Bibhu Krishna, Head IT, PB Group on how data can be fully secured on the cloud, CIO News, ET CIO

By Bibhu Krishna

The technology landscape has changed in the recent past with cloud computing. In today’s digital age, it is becoming the foundation of many businesses. While some organizations are cloud-first, many others are cloud-only. Even those who took a conservative approach to getting started in the cloud have recently started making strides in the cloud. Post-pandemic, the whole work-from-home strategy has also been a major impetus for companies to adopt cloud-driven tools.

If one thing is clear, it’s that only the cloud can meet the needs of emerging businesses. Scalability, availability, and performance are important things every business needs, and that’s what the cloud provides.

On the one hand, however, the cloud empowers companies to achieve their digital transformation and also brings additional risks and responsibilities due to the rapid growth of data. Apart from that, it also means that the data leaves the organization’s premises, which also raises some questions and concerns regarding both cloud and data security.

To ensure the security of this data, better security measures must be taken. And this is where digital transformation, cloud and security practices converge. It must also be understood that security is paramount when corporate data resides in the cloud or when companies allow their customers to self-service their journeys.

How can data be backed up in the cloud?

Before an organization starts planning for security in the cloud, there’s a bit of groundwork to do—a solid foundation needs to be laid. First and foremost, robust governance needs to be put in place. Even if the organization has some of the best technology but lacks the right governance, security issues will always be an issue. So the premise is to have a great security team and leadership built into it. Next, a solid cyber security policy should be in place that clearly states how security should be managed in the cloud and on premises.

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Data security on the software side

On the software side, building proper cybersecurity awareness within the organization is crucial. It is not just the responsibility of the security team to handle overall security practices, it should be the entire organization that should be sensitive to security management and should be equipped with the appropriate tools.

Application security is also a crucial aspect and requires efforts already in the design and development phase. When it comes to application security, it is crucial to have the right encryption of data, whether it resides in the company’s database or is transmitted during a transaction. There are many privacy tools. In fact, the cloud can help companies get these tools that can be easily deployed when needed.

choice of cloud

Another important factor in securing the data in the cloud is choosing the right cloud and understanding the solutions available. For organizations new to the cloud, being selective becomes even more important. Thorough research into the nature of the cloud and the type of security solution it offers is paramount.

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Ultimately, it comes down to implementing the right design and the right architecture. Each step in this process is critical. If you don’t have solid governance and thought leadership in making security decisions, everything will fall apart once they start putting the design and architecture in place.

In order to achieve the right design and architecture, it is important to understand the cloud solutions available in the market and the type of security services they offer. Then the security requirements need to be matched to the solutions provided by the cloud frameworks.

It’s important to understand that you can’t just replicate your on-premises infrastructure and security behavior to the cloud. If you do it like that, it can wreak havoc. Therefore, the security architecture and design must be created with the chosen cloud framework in mind.

network security

Network security is essential for securing data in the cloud, as not everything needs to be disclosed to the end user. Some items may reside only on the company’s private network, which could be an extension of the local network. Identity and access management capabilities can be built that allow the organization to have a Zero Trust network where nobody can actually go inside-out or outside-in.

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Then there are specific devices and software available from the cloud providers. One should have a web firewall to check unauthorized access or unwanted traffic. They should also have proper intrusion prevention and detection systems in place.

Monitoring and Recovery

Once the organizations have their design in place, their proper architecture in place, and their solution up and running, comes the most important part – proper monitoring and some sort of system that detects any kind of outlier in terms of traffic or any unusual activity that happens.

Last but not the least, even if the best practices have been followed, there is a chance that something will go wrong. Therefore, having ways to backup and restore applications is a must. So companies need to put in place business continuity and disaster recovery setups that allow them to recover their entire setup within the predefined RTO and RPO. Also, make sure to test this business continuity setup at least once a year. While the cloud is available to organizations to provide better features and flexibility, it also requires a little extra care and caution when it comes to security.

The author is head of IT at PB Group

Disclaimer: The views expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily endorse them. is not liable for damage caused to persons/organizations directly or indirectly.