cloud security challenges

The Top 3 Cloud Security Challenges

Cloud Security, Compliance

Written by Chenxi Wang

cloud security challenges

These days, just about every enterprise understands that the cloud is not an option but a business imperative. Cloud computing—especially turnkey public cloud computing through enterprise-grade applications like those offered by global cloud leaders Salesforce, Google, and Microsoft—can dramatically accelerate innovation and increase availability, responsiveness, and productivity across an entire organization. But with cloud computing come cloud security challenges. In an age of mega data breaches and heavy compliance burdens, businesses must make sure they understand those challenges and the solutions before they make the leap into the cloud. Here are the top three cloud security challenges identified in recent CipherCloud customer research.

cloud security - compliance with data privacy regulations

  1. Compliance with data privacy regulations

National, regional, and industry-specific data privacy regulations have become more and more commonplace in recent years. Typically, these regulations impose restrictions on the collection and use of consumer data and mandate specific protections to maintain the privacy of that data. Noncompliance can result in heavy fines, especially when consumer data is exposed. Unfortunately for enterprises adopting the cloud, data privacy regulations can rapidly become an overwhelming tangle, especially when industry standards like PCI DSS or GLBA must be taken into account along with laws like the data privacy laws enacted by 47 U.S. states or the European Union’s Data Privacy Directives.

cloud security - internal security policy adherence

  1. Internal security policy adherence

Along with national, regional, and industry-specific data privacy regulations, corporations must also contend with their own internal security policies, which often govern data access and use on a much more minute and detailed level. Internal security policies are relatively easy to enforce when confined to the narrow realm of on-premises infrastructure, but today’s mobilized and cloud-reliant business world rarely allows corporate data to remain on premises. Concerns over the effectiveness of internal policy enforcement mechanisms when applied to the cloud are among the most significant facing organizations’ cloud initiatives.

cloud security - data residency adherence

  1. Data residency adherence

Filling out our list of the top three cloud security challenges is data residency. The major cloud infrastructure, platform, and service providers don’t operate out of single data centers, but rather from a complex network of data centers located all around the world. This distribution of resources ensures that customers can experience low latency and high availability of the services they’ve purchased, but it can come at a cost when customer data is physically stored in regions whose data privacy laws and regulations conflict with those of the jurisdiction in which the customer operates. The ongoing court battle between Microsoft and the U.S. government over data housed in Ireland clearly illustrates the data residency challenges that cloud computing can create.

Luckily for organizations anxious to address cloud security challenges like these, solutions do exist, and those solutions are effective enough for even the most privacy-conscious verticals to adopt.

Next Steps

To learn more about enterprise cloud adoption, challenges, and security solutions, download our research report, “Global Cloud Data Security Report: The Authority on How to Protect Data in the Cloud Q1 2015,” today.