Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Cloud computing — The first step to an effective data modernization strategy

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Many organizations realize the benefits that lie within the data they collect daily. This modern approach to data empowers businesses to leverage data for innovation and monetization while at the same time enhancing security and privacy. While this may seem like a conundrum as companies have traditionally buried their data deep into IT architecture to prevent it from being accessible, even by the employees, today it is possible to have the best of both. This process starts with the cloud.

The healthcare sector is witnessing a swift surge in cloud adoption. By 2028, it is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.74 percent. This trend of rapid adoption can be seen in the financial services sector too, where organizations are moving to the cloud at an accelerated pace.

One study revealed that 91 percent of organizations within the financial sector are either currently using cloud technology or planning to engage with it, marking a significant increase from the figures reported four years earlier.

Despite the escalating adoption of public cloud platforms, many organizations still express their concerns about the security and confidentiality of their data in the cloud environment. Uncertainty often arises about the extent of a cloud provider’s duty in safeguarding customer data, the destination of the data once migrated into the cloud as well as additional data security strategies beyond the public cloud vendors’ offerings.

To overcome this fear, there are four essential steps to consider when assessing the security of data in the cloud.

The Advanced Security Measures of Cloud Providers

Public cloud providers play a pivotal role in maintaining a secure and resilient infrastructure. This encompasses maintaining secure data centers and ensuring their cloud services’ reliability and high availability. However, the role of these providers doesn’t stop at infrastructure security. Though it falls upon customers to secure the data they transfer to the cloud, providers step up to offer a suite of optional security services. They provide users with enhanced data protection and access management control.

Adhering to Data Sovereignty in the Cloud

In sectors where regulation is stringent, or in jurisdictions with tight controls on data privacy, maintaining compliance is vital. This is particularly important for businesses obligated to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as they must navigate stringent rules about the storage and transfer of customer information across borders. These organizations must ensure that any Personally Identifiable Information (PII) transferred to the cloud is handled in a manner that meets data sovereignty requirements. This includes limiting the ability to view sovereign data outside of the region.

Security Certifications Offered by the Cloud Providers

For many organizations, their cloud provider must adhere to specific security best practices and can demonstrate that they are compliant with security certifications relevant to their industry. For example, public sector and government organizations require that cloud providers are FedRAMP certified before moving data and workloads to the cloud.

Mastering Compliance and Security of Data

The security capabilities offered by some cloud vendors are robust and for enterprises, these offerings are enough to satisfy their data security requirements. However, businesses that need superior data security may find it beneficial to collaborate with data protection vendors. Such partnerships can significantly improve data integrity, offer more robust defense mechanisms against cyber threats, allowing the safe handling of sensitive data. It is especially important for organizations in highly regulated industries such as financial services, insurance, healthcare, and retail. Organizations in these fields often mandate complete data encryption before data migrates to the cloud. Therefore, once data is hosted in the cloud, these businesses need to implement the highest possible data protection standards to safeguard sensitive information, minimize breach risks and comply with industry regulations.

Navigating the Cloud: A Secure Data Utilization

Organizations within different sectors can leverage cloud migration to significantly enhance operational efficiency. The transition of sensitive data to the cloud not only boosts data accessibility for businesses globally but also ensures the system’s ability to handle growing transaction volumes without compromising performance. Therefore, they can migrate to the cloud securely to reap the benefits of a data-driven business that accelerates innovation, AI initiatives, and business intelligence. This modern approach to data not only empowers organizations to leverage data for innovation and monetization it also helps to keep it secure from possible threats.

Image Credit: Wayne Williams

Alasdair Anderson is VP at Protegrity.

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