The public cloud is a powerful tool for businesses seeking to drive innovation, reduce costs, and streamline operations. The public cloud allows users to store information on remote servers rather than on-site computers. Cloud storage also provides users with easy access to files from different devices. In fact, the benefits of cloud computing are so substantial that Gartner predicts by 2025, more than 95% of enterprises will use cloud services as primary infrastructure for their digital business. However, this new technology comes with risks that businesses must plan for and address proactively. Users need to be aware of potential threats and take appropriate steps to safeguard sensitive data before uploading it to the public cloud. In this article we’ll explain what data protection in the cloud means and explore the three most common methods of securing your company’s sensitive data when using AWS services.
What does data protection in the cloud mean?
Data protection in the cloud refers to the various ways a company can safeguard sensitive data, whether it’s hosted on-premise or in the cloud. Data protection can include a wide range of measures, from physical security for on-premise systems to encryption for cloud data. Data protection is essential for any organization looking to use the cloud because it will store sensitive information on remote servers rather than on-site computers. The term “data protection” is used to differentiate between different types of data security techniques. Data security addresses potential threats and unauthorized access. Data protection takes it a step further and addresses the potential damage of a data breach. The various methods of data protection are designed to prevent unauthorized access, misuse, and/or the accidental or intentional deletion of data. Data protection can be applied to any type of data. Whether it’s on-premise or in the cloud, a company needs to ensure that it’s protecting sensitive information, like usernames and passwords, financial records, medical records, intellectual property, and more.
AWS security basics
As a cloud computing service, Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides users with easy access to tools and infrastructure they can use to run their business applications. However, it’s important to know that you are responsible for keeping your data safe in AWS. This means implementing security best practices, monitoring your AWS account, and implementing the right security controls are your responsibility. Some AWS security basics include:
– Strong account access control and monitoring
– You can control access to your AWS account using two-step verification, account roles, and AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM). Two-step verification and account roles are self-explanatory, but IAM is a comprehensive tool that allows you to manage permissions, audit account activity, and set up alerts.
– Strong authentication and encryption: Authentication verifies the identity of an individual requesting access to a system. Encryption is used to protect information by encoding it in a way that makes it unreadable by anyone who doesn’t have the decryption key. AWS offers a range of authentication and encryption options, including password-based logins, hardware tokens, and software tokens.
– Securely managing your keys: An AWS account has access to a range of services, including Amazon S3, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, Amazon EMR, Amazon Lambda, Amazon SNS, and Amazon SQS. Keys play an important role in authentication, authorization, and accounting whenever you’re using AWS services. AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) is a managed service that allows you to centrally manage all your organization’s AWS account keys. AWS KMS allows you to control who has access to your keys, what they can access, and when they can access it.
Organizational Awareness and Data Inventory
Before you jump into data protection plans and cloud security measures, users must first understand the type of data thier company is storing. Take the time to create a data inventory and understand what data your company has and why it’s being stored. This will help you better understand where you need heightened levels of protection and/or what type of compliance standards your organization must follow. It’s a good idea to create a data inventory that consists of three sections – data type, where it’s stored, and the sensitivity of the data. The data inventory will help you understand where you need heightened levels of protection by providing you with a better idea of what data you have and why it’s being stored.
User Awareness and Training
Once you understand the type of data your company is storing, you can begin working towards increasing user awareness. The best way to protect data is to have users understand how to protect it in the first place. This means providing them with the tools they need to protect data, such as two-factor authentication, and providing them with the training they need to understand why this is important. When it comes to user training, you’ll want to focus on three key areas: identifying sensitive data, understanding the importance of protecting that data, and knowing how to protect it. You can use a variety of methods for doing this, including in-person training sessions, online training modules, awareness campaigns, and more.
Key Management and Encryption with AWS KMS
Key management is essential to keeping your data secure. To ensure that your data is protected, you’ll want to use encryption. Encryption is the process of converting data into a coded format that is unreadable by anyone who doesn’t have the decryption key. There are two types of encryption:
Private: Private encryption is performed on computers that are in the same network as the data they are securing. Private encryption is useful in securing data while it is being transmitted over public networks, such as the internet. Public: Public encryption is performed by a third-party service, like AWS or a managed security provider. Public encryption is used to secure data while it is in storage and when it is being transmitted over public networks. The problem with using public encryption is that you have to make sure the data is decrypted before it is processed by a computer. AWS KMS allows you to centrally manage all the keys used to encrypt your data. This way, you have one place to manage all your encryption keys, and you don’t have to worry about someone accidentally deleting them or forgetting to use them.
Cloud-Based Machine Learning and AI with ML/AI Function
Finally, as businesses are increasingly relying on data to make important decisions, it’s important that the right data is being used. Unfortunately, data can be messy, which can lead to inaccurate results. That’s where machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) come in. Machine learning and AI are tools that allow computers to learn without being explicitly programmed. This means computers can be programmed to learn from their mistakes without requiring humans to correct them. This type of technology can be a game changer for companies who are trying to make sense of their data.
As the cloud is changing the way businesses operate, it’s important for companies to understand how the cloud works and how to protect their data when using it. Data protection in the cloud refers to the various ways a company can safeguard sensitive data, whether it’s hosted on-premise or in the cloud. AWS security basics include strong account access control and monitoring, strong authentication and encryption, and securely managing your keys. Organizational Awareness and Data Inventory are important steps to take before implementing data protection measures. User Awareness and Training are crucial to ensuring that employees understand why protecting data is important and how they can go about doing so. Finally, key management and cloud-based machine learning and AI with ML/AI Function are important ways to safeguard data in the cloud.