Due to the changing demands in business operations, the achievement of better performance, integrity, and far better accessibility of data for any organization’s proprietary information is very vital. Cloud computing is very appealing, considering its economic viability. In the execution of applications in the cloud, security becomes a priority concern, especially for tasks that affect the achievement of an entire organization’s goals.
With a specific focus on key management, cloud security is sure to be one of the main questions asked by any enterprise as it considers moving applications and storing data in the cloud. The concept of cloud computing is full of complex considerations as organizations first begin their journey. How will their all-important keys be managed, and will the data be encrypted to a high standard?
Cloud providers assume key management in a very critical view. Multiple solutions store credentials inside and outside the cloud within a secure infrastructure depending upon the purchasing organization’s cloud security needs. Plenty of providers are very concerned with the security of information both from the legal and data intrusion perspective. Is the data encrypted to a level sufficient to avoid access by potential hackers?
Is it possible for an independent attorney to provide a legal instrument such as a subpoena to gain access to data through the cloud system? Some cloud security providers maintain organizational system separation. This would be protecting a system from being accessed by a third party through an integrated system that would be key to preventing data from being compromised. Some key management and cloud security items to consider:
1. Advanced Encryption Standards should be used for keys to protect from acts of malicious intent. All customer encryption and authentication credentials should be stored in an AES256-encrypted database with no encryption keys stored in the credentials management zone.
2. Every customer should have unique access keys to prevent encroachment on others’ data.
3. Keys should be stored outside the cloud infrastructure provider and only used when necessary. The public cloud infrastructure should be viewed as hostile territory.
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4. Not one cloud provider or provider for management solutions should access sensitive information or keys.
5. When it comes to sensitive information, there is a high need to consider backup encryption and file systems.
Sustainability is essential as it pertains to the day-to-day operations of a cloud security company. A meaningful and logical solution is required when it comes to key management.
Appropriate questions must be asked of a cloud service provider, and selecting an appropriate partner should only be made based on a clear understanding of the integrity of the entire solution. The process of hosting, administering, and allowing access to the relevant keys should be clear-cut and watertight.
The benefits of public cloud infrastructures have been well documented; scale, flexibility, and reduced capital expenses & operational costs. Cloud security will continue to evolve and improve and be a high priority for an enterprise with tight IT policies and procedures. A wider acceptance and mainstreaming of the concept of cloud security is expected, along with its increased benefits.