Not so long ago, the cape of innovation rested solely upon the shoulders of large enterprises—partially because only they could afford proprietary hardware and other CapEx intensive IT infrastructure.
That was until the advent of cloud technology—which truly leveled the playing field. Now companies, irrespective of their size or tech expertise, could leverage and afford most computing resources.
Today more than two-thirds of organizations leverage cloud tech in one way or another.
However, irrespective of what the headlines might lead you to think, most cloud platforms have undergone significant reordering in recent times—accredited to these massive ongoing workspace experimentations.
The present-day cloud rush raises an obvious but important question—how confident are you about your CSPs capability to maintain data integrity, confidentiality, and availability?
Data Encryption: I Already Know Enough
Let’s start with a basic premise.
Why do I need encryption services? My CSP offers encryption too, and it’s been doing okay so far.
The question is obvious and repetitive—yet crucial.
I’d like to believe that your CSP is providing some sort of data encryption to safeguard your data. Considering this scenario, let me ask you a different question —do you know what data is encrypted, at what time, and in which way?
In most cases (if not all), the data, despite being encrypted at the source, needs to be decrypted by the CSP upon hitting the cloud instance—for obvious computational and operational purposes.
This is the point of vulnerability where your data loses its confidentiality—and you should be concerned because you might be one incident away from violating hefty fine levying regulations such as GDPR, FIPS, PCI DSS, etc.
The idea is not to panic and rather understand the different ways in which you can have greater control over your data residing in and moving between the clouds and different environments.
Greater Cloud Control= Heightened Security
So where do you stand in terms of having control of your cloud data? Businesses have various options, but most of them are restrained by hardware and the services they’re forged for. Here is how you can power your cloud security in a cloud-native manner.
1. Cloud Native Encryption
Most present-day services are stitched from the cloud fabric—why should data encryption be any different?
Is the traditional idea of security foolproof beyond the point of improvement? Or is it simply the lack of competition that could drive meaningful innovation? Maybe, both. The intrinsic element of data security comes from the immutability of their hardware—considered less susceptible to a hack than software but heavily constraining the security architecture.
However, a cloud-native encryption approach frees your data security architecture from severe hardware and scalability limitations and takes a la carte approach to data security services—at the click of a button.
2. Cloud-Native Key Management
Why does key management always make it to every data/ cloud security checklist? Given the broad range of data and applications it applies to, and how pervasively it’s used—makes it very lucrative for cyber pirates. Also, a KMS is pivotal to the availability of multiple other systems.
Most major cloud vendors, such as AWS or GCP, practice a shared security model, wherein the CSP and the customer work together to roll out the security measures. The CSP secures its infrastructure, and customers secure their cloud data.
Cloud-native key management systems offer organizations of any size and complexity a low-cost option for meeting their needs for key management, particularly for cloud services within the same provider.
The BYOK model allows the customers to generate the keys themselves and upload them to the cloud provider’s KMS. To take security a notch higher, they’re additional external layers to BYOK schemes to provide key management within the CSP’s interface without the CSP ever storing or controlling the keys themselves.
The Google Cloud External Key Management (EKM) Program would be a good example here. It allows customers to manage access to their externally managed keys, whether the data they protect resides in the cloud or on-prem.
Closing Note: How Can Fortanix Help?
Even with your CSPs and your best efforts combined, there likely will be security vulnerabilities in your organization. It could be an employee, a third-party vendor working on your confidential data, or some other weak link who falls prey to some sort of malicious actor.
Your best bet to thwart such condition is to secure the element of interest itself, rather than beefing up the fence around it. Encryption is the panacea to data security.
With Fortanix enterprises can securely generate, store, and use cryptographic keys and certificates, as well as secrets, such as passwords, API keys, tokens, or any type of sensitive data. The Fortanix distributed scale-out architecture provides scalable performance on demand and simplified operations with built-in synchronization, high availability, and disaster recovery across on-premises, hybrid, and public cloud locations.
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