Cloud Data Security and Compliance – What You Need to Know

cloud data security
January 30, 2024

Cloud data security and compliance are critical to managing and protecting data stored in cloud computing environments. As businesses increasingly rely on cloud services for storing sensitive data, ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of this data becomes a top priority. 

Cloud data security includes a range of practices and technologies designed to safeguard data from unauthorized access, security breaches, and other cyberthreats. On the other hand, compliance refers to the adherence to various regulatory requirements and standards that govern data protection and privacy.  

Together, cloud data security and compliance create the backbone of a solid cloud security strategy, helping organizations mitigate risk, protect customer data, and maintain trust in an increasingly digital world.   

Cloud Adoption and Associated Data Security Risks  

Cloud data security protects digital assets from cybersecurity threats, whether from hackers, insider threats, or human error. Private cloud security or hybrid cloud security (and all types of data centers in cloud computing) aims to keep your data accessible to the correct personnel while keeping it confidential in all environments. 

What is Cloud Data Security?  

Cloud data security safeguards data that’s stored or transmitted to and from the cloud from potential security threats, unauthorized access, theft, and corruption. It relies on physical security measures, technological tools, access management and controls, and organizational policies to ensure cloud-based data security. It applies to all types of data centers in cloud computing. 

Common Threats in Cloud Computing  

 Cybersecurity threats continue to escalate, but cloud computing presents additional vulnerabilities that demand attention.  

The most common forms of threats include: 

  1. Data breaches: Unauthorized access to sensitive data stored in the cloud can lead to significant financial and reputational damage.  
  2. Insufficient identity, credential, and access management: Inadequate identity and access management practices can allow unauthorized users to access sensitive data or cloud resources.  
  3. Insecure interfaces and APIs: Cloud services are accessed through interfaces and APIs, which, if not securely designed and managed, can become a significant vulnerability point. Attackers can exploit these interfaces to gain unauthorized access or disrupt services.  
  4. System vulnerabilities: vulnerabilities within the cloud service provider’s infrastructure, such as unpatched software or misconfigured systems, can be exploited by attackers to gain access, escalate privileges, or affect service availability.  
  5. Account hijacking: Phishing, fraud, and software exploits can lead to account hijacking, where attackers gain control over cloud accounts. Once they gain access, they can manipulate data, redirect clients to illegitimate sites, and even use the hijacked account to launch further cyberattacks.   

These cyberthreats represent just some of the numerous threats you must recognize, enabling you to enact optimal cloud data security and compliance measures.  

Best Practices for Ensuring Data Security in the Cloud  

These potential cyberthreats can be an excellent reason to be concerned about protecting your data.  However, here are a few best practices you can do to ensure your data is secure. 

  • Choose a reliable cloud service provider, like DartPoints 
  • Understand the shared responsibilities between all parties 
  • Use exceptional authentication techniques 
  • Protect all data, whether it travels or sits in your cloud storage 
  • Use encryption 
  • Create access controls 
  • Monitor all cloud activity 

This falls under the same guidelines as information security and data governance. In other words, your best practices should provide access to company personnel while protecting your data from unwanted cybercriminals, ensuring data is trustworthy, and maintaining confidentiality of all information. 

Implementing Cloud Security Measures  

Now that we understand the best practices for cloud security, how do we implement these measures? 

Talk to your cloud service provider (CSP) to fully understand your organization’s responsibilities as it pertains to security. Ensure you ask specific and detailed questions by leaving no stone unturned.  

Train your staff accordingly. Ensure your staff knows how to identify and respond to cybersecurity risks, create strong passwords, and refrain from using unauthorized tools or software. 

Secure all endpoints by using: 

  • Firewalls 
  • Intrusion detection 
  • Antivirus Software 
  • Access control panels 
  • VPNs 
  • Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) 

These security measures protect all types of data centers in cloud computing. However, that doesn’t mean your cloud security measures are compliant. Let’s dive into what we mean by cloud security compliance below. 

Compliance in the Cloud  

Cloud compliance refers to adhering to regulatory standards for using cloud services per guidelines established by the industry and local, national, and international laws.  

Some standard requirements include the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe. 

 It applies to safeguarding data centers, private clouds, and hybrid cloud environments. In essence, it pertains to securing all types of data centers in cloud computing.  

Cloud security compliance is more than just advanced security. Moreover, it’s a set of regulatory standards that meets industry best practices, legal standards, and contractual obligations. These requirements also assist with data protection by default and gain customer trust while providing risk management.  

By complying with cloud security standards, you reduce errors in data and help mitigate risks. 

Navigating Cloud Compliance Regulations  

Cloud compliance regulations depend on several factors. At the start of your cloud journey, meeting with your CSP to discuss regulatory compliance is crucial. 

The cloud service providers play an essential role in meeting cloud compliance requirements. CSPs provide various security features and controls, including data encryption, identity and access management, network access controls, and security monitoring, to help organizations meet all requirements your organization requires. 

However, how do we ensure you meet cloud compliance? There are a couple of critical ways to ensure cloud compliance. 

Compliance can be met and maintained by utilizing a governance body to oversee your organization’s security objectives and independent third-party audits.  Additionally, a governance authority can implement technical controls to protect cloud-based systems and data and establish security policies your organization should use. 

Furthermore, audits are an equally important way to regulate and check for compliance. CSPs must undergo independent audits and certifications to ensure compliance with industry regulations, security standards, and best practices. Therefore, these verifications must be provided to stakeholders. 

Secure the Future of Your Business with Trusted Cloud Data Security and Compliance 

Cloud data security and compliance represent critical pillars of modern digital infrastructure, essential for safeguarding sensitive information and maintaining trust in cloud-based systems. As organizations increasingly migrate their operations and data storage to the cloud, the implementation of robust security measures and adherence to regulatory standards have become significant.  

The dynamic nature of cloud technology and evolving regulatory landscapes necessitate ongoing vigilance and adaptability in security and compliance strategies. Ultimately, a comprehensive approach to cloud data security and compliance ensures legal and ethical obligations are met and fortifies the foundation between service providers and their clients.  

With DartPoints, you can secure your cloud data with confidence. Our team of experts can give you peace of mind knowing that the latest security technologies and compliance protocols protect your data.  Therefore, don’t let concerns about cloud data security and compliance hold your business back.  

Contact us today. Learn more about how we can help you navigate the complexities of cloud security and compliance with ease.