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  1. Data Security Practices for Common Cloud Applications

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    Security for Cloud Models and Cloud Applications

    Recent reports from North Bridge reveal that 75 percent of companies are now using cloud computing. The agility and scalability that it allows are some of the primary drivers for workplace adoption. Cloud computing is not only for start up businesses either – an increasing amount of enterprise class businesses are using it too according to Gartner, Inc. Almost half of large enterprises will have hybrid deployments by the end of 2017.

    Cloud Models:

    When it comes to securing the cloud, a company must take into account what type of model it is using and what services will it provide.

    • Public: Cloud service provider provides security.
    • Private: Enterprise controls and manages the security of the cloud.
    • Hybrid: Mixes some benefits of private and public cloud to allow for operability of public cloud with control of private environments.

    More companies are tapping into these services to increase their competitive edge. More than a third of companies expect hybrid deployment to become the norm in the next five years.

    Cloud Applications:

    The top enterprise uses for the cloud are:

    • Infrastructure as a service (Iaas) – 45% of enterprise respondents in the “Future of Cloud Computing Survey” are using Iaas for the virtual hardware capabilities it provides.
    • Platform as a service (Paas) – 31% are using Paas for development and testing of platforms in a virtual environment.
    • Software as a service (Saas) – 63% are using web-based software services to allow for easier access, data exchange and other pertinent activities.

    So far, the majority of applications are implemented to further business operations as opposed to IT operations. But, the fastest growth will be in IT applications.

    Security for Both Cloud Models and Cloud Applications:

    Security is the primary concern for companies adopting cloud-based applications. Security policies and practices should fit the cloud and should align with the needs of a company. To get started, here are a few best practices for businesses to keep in mind when building a cloud security strategy:

    Secure Passwords

    In the aftermath of the Heartbleed bug and other cyber threats, password protection is at the forefront of online security. Having a strong password for your business applications may seem like a simple tactic, but it is a top priority. By following some key principles, you can keep passwords from being compromised.

    Data Encryption

    Although a larger percentage of users encrypt data in transit, a small 27 percent use encryption in the cloud. Encryption is crucial to keep vital company information safe from possible prying eyes.

    Alternate Data Storage

    If you are still hesitant to store sensitive information on the cloud, then don’t. Although the cloud has evolved a lot since its early days, it still has a while to go before it reaches its full efficiency. You can still use an open-source platform for some operations. And you can store your sensitive company data in another location.

    With the increased use of cloud computing, the importance of network reliability and security has increased. Business Internet providers must have secure, fast, and reliable infrastructures. This will support the growing number of businesses relying on web-based services.

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