How to stay secure on the cloud even in the most insecure times by Vivian Peng


Cloud computing has completely changed how businesses deliver products and services online. It has given organizations of all sizes the ability to get enterprise-grade IT infrastructure that’s flexible enough to accommodate growth without the upfront costs associated with traditional infrastructures.

However, despite all the benefits of the cloud, security is still a concern for organizations who decide to make the switch. In this article, we’ll explore how you can stay secure on the cloud even in the most insecure times.

Choose the right cloud provider

A secure infrastructure starts with choosing the right cloud service provider. Given its history and leading market, AWS is often touted as the best cloud solution for organizations who want to get up and running quickly. You should take the time to explore available options that best match your business goals and infrastructure requirements.

If you need help choosing a service, you can hire an IT consulting firm to help you make the best decision for you. For example, they can help enterprises and startups move to the cloud, whether it is setting up continuous integration / continuous delivery pipelines, or automating, building and managing cloud infrastructure, or migrating existing on-prem apps to cloud-native.

Use fewer storage locations

The majority of data breaches occur when companies store their data across several servers in different locations. Every additional server and data storage site not only increases costs, but it also increases your risk of getting exposed to security threats.

Key to securing your cloud infrastructure is to limit the number of data storage locations used, and the number of devices that have access to your data. This will reduce the likelihood of your customers’ sensitive information ending up in the wrong hands.

Limit employee access

Adjusting the privileges of employees in your organization is another effective way of protecting your cloud environment from security threats. You can accomplish this by implementing strong passwords for computers and servers and limiting the amount of access an employee has when viewing sensitive client data.

For example, we have implemented strategies that give IT teams the ability to provision resources for employees without giving them access to the cloud (like AWS). This helps you ensure compliance with corporate standards, while assisting employees to quickly find and deploy approved IT services all while limiting direct access to the cloud provider, which helps with security and cost.

Use change management

It’s also critical for organizations to develop policies for removing outdated data from the cloud to prevent any misuse of sensitive information. Doing so will significantly reduce the threat of account hijackings and malicious insiders.

For highly-regulated industries like financial services and healthcare, compliance is a mandatory requirement for operations. Organizations must demonstrate that they follow processes and practices that provide oversight into user access levels, authorized and unauthorized system configuration changes, and unusual system activity. These issues become increasingly complex as you move to cloud, so consider implementing a change management process.

Leverage data encryption

Data encryption is an excellent way to stay secure on the cloud, especially if your organization needs to meet specific industry compliance requirements such as HIPAA compliance for healthcare, PCI DSS compliance for e-commerce and retail, and SOX for financial reporting. Keep in mind that the encryption you use needs to not only secure your data but also deliver strong computing performance for optimal data availability and reliability.

When used in conjunction with other security tools in your infrastructure, encryption can provide your organization with layered-defense that ensures your data stays safe, even when accessed by unauthorized individuals.

If you have tips about cloud security, please share them in the comments below.

About the author:

Vivian Peng has been a customer success manager at nClouds since 2016. She has over 10 years of experience in managing teams, projects and logistics. She is passionate about everything related with project planning and management, resource management, requirements building and process creation.


September 12, 2017


Hakin9 TEAM
Hakin9 is a monthly magazine dedicated to hacking and cybersecurity. In every edition, we try to focus on different approaches to show various techniques - defensive and offensive. This knowledge will help you understand how most popular attacks are performed and how to protect your data from them. Our tutorials, case studies and online courses will prepare you for the upcoming, potential threats in the cyber security world. We collaborate with many individuals and universities and public institutions, but also with companies such as Xento Systems, CATO Networks, EY, CIPHER Intelligence LAB, redBorder, TSG, and others.
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