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Improve Public Cloud Security

Date posted: 29th September 2015

How can I improve Public Cloud Security?

Also is the Public Cloud secure enough for my business critical application? The answer is yes you can and yes it is.

VPN enabled public clouds such as Amazon Web Services and Rackspace are layer one of security for established SMB companies looking to migrate their applications to Public Cloud but beyond that a full-security plan to ease concerns may include.

6 Steps to Improve Public Cloud Security:

Additional Authentication Layers: As mentioned on top major Public Cloud Service providers such as Amazon Web Services are providing solid authentication layers “out-of-the-box”. But some sensitive apps may benefit from layers on top. SaaS security apps including Halo and others may sit on top of your instance to provide another layer of protection. However IT leaders are warned to balance the need for additional security against reduced performance, and additional points of failure in the stack.

Review your Public Cloud Service or Cloud Managed Services Provider’s SLA: Amazon, Rackspace, Microsoft and other major Public Cloud service providers all provide security and uptime SLA for their clients. It is critical that transparency and mutual understanding exist to ensure IT leaders know what is what. Cloud Managed Services providers can also provide an additional layer of SLA by working closely with Amazon and Microsoft to ensure security exists on top of the application hosting.

Demand Transparency from Cloud Managed Services and Public Cloud Providers:  Beyond the SLA the need for transparency goes far beyond potential data breaches. When you rent hosted server space, there is at least a physical location, a rack and a set of physical servers you can visit (and even touch if you want). With public clouds or Cloud Managed Services, on the other hand, you may not know the exact physical whereabouts of your cloud instances, so all you can rely upon is the information that the Service Provider is making available to you. This is why transparency is critical and SLA must be in the contract agreement.

Add an encryption layer on top of the Public Cloud Provider: You or your Cloud Managed Services provider can also add your very own layer of encryption on top of the Public Cloud. While the Cloud Service Provider will encrypt information that is sent over the public Internet and stored in the public cloud, the provider will be holding the encryption key. This leaves risk outside your organization as the potential for breach is entirely in an outside companies’ hands. A managed services provider can help add an extra layer to ensure the encryption key is only accessible to them and the company.

Spread risk, by diversifying Public Cloud Providers: IT leaders already spread network connection onto redundancy to ensure uptime. Why not do the same for Public Cloud providers. Cloud Manager and other tools can diversify and optimize your Cloud Services both from a cost optimization perspective and security.

Finally, select the right apps for the Public Cloud: most startups and very small business have no issue with moving all of their apps to the Public Cloud. Despite the security recommendations above you as a SMB may not be in the same boat. At the end of the day no (NONE) security providers are perfect and thus sometimes the best way to reduce risk is securing application hosting front to back by utilizing a private or hybrid cloud.

In conclusion Security remains top of mind for all IT and business leaders in the SMB. Analyzing Public Cloud Migration Services with a security mind-frame will ensure you get all the competitive advantages of Public Cloud Managed Services without the risk of being in the news for the wrong reason.

Contact Netfast today if interested in a Cloud Managed Security Assessment