data security in cloud computing


Once upon a time, corporations housed their data on their own physical servers in their own data centers that they operated and maintained. Today's technology allows companies to outsource the expensive task of housing data to offsite computer centers operated by third parties. Organizations in nearly every global industry now utilize these cloud computing services, and the demand is increasing as businesses become more reliant on technology.  

Fortune Business Insights forecasts that the cloud computing market size will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 20% from 2023 to 2030. As organizations worldwide become increasingly dependent on the cloud for their technology needs, the necessity of cloud computing data security becomes more pronounced. 

What Is Cloud Computing Data Security? 

As organizations realize the numerous benefits and efficiencies of cloud computing, they are becoming increasingly aware of the risks that accompany the use of this platform. Use of the cloud eliminates the traditional network structure and its associated security strategies, requiring organizations to take a different approach that addresses plausible threats as well as complex data governance and the new security models that are required. 

Cloud computing data security includes the policies, services, technologies, and security controls used to shield cloud-based systems and related data from leakage, loss, or misuse through hacking and other forms of unauthorized access. All cloud security procedures should focus on the same core principles as traditional information security, ensuring data availability, data confidentiality, and data integrity. 

An effective cloud computing data security program should include the following elements of data security issues in cloud computing: 

  • Control on-demand access to data by all approved devices, software, and users 
  • Ensure privacy and security of data elements across all applicable networks and within data security cloud environments 
  • Provide transparency and visibility of all relevant data housed on the cloud network through activity monitoring, threat detection, and real-time usage alerts. 

A robust cloud computing data security strategy will protect data of all types, including the following: 

  • Data in use: User authentication and controlled access can protect data currently in use by an endpoint or application. 
  • Data at rest: Restricted access and user authentication can protect data stored in any location on the network. 
  • Data in motion: Encryption and other messaging security methods can ensure the safety of confidential, proprietary, or sensitive data as it traverses through the network. 


Common Risks to Data in the Cloud 

While cloud-based computing yields a multitude of important benefits to organizations, the system includes significant challenges that are increasing in frequency and severity. A 2022 report concluded that 45% of businesses utilizing cloud-based technology experienced a data breach, which is an increase of 5% over 2021. Businesses may face a variety of risks when storing information in the cloud, including the following: 

Organizations must maintain compliance with government regulations such as the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). When data security in cloud computing is a factor, inherent security risks create challenges to maintaining regulatory compliance. 

Cloud security breaches can result in significant financial losses due to business disruption, reputation loss, theft, ransom demands, and the cost of mitigation. A 2022 report by IBM estimates that 45% of data breaches are cloud-based and the average cost of a data breach in the United States is $4.35 million. 

Cloud computing services sometimes include URLs used for file uploads and downloads. These URLs are generally accessible to the public, which could result in data leaks if the proper data security cloud computing strategies, such as encryption and access restriction, are not utilized. 

Despite the redundant capabilities of cloud service providers (CSPs), some do not provide backups to data which risks loss caused by bad actors and mistakes. As a result, businesses are at an increased risk of data loss if they fail to conduct their own data backup processes. 

When customers share personally identifiable information with an organization, they trust that company to safeguard their sensitive data. If a security breach results in compromised data, the victimized organization's reputation suffers, customer goodwill is lost, and the company may be liable for expensive mitigation costs. Companies that choose to comply with SOC2 data management standards are better-equipped to protect their customer’s confidentiality in the event of a breach and, by extension, their own professional reputations. 

How To Protect Data in the Cloud

Organizations must understand the vulnerabilities inherent in cloud-based computing services before entrusting their information to third-party providers.  Cloud Solution Providers should demonstrate effective cloud computing data security processes to provide the highest level of protection against costly and damaging data breaches. Following these data protection best practices keeps sensitive data confidential, safeguards data integrity, and ensures data availability even in the event of a disaster. 
How to protect data in the cloud

Comprehensive monitoring grants visibility over the entire cloud and, coupled with thoughtfully-configured alerts, helps to ensure the detection of a bad actor the moment they breach the network’s defenses. In 20% of data breaches, a bad actor can gain access to an environment for several months before detection. Placing in-depth monitoring and alerts at the forefront of the cloud’s defenses helps mitigate this possibility. 

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a process that requires a user to provide multiple verification elements in order to access an online account, application, or VPN. This type of cloud computing data security is an important, baseline component of an effective identity and access management policy. By requiring more than one verification factor, MFA protects data confidentiality by preventing illegal access and reducing the likelihood that a cyber attack may occur. 

Firewalls are used to protect cloud applications by monitoring the network's incoming and outgoing traffic. Harmful elements are filtered using a set of security rules and then blocked from accessing the network. Firewalls provide an additional layer of cloud computing data security, preventing would-be hackers from accessing and exploiting the data stored within cloud applications.  Unlike on-premise environments, cloud infrastructures allow firewalling between every service.  Expertise in a particular cloud environment is required to properly implement this. 

Encryption is the process of transforming data to make it unreadable to anyone without the key and prevents unauthorized users from gaining access. Encryption services are not universally offered across cloud service providers. However, with the high level of cloud computing data security provided by encryption, it is important to use it to protect the most sensitive and highest-priority data. 

An important aspect of cloud computing data security involves the intentional disposal of corrupt data as well as sensitive data that is no longer needed to be housed in the cloud. Allowing sensitive data to remain in cloud storage indefinitely creates substantial risk to the organization, necessitating a protocol for deleting this data. The disposal process should be based on an established expiration date based on the information's necessity, regulatory requirements, and additional relevant parameters. 

Data recovery processes are an additional level of data security for cloud computing. Because data loss can occur for a variety of reasons, backup processes are vitally important to ensure lost data can be quickly and easily recovered. Backup procedures should comprehensively cover every operating system and all applicable data and software.  

Periodic testing is also advisable to ensure backups are successful and reliable. Finally, separating backup data into its own storage with distinct access permissions is critical to ensuring a bad actor cannot compromise backups in an effort to hold your data for ransom. 


How iuvo Implements Data Security in Cloud Computing for Businesses 

Implementing a solid cloud computing data security strategy is critical for any business to safeguard its sensitive data, protect its financial position, and maintain its reputation. Absence of a strong strategy means it is likely that the company will become the victim of ransomware, phishing, or other cyber attack over time. iuvo has years of experience working with business leaders to develop effective data security strategies and programs. 


Unique Approach By iuvo  

iuvo creates 360-degree data security solutions to protect organizations from cyberattacks by implementing the following safeguards: 

  • Our Defense in Depth technology strategy creates a stronger cloud computing data security shield around the organization, making it more difficult to penetrate. 
  • Ongoing training helps employees to identify and block initial attempts by cybercriminals. 
  • Mitigation policies reduce the likelihood of successful social engineering tactics utilized by hackers. 
  • Constant monitoring and alerting allows our staff to quickly mitigate the impact if outer defenses are breached.  


Harness the Cloud's Full Potential with iuvo 

iuvo helps businesses to take advantage of the full power available from using cloud computing. We provide reliable, flexible, secure, and cost-efficient solutions to fit the needs of each unique organization. We can assist with the following activities: 

  • Create, upgrade, or replace IT infrastructure 
  • Add flexibility, scalability, and redundancy to existing IT systems 
  • Harness the talent of a global workforce with cloud computing for remote work 

Utilization of cloud computing offers numerous benefits to organizations. iuvo has the expert capability and in-depth knowledge of cloud solutions to help organizations create a tailored cloud computing data security program to fit their unique needs. Our technical expertise is matched by our strong commitment to customer service. We work tirelessly to provide a comprehensive business solution to enable organizations to harness the benefits of cloud computing. 


Why iuvo?

iuvo’s seasoned IT experts have dedicated years to learning the ins and outs of all things cloud. Whether you are migrating applications over to the cloud, or starting fresh, we’re versed in the industry knowledge needed to make sure your cloud solution is architecture properly to meet your business needs.  Our knowledge is expansive, and we make sure to align our cloud service recommendations with your business goals while keeping future expansion in mind.
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