Cloud data storage costs are lower than ever before. And with businesses having to adapt to working from home, uploading as much data as possible to the cloud seems like the perfect solution. Everyone can access your company's data regardless of where they are, and you never have to worry about server maintenance or upgrades ever again. The cloud, however, provides a false sense of security. You need to be aware of several data security risks in the cloud.
1. Access Is Everything
The traditional approach to data management has been to stuff data into servers located at each office, providing the data that each building needs to function. Since this data is kept in a closed environment, it's generally safe to give everyone access to the server. However, if you're taking this same approach to the cloud, you're asking for trouble.
The very thing that gives cloud storage its strength is also its biggest security flaw. The fact that anyone from anywhere can access your data with the right credentials means there's a glaring security vulnerability: Your users. If a single team member's credentials are pilfered, then an intruder has access to everything that the user does.
Managing User Access
There's a fine line between being excessively restrictive with data access and being too loose. Go too far in one direction, and your workers can't get things done.Swing too far in the other, and you've got gaping security holes. The key is to know your data and understand what files each team member should be able to access based on their typical workload.
By using a smart platform that automates data categorization and permissions, you can easily ensure that all your data is managed appropriately. You can create profiles that enable access for specific individuals and apply those profiles to any files that enter the system that meet the requirements you've established.
2. Not Everything Belongs in the Cloud
Given that cloud storage costs are extremely affordable and have only continued to drop in recent years, it may be tempting to place all your data into the cloud and call it a day. However, not everything needs to go into the cloud. You should carefully consider what data needs to be uploaded.
Sensitive information that could present a security risk is probably best left on local machines or company servers. If you absolutely must keep risky files in the cloud, make sure you're tracking their whereabouts and activity with automation. You need to know your data and what happens to it.
Automate What Goes Up
You can automate file management using several parameters. For instance, files with a given extension could be kept out of the cloud. Or if you need even more detailed management, consider a platform that can parse all kinds of files, including unstructured data, to limit uploads of potentially unsafe files based on their contents.
3. Compliance Applies to the Cloud
Compliance with data privacy laws becomes even more important when we talk about cloud storage. The GDPR sets rules for how data can be transferred out of Europe, for instance. If your company uploads data to the cloud, but that data is stored in data centers in the United States, you may have just unknowingly committed an infraction.
Another issue is how long you can retain consumer information. The GDPR establishes that personal data shouldn't be stored past the point of necessity. That is to say that if you are processing personal information, the source files ought to be deleted once they've been processed. Letting them linger in the cloud could lead to fines, especially if there's a breach.
Automate Data Movement and Deletion
If you struggle to know where your data is at any given moment, you need to automate the ability to know your data. You can program a smart data management platform to relocate data or delete it after certain actions have occurred. This removes the potential for human error and makes your data management more agile.
4. WatchOut for APIs
Cloud storage companies tout APIs as a great way to access your data and facilitate cloud processing. However, not every API has been designed with the best data security practices in mind. You should be very careful about which APIs you use to access your cloud data.
Knowing your data in the era of cloud storage and cloud computing can be a challenge. Fortunately, it's possible to automate the process to find and identify your data using an intelligent platform like Aparavi. Get a demo of Aparavi today to see how it can bring order to your data and put an end to data chaos.