Whenever you interact with an online service there is going to be a degree of risk. However, with cloud-based solutions becoming increasingly common in our personal and professional lives, it is important to understand the specific risks involved in working with the cloud and how to mitigate them.
We are all growing increasingly used to having services delivered to us on a subscription basis. Whether it’s our personal subscriptions to Netflix and Spotify, or the cloud-based apps that our businesses offer to our clients, more and more of the services we use and provide are being delivered through subscription models.
Because the concept of software as a service is still a relatively new one, there is relatively little education about exactly what the term means and what it entails. Whether you are connecting to a cloud-based piece of software or you are the provider of cloud software, it is imperative that you know exactly who you are dealing with.
You wouldn’t hand over personal information about yourself to a stranger in the street just because they asked you to, so don’t expect your clients to do it with your cloud services. Make sure you are offering your customers the kind of SaaS system that you would trust with your own personal data.
There are three key aspects to protecting data security in the cloud. The vast majority of SaaS security controls can be placed into one of these categories.
First of all, we have access management. This refers to the ability of the software you are providing to appropriately manage who can access what data. In an ideal world, appropriate access management would be all that was required to keep data in the cloud safe. In reality, the picture is more complicated. Access can be restricted according to account type, device type, or even via IP address.
Second, we have data security. Data security measures ensure that even if data does fall into the wrong hands then the recipient won’t be able to read it. Ideally, data should be protected during transit as well as during storage. Data controls can be used to ensure that all data is transferred securely to and from the system.
Finally, we have monitoring controls. These are the measures that will inform you of any data breaches and will help you to automatically detect security violations.
It is always worth periodically re-evaluating your arrangements with cloud service providers to ensure that you are getting the best deal for your business and have all of the appropriate security measures in place. If you aren’t sure what these measures should be, this article from www.mcafee.com goes through the most common cloud security issues and how to minimize their impact.
You can never be 100% safe when you are using an online service, but you can take steps to ensure that you are as safe as possible. When it comes to working with SaaS platforms, it is important that you know exactly who you are dealing with and what their security policies are. Make sure to periodically re-evaluate your approach.