Why Is Data Center Security Important in the Cloud?
Digital transformation, characterized by rapid digitization and the shift to the cloud, is increasingly becoming popular across industries. And while this comes with several benefits such as cost optimization, scalability, and increased efficiency, it does pose several cybersecurity risks.
Fortunately, several cloud service providers offer high-end security measures to keep their clients' data safe from potential attacks. Below, we've explored the ins and outs of data center security in the cloud and the steps you can take to ensure your company data and applications are well protected.
What Is Data Center Security and Why You Should Care?
Datacenter security is the practice of protecting the core components of a data center from unauthorized access, theft, or corruption. All the data center components come in contact with sensitive data, and it's necessary to keep them safe and secured.
Over the years, data center security has risen to the top of the corporate agenda. Thanks to the many cases of cyber-attacks. According to Statista, data loss/leakage is a primary concern cited by 64% of research respondents. Other challenges include data privacy issues, accidental exposure of sensitive information, and legal & regulatory compliance.
Your company's data center is a gateway to all the vital data about your clients, employees, finances, suppliers, vendors, etc. Losing control of this data can be detrimental to your business. This is especially true if you don't have a backup, which could mean shutting down the business. That said, securing your data center will give you some peace of mind knowing that all the critical pieces of information are safe from any possible threat.
Data centers can be categorized into two types, on-premises, and third-party cloud data centers. From these two types, we get two categories of data center security: on-premises data center security and third-party cloud data center security. Below is a quick overview of the two.
On-Premises Data Center Security
For data centers housed inside the business premises, maintaining physical security and virtual/software security is the business owner's responsibility. Besides choosing a safe location free from natural disasters, you should also invest in the right data center security to restrict physical access to the hardware components. It's also advisable to have automated cybersecurity and compliance software to help identify and fix security vulnerabilities.
Third-Party Data Center Security
If the data center is hosted and managed by a third party, you won't do the heavy lifting. However, you'll still need to secure the communication link that connects your organization's network with that of your service provider.
How to Maintain Data Center Security
Based on the type of data center you are using in your organization, the level of security you’ll need to maintain may vary. As stated earlier, third-party cloud service providers will handle nearly everything for you, except for the hardware and software you’ll be using to access the service provider’s network.
If you have your data center on-premises, it’s also possible to provide the highest level of security. To achieve the best results, you may need to spend more on data center security solutions and top talent, but this is always worth the investment.
Similarly, if your business runs a hybrid cloud infrastructure with on-premises and cloud deployments, you'll need to make cloud security a significant part of your operational strategy. Here are some ways you can maintain data center security in your organization.
Conduct Regular Audits
Regular internal audits can help identify any security vulnerabilities in your cloud infrastructure before they mature into real threats. Your expert internal IT staff can run the audits, or you can hire a cybersecurity firm to help you scan for vulnerabilities. Some areas to prioritize include access control systems, electronic locks & passwords, privilege access management, etc. You also want to ensure that an immediate update follows any job role changes in operational procedures and systems.
Rethink Your Access Control Systems
Once you've done a comprehensive audit of your organization, you should develop ways to improve access control in the more vulnerable areas. For instance, you may consider using the biometric system or enhancing video surveillance in the server room to tighten security.
Enforce Security Measures, Employee Training and Awareness
To ensure compliance with the security measures and guidelines designed to boost data center security, you'll need to enforce strict policies where people are accountable for their actions. This should also be accompanied by employee training and education programs to boost organizational-wide awareness of data center security and cybersecurity as a whole.
Invest in Data Center Infrastructure
Another critical step to boosting data center security is having the resources necessary to maintain the highest level of protection. This includes the primary data center infrastructure, such as hardware and software solutions. Ensure that all the equipment is high-quality, modern, and efficient for the best results. The software solutions should be updated regularly to avoid zero-day attacks common with operating systems, web browsers, open-source components, and IoT devices.
Invest in Top Cybersecurity Talent
Whether you are operating an on-premises, cloud, or hybrid data center, it's always necessary to have a competent cybersecurity expert in-house. Investing in high-end tech and cybersecurity solutions is great but achieving data center security will still be a tall order without the right talent to leverage those tools. So always prioritize hiring, onboarding, and retaining top cybersecurity talent to help guide your organization in the right direction as far as cloud security is concerned.
Nurture Security-First Culture
Cybersecurity and organizational culture are highly correlated since human errors account for nearly 95% of cybersecurity breaches. If your employees are more aware and vigilant on cybersecurity matters, you'll reduce the chances of a cyberattack occurring. By making cloud security a part of the company culture, employees will better understand and value cybersecurity ethics. This helps employees live these values throughout the organization.
Whether on-premises or in the cloud, every data center is vulnerable to cyberattacks. It's, therefore, necessary to prioritize cybersecurity at all points by identifying loopholes and taking the appropriate action.
On-premises data centers offer more control over your data allowing you to take specific and even advanced security measures. However, this can be costly, and most organizations may not access the necessary resources and skills.
On the other hand, most cloud providers offer a higher level of security thanks to the adequate resources and expertise in the cloud security niche. However, this comes with reduced control over your data and has forced some organizations to adopt a hybrid cloud that combines on-premises and cloud data center solutions. Others also use multi-cloud solutions that combine public cloud and in-house private cloud deployments.
Regardless of the data center infrastructure you choose, cybersecurity is necessary to keep your sensitive data safe and secure while keeping up with the rapidly changing regulatory landscape.