systems and reduce the margin of error in your sensitive data protection.
You Can Leverage the AI Capabilities of Cloud Infrastructure
You could argue that the nature of the cloud infrastructure makes it easier for cybercriminals to secretly plant malware in your system.
This exposes your sensitive information to heightened risk.
However, that’s not the only thing the cloud makes easy. Embedding inbuilt Artificial Intelligence into your data transfer systems is also effortless with cloud infrastructure.
You can use these AI systems to crawl your entire infrastructure in seconds to search, identify, and mitigate risks and vulnerabilities.
You’re probably wondering how on-premises systems fare on this scale. Well, according to IBM, for companies with on-premises infrastructure, it takes about 197 days for a company to identify and respond to a breach.
Determine Vulnerability through Analysis
Migrating to the cloud might increase your endpoints, further exposing your sensitive information to risk.
However, the good news is that with the cloud, you’ve never had this much ease of access to crucial information on your system and infrastructure.
Above that, remember that a SaaS managed file transfer offering makes outdated and vulnerable versions a thing of the past.
You no longer have to wait until the end of the day or for an engineer to compile reports about your essential data transfer or cloud infrastructure.
With this truckload of data, information, and analysis from your cloud systems, informed decision-making about your data security becomes a lot easier.
Above that, the cloud makes it easier for you to set up metrics, KPIs, reports, push notifications, and alerts about the security of your sensitive information.
Use Cloud Features to Secure the User End of Things
You’ve seen how cracks in both your existing infrastructure and software systems exposes your sensitive information at rest and in transfer to risk.
However, there’s another endpoint that is often overlooked: the user and their mobile endpoints.
According to Gartner’s predictions, 99% of all cloud attacks through 2025 will be your customers’ fault due to device misconfigurations.
That said, you can argue that the cloud increases vulnerability by putting end-users in control.
However, that’s not a good enough argument against investing in the cloud and cloud security.
This is because cloud infrastructure also comes with its fair share of inbuilt security systems that you can leverage to help your user secure themselves further. This includes:
Two-factor authentication allows your end-user to take the security of their mobile endpoints into their own hands.
With 2FA, malicious users will require both a password (or fingerprint) and ownership of the device to access a user’s account. The probability of accessing both is significantly low.
A Zero-Trust Framework
Building a zero-trust framework into a cloud security system is easy than building it into an on-premises system.
A zero-trust system means that your systems don’t trust anyone(even yourself). In such a framework, your system continuously authenticates, authorizes, and continuously validates external and internal users before allowing access and control permissions.
Like other experts, you probably doubt the security guarantee of pins and passwords each passing day.
However, biological authentication, which you can seamlessly integrate into your cloud infrastructure, can help you secure data and reduce your reliance on pins and passwords.
Leverage the Scalability and Flexibility that Comes With Cloud Infrastructure
Many businesses go to the end of the world and back in search of exponential growth. If you’re one of such businesses, there’s only one question.
Say your dreams come true, and your business, together with your sensitive data, endpoints, and attack surfaces, grows exponentially.
Could your systems handle it?
Most on-premises systems are not built for exponential data growth. In the worst-case scenario, growth can overwhelm data transfer systems and expose your crucial information to vulnerabilities.
That’s not the case with cloud infrastructure or managed file transfer. In the cloud, you’re spoilt for choice, and you can run your business on hundreds of platform models. These include:
- Software as a Service
- Revenue intelligence as a Service
- Education as a Service
- Banking as a Service
The only difference is that, unlike on-premises security systems, your cloud security and managed file transfer can scale together with your cloud computing services, further securing your sensitive data while at it.
Altogether, the cloud also brings data security flexibility to address the need for data security. You also get highly scalable:
- File Transfer as a Service
- Compliance as a Service
- Data Security as a Service
Improve Data Access Control
Another aspect of sensitive data security that is often overlooked in the cloud is access control. This term refers to the people and systems that access different levels of your sensitive data.
Access control is essential to securing your sensitive information at rest and in transit.
With on-premises infrastructure, access control is a complicated affair. Often, it’s defined by lots of internal bureaucracy and bottlenecks that might end up affecting user experience.
On the other hand, a cloud security ecosystem makes data access easier to manage, implement, test, and change.
The cloud allows you to leverage:
- Granular access control for your data security.
- Native password controls.
- The advantages of single sign-on.
- Multiple Factor authentication for your internal and external users.
Balance Security and User Experience Using MOVEit File Transfer
Now that you’re sold on moving to the cloud and investing in cloud security, there’s probably one question you’ve left unanswered:
Where the heck do I start?
Well, there are few places for making that first step better than managed file transfer (MFT). MFT allows you to secure the transfer of your sensitive data at rest and in transit.
With MOVEit Managed File Transfer, you no longer have to search for an efficient file transfer solution. Our solution offers security, efficiency, analytics, and automation all in one package.
For more information, contact us today, and our teams will be more than willing to help.