Hosting services, whether it is normal traditional or Cloud hosting, are there for a single reason. However, cloud hosting differs from traditional hosting as the prior hosts the applications and websites using cloud resources, whereas the latter deploy them using a single server. A network of virtual and physical cloud servers connected gets the hosting job done, ensuring greater flexibility and scalability.
Cloud hosting allows the application or the website and the data associated with spread across multiple interconnected servers. All these servers exist virtually. Here, you can get in-depth knowledge about cloud hosting and its data security, what are the tools used in cloud hosting to provide high-end security for your confidential data that also includes benefits with the cloud servers. Also, understand the things to consider while choosing the best hosting service that satisfies all your needs.
Read: What is Cloud hosting? How does it exactly work?
Decoding Cloud Hosting Security
If you have any myths or prejudgments on cloud hosting, we clearly state that it is as secure as any other best-hosting service. However, it was criticized for its virtualized technologies initially. When things moved towards the cloud, there was a lot of fear about this new technology in the beginning. Which business does wish to have their data and storage in-house?
But now, we rely on different and advanced technologies that live in the cloud. Hosting is not so different from others. In this article, we explore all the main aspects of cloud hosting security, its advantages, and the issues surrounding it, and finally, we answer your question: Is cloud hosting secure?
How Secure is Cloud Hosting?
Security is the topmost factor to consider when it comes to hosting. Cloud hosting, just like other cloud-related technologies, faced security concerns due to the changing technology but not the technology itself. Time has proved to everyone that cloud technology has matured and improved in terms of levels of security.
Your website or application data is stored in a physical server environment with a specific physical server located at a traditional hosting. In cloud hosting, your website’s data is distributed among multiple virtual servers that are associated with various physical servers.
If you consider the overall security, cloud hosting includes an additional layer of security. In normal hosting, you have physical security measures that protect the physical data center. In the case of cloud hosting, you get an additional layer of security to protect the virtual network that isolates your cloud hosting environment.
However, not all cloud hosting services are equal in their security standards. The overall security of a cloud platform is based on how certain its security protocols are and how they are implemented. You can experience the same difference of security standards with the dedicated servers too. It’s not the issue about underlying technology but how it is being implemented.
Need for Security
Cloud Hosting provides an extra layer of support to your website or application with its unique features. Let’s see what makes Cloud Hosting unique, better, and reliable.
Firewalls are foundations of the technical security for any network, and Cloud isn’t an exception. A firewall is either a hardware or software system that applies protocols to all the traffic passing through the network. Data passing in and out of your Cloud environment is checked and filtered by the firewall sticking to the rules, keeps the suspicious traffic out, and sends sensitive data in.
This is how a firewall provides the network barrier between your and other systems in the data center. The protocols governing the firewall must be managed to adapt to the threats and maintain security at its best. The Cloud is also secured by few other tools that offer anti-malware protection, integrity monitoring, intrusion prevention, and logging.
Confidentiality of your data and logs is a must. Cloud hosting manages the confidentiality of your data using firewalls. Firewalls identify who is requesting access to the network and they are authorized to do it. Firewalls also create logs allowing Cyber Security professionals to monitor the network activity for any signs of suspicious access and activities. If necessary, you can adjust the rules accordingly to preserve confidentiality by blocking unwanted or suspicious traffic.
Further levels of confidentiality are achieved with encryption. Data in storage, backup, and even in transit can be encrypted to preserve sensitive information safe from hackers. To access it, you need to possess the private key to decrypt.
The Cloud Hosting service providers who follow the regulatory compliance standards set by the standardizing bodies are to be considered. Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) 18[ii] statement created by The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Any service provider who has been audited and certified as per the standards by those bodies are proven to have the technical standards and procedures to provide robust enough security to their clients and protect the most sensitive information.
DDoS Prevention and Mitigation
Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks affect businesses irrespective of the industries as they are costly and disruptive. Generally, they consist of huge traffic targeted to a certain element of the network to overload that element to the extent that it stops functioning expectedly.
It would help if you needed the robust infrastructure of the service provider to defend against these kinds of attacks. The network has to be geographically distributed with a presence across multiple points. Cloud Hosting exactly suits the requirements of a service provider that can prevent or mitigate DDoS attacks.
With their network presence in multiple locations across the globe (a good cloud hosting provider), they can offer better protection with an extra layer than the traditional hosting services.
Issues in Cloud Hosting and How to Overcome
A few objections revolve around making you feel that Cloud hosting may not be safe and something that isn’t worth investing in. We now try to examine and illustrate them and how cloud hosting overcomes these security hurdles.
The Bad Neighbour effect
The common security hurdle that revolves around is the issue of multi-tenant cloud hosting. That’s something that is the basic idea of cloud hosting. This occurs when different virtual machines use the same dedicated physical server space. The cloud hosting environment is made up of these virtual machine networks.
The issue is that a single insecure or overloaded site on a network could potentially compromise the other sites. This isn’t an issue to be worried about much. There are many enhanced security protocols like VM isolation, which completely isolate one virtual network from the same machine. This means that your network and data are safe, protected, and cannot be accessed by anyone unless it’s you.
Overall Loss of Data Control
Cloud hosting’s biggest objection is the seeming loss of control over your data’s location. In addition, it’s a scary thing to outsource your information storage to a third party if it involves money or other kinds of sensitive data.
Thanks to the forethought of today’s cloud hosting providers. They are building their systems, keeping this sort of thing in mind. Moreover, they are offering transparency and security around your data. This allows you to maintain control over your data. Furthermore, you don’t have to manage everything yourself.
Like the other forms of hosting, Cloud hosting has certain vulnerabilities, which you need to be aware of. 100% security is never practical. Any level of security has its flaws. However, you need to build or use a possibly robust security ecosystem that is difficult or next to impossible to breach.
Compared to traditional hosting, Cloud hosting offers a universal access point. That means the security protocols are expected to be even stricter. Yet, vulnerabilities do exist. We here provide the major security issues that potentially threaten Cloud hosting environments. Please remember that these threats aren’t unique in Cloud hosting, but even the traditional hosting service providers are also vulnerable to these.
- DDoS attacks: DDoS attacks are difficult to stop, but you can protect your site with solutions like Website security software or other kinds of security add-ons. Cloud hosting adds a security layer with its geographically distributed network with presence across multiple points.
- Data breaches: Data breaches can occur possibly due to a lack of two-factor authentication. By improving passwords and user authentication processes, you can mitigate data breaches.
- Malware: Hackers can inject Malware scripts into the cloud hosting, and a few of them can be quite destructive if the website carries any sensitive data. However, using website security software, you can protect your site against malware.
- Data loss: In Cloud hosting, as the data is stored across various points in long distances, there is a possibility of running into the risk of a data center being taken out, or turning offline, due to natural causes or various other functional reasons. Typically, this risk is mitigated by hosting providers by maintaining regular backups stored at different locations.
While choosing a cloud hosting service provider, consider the risks mentioned above and find out how they will address them.
Security Benefits with Cloud Servers
Using Cloud hosting, you can offer yourself or your website a range of benefits like extra security, flexibility, and various other Cloud hosting benefits. In addition, you can take your website’s protection to the next level even more than using a standard traditional hosting with the cloud hosting service.
- Hardware problems aren’t an issue anymore: Yes, with cloud hosting, if there are any issues due to the physical server, if you need more memory or plan to make any improvements, you can do it without any downtime of your website by running it from a different virtual server.
- An infected server won’t bring your site down: A physical server can be compromised in case it is infected. Unlike physical servers, cloud servers won’t bring down your site. Instead, your site will be loaded from an entirely different source and will be isolated from the issue.
- Instant site data mirroring: Website mirroring has similar versions of your website available on different servers. This feature helps you to improve the overall safety of your website and its redundancy as well.
- BCDR: BCDR means “Business Continuity and Data Recovery.” Your Cloud hosting service provider ensures regular and multiple data backups of your data to be created on multiple remote servers ensuring business continuity, even during any kind of disastrous situation.
- Encryption of Data in Motion: Cloud hosting uses the latest and most advanced encryption technologies, ensuring that the hosted data is safe & secure and travels safely through different mediums. This ensures data to be less probable to be breached.
- Data Integrity: Data integrity is all about protecting data from unauthorized access. Your data integrity will be top-notch using cloud hosting. They deploy bots to monitor your data preventing any unauthorized access and unusual activity. They use the latest firewalls and anti-viruses, multi-factor verification, and intrusion detection to safeguard your data.
Many enterprises and a number of small and medium-sized businesses have been turning towards Cloud in recent years. Irrespective of the industry, the number of companies using the Cloud is increasing. Including the most sensitive data, most of the workloads of MSMEs, businesses, and governments are moving towards the Cloud. This change is largely driven by costs associated, performance-driven reasons, and swift advantages delivered by cloud solutions. Not just that, the trust towards the Cloud has been increased over the years, and the jump of many tops and medium-sized organizations towards it is the testimony.
Cloud hosting isn’t an exception. Many organizations and businesses are moving towards cloud hosting servers to run their websites and applications. A quality cloud hosting service provider can identify and deploy appropriate solutions allowing many organizations to benefit from its readiness, speed and low cost associated with the Cloud VPS Hosting and maintaining the security at a high level.
We hope that this post has given you a better understanding of the major issues surrounding cloud hosting services. Today’s cloud hosts are far better than the age-old insecure cloud environments from the past. Today, they offer you a better, flexible and highly secure hosting solution.