Over the last decade, the supply chain and logistics industry has moved away from on-premises technology solutions in favor of cloud-based alternatives.
The cloud offers your business better scalability, reduced technology costs, and increased adaptability. However, it also creates new threat vectors hackers can exploit to steal your organizational data.
You need a comprehensive cloud data security strategy to reap the benefits of cloud technologies while protecting business continuity. We’ll cover everything you need to know about cloud security.
What is cloud security, and how does it work?
Cloud security refers to a combination of technologies and procedures designed to protect your cloud services and combat threats to business operations. Cloud data security is a critical component of your digital transformation strategy, as each new cloud-based tool you implement represents another threat vector that hackers can exploit.
Although your cloud data security strategy should be tailored to the unique needs of your business, all cloud security measures seek to achieve one or more of the following goals:
- Facilitate data recovery in the event of theft or loss
- Protect your networks against malicious activity
- Mitigate or prevent negligence or human error
- Contain and minimize the impacts of any system compromise
To achieve these objectives, developers implement backend security solutions, such as firewalls, antivirus software, encryption, and threat monitoring. A winning cloud data security strategy uses layers of redundant protection to identify, stop, and contain threats.
Cloud security categories
Cloud security can generally be divided into five broad categories:
- Data security: The foundational element of cloud security focuses on protecting your business data through encryption, firewalls, and other provisions.
- Identity and access management (IAM): This category of cloud security involves verifying users’ identities and managing who has access to which files.
- Governance: Data governance is a framework outlining the necessary steps to protect your data and cloud-based assets. Think of this as your company’s official policies and practices regarding cloud security.
- Data retention and business continuity (BC) planning: This aspect of cloud security outlines what data you retain, how it’s stored, and how long you must keep it. Backup and recovery planning often fall under this category of cloud security.
- Legal compliance: You must also achieve and maintain compliance with relevant regulatory acts to protect your customers’ privacy.
To succeed at cloud security, you must address all five components.
The importance of cloud security
To keep pace with the cutting edge of business, you must be willing to adopt the latest technologies and productivity tools.
However, you must also understand the cloud data security requirements associated with implementing these technologies. Otherwise, the tools intended to make you more competitive could lead to a significant data breach.
Fortunately, reputable cloud-based solutions providers adhere to stringent security best practices. That said, they operate under the “shared responsibility” model, meaning your business must work with them to protect your data.
Cloud security risks faced by companies
The following are some of the most common cloud data security challenges and threats that you’ll encounter:
- Loss of customer trust: When customers do business with your brand and share their data, they expect you to protect it. If you fail to do so, they’ll lose trust in your company and may cease business with you altogether.
- Reputational damage: A breach can ruin the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build, costing you future business and making your company a less desirable trade partner.
- Regulatory penalties: If negligence played a role in a data loss or breach, your company could face harsh regulatory penalties, including steep monetary fines.
- Data loss: Poor cloud security practices can lead to data loss or leaks. Hackers can hold your data for ransom, rendering your business inoperable until you meet their demands.
- Interruption to business operations: Even a brief disruption to your cloud technology could cost your brand tens of thousands in lost revenue.
- Financial loss: The above factors often lead to significant monetary losses for your business.
With so much at stake, it’s critical to prioritize cloud data security.
4 cloud security solutions
Just as there are different types of cloud-computing infrastructure, there are also distinct categories of security solutions. Here are the four core cloud data security solutions you should consider implementing in conjunction:
- Security information and event management (SIEM): SIEM solutions automate threat monitoring and detection so you can rapidly respond to potential threats to your cloud assets.
- Disaster recovery: Disaster recovery technology provides a means of resuming normal operations following a breach or major outage.
- Data loss prevention (DLP): These solutions include data encryption, alerts, and other preventive tools to keep your data from being compromised.
- Identity and access management (IAM): These tools help you enforce your access control and identity verification policies.
How to manage cloud security: 4 best practices
Protect your business and your customers by adopting these cloud data security best practices:
1. Monitor all your cloud assets
Keep a close eye on all your applications and assets as your cloud environment becomes more complex. You should be able to check on all your cloud tools at any given moment. AI-powered SIEM monitoring solutions make it easy to maintain total visibility.
2. Leverage advanced encryption
If you want to keep your data safe, you must encrypt it. Cloud encryption tools convert your data into a format that’s indecipherable to bad actors. For the best protection, make sure you encrypt your data when it's being sent or received (in transit) and when it’s staying put (at rest).
Once it’s encrypted, no one can figure out what it is or what it means without the encryption key.
3. Decide who can access what
Managing access (aka access control) is another significant aspect of cloud security. If you give too many people access (or give too much access to the wrong people), you’re putting your data at risk. On the other hand, productivity will suffer if you’re too stingy with access. The goal of IAM is to find a suitable balance.
4. Navigate systems integrations cautiously
Whenever you connect a system or app to your cloud setup, you add another potential entry point for trouble. If you use the wrong systems integration techniques or forget to include solid security for any of your connected apps, you’re leaving the door wide open for hackers.
To avoid that, ensure all your connected tech has top-notch security solutions.
Secure your communication channels with Orderful
Antiquated legacy technologies can undermine your cloud data security strategy and leave your business vulnerable to cybercrime. To eliminate this threat vector, you should sunset aging tech and replace it with modern, fast, and secure platforms — platforms like Orderful.
By integrating Orderful into your cloud infrastructure, you create a safe communication channel between you and your trading partners. Talk to an Orderful expert today to learn more about our fast, cloud-based EDI solution.