It’s a question that’s still on the minds of many IT and security executives as their organizations move more deeply into a services-based environment: Will our data be secure in the cloud? In some cases, worries about security are likely keeping companies from being more aggressive in moving to the cloud.
Managed services providers (MSPs) that work with clients considering shifting data and workloads to the cloud must be able to provide a “yes” answer to the question about security. Otherwise, they will not see much in the way of new business opportunities from the hybrid cloud transformation at hand.
Companies in industries that work with lots of highly sensitive information, such as healthcare and financial services, are especially in need of assurances that data resources will be protected. Not only do they want to keep customer and other data secure, but they want to maintain compliance with a variety of regulations.
Despite advancements in recent years, public cloud services can expose companies to new risks. But MSPs can take advantage of the cloud movement and deliver value added services that keep their customers’ data safe. They can implement tools such as encryption, key management and operational controls wherever they’re needed.
For instance, even if a customer doesn’t generally encrypt most of its data, encrypting data in transit and at rest should become standard operating procedure. That way, even if a breach occurs, the data is of no use to cyber criminals and does not expose sensitive information.
MSPs also need to support their clients’ particular preferences and standards when handling their data, and ensure that the customers will remain fully compliant with any regulations when using cloud services. That means staying up on the latest regulatory changes, as well as security threats and vulnerabilities that emerge.
Given the rapid rise in cyber security threats, MSPs should consider using a third-party service to test the strength of its customers’ and its own security posture. Attackers often gain access to systems through undetected weak points in security architecture. MSPs can find potential exposures and entry points in customers’ cloud infrastructure by hiring a third-party provider to run penetration-testing services and regular, independent security audits.
Using information from the audit can help ensure there are no back doors in servers, storage, applications or other systems that handle data.
Finally, the variety of security tools available introduces complexity into the solution. It’s easy to miss a step and inadvertently leave a security hole open. MSPs can partner with vendors that incorporate multiple mechanisms and layers of protection to reduce complexity and ensure the security and integrity of customer data.
By taking these steps, MSPs can answer any questions about cloud security with confidence and deliver the best services to their clients.
Learn more about “Securing the New Model for Enterprise Storage.”