For organisations looking to move from in-house servers to a cloud solution, there is often an incorrect assumption that the cloud is not as secure. It’s common for organisations to worry about putting so much trust in an external supplier for such a critical task.
However, there is a range of security advantages of cloud computing that make it a significantly safer, more reliable and more secure way to host your IT infrastructure.
One of the biggest threats to IT security is human error. Whether that’s lax security procedures or a simple configuration mistake, these errors create opportunities for hackers to infiltrate your network. A security advantage of cloud computing is the ability to automate security tasks –reducing the risk of errors and allowing your team to focus on other tasks critical to your business.
With in-house servers, system administrators typically have access to the entire server. Therefore, if an admin user’s account is compromised, attackers have access to everything on the network.
With the cloud, admins (and all other users) only have access to those parts of the system they require. If an attack does occur, this level of granular control ensures user access is restricted to limited parts of the system.
In-house systems are traditionally costly and time-consuming to increase in size. New hardware will need to be purchased, installed and configured before becoming available to users. In contrast, cloud services can be scaled up and down as quickly as you need. As a result, this means when testing new updates, new environments can be created on-the-fly. These environments can then be tested to ensure no issues appear in the live environment before rolling new updates over. This reduces the potential for server downtime and ensures your systems are up and accessible for your users. For example, cloud servers typically boast up-times of 99.5% or higher.
Managed services will usually have a much more secure default configuration than one that you build yourself. The advanced security components that cloud servers boast are simply unaffordable to most single users using in-house systems. With the cloud, each customer shares the cost, bringing significantly better security to all users of the provider’s cloud hosting.
Logging, Monitoring and Auditing
Cloud service providers ensure that all system logs, monitoring metrics and audit data are retained in a way so attackers can’t amend them. As a result, it’s harder for attackers to cover their tracks and easier for investigators to identify the culprits.
The increased capacity of a cloud server allows for log and audit data to be retained for longer. Data is stored with more context, which creates opportunities for more complex analysis of how an attacker accessed the system and what actions they took while inside.
One of the most important things you can do to protect your network is to ensure that security patches are installed as soon as they’re available. A key advantage of the cloud is the ability to duplicate the environment, apply the patch, and identify issues before rolling out.
Cloud providers sometimes receive patches before they’re widely available to the public. When a new vulnerability is identified prior to a patch being available, cloud service providers have the expertise and resources to apply mitigations while waiting for an official patch release.
Security Advantages Of Cloud Computing: Securing your data
Storing your data in the cloud comes with all the advantages listed above. Because of these, cloud hosting provides a stable and secure foundation for your data. However, good security practices, such as secure passwords and multi-factor authentication are just as essential to protect your organisation’s data from cyber-attacks.
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