Data Security

Securing Business Application Data in the Cloud

Written by: Purandar Das 5 min read

Implementing data privacy and security is no longer just about locking down the major data stores. Automated workflows and integrations are a vital part of businesses operating efficiently. Important data resides in these locations, and without extending data protection throughout the ecosystem, these solutions will become prime targets for attackers.

Protecting this information requires taking a data-first approach to security that extends into external applications. Rather than relying entirely on application providers to deliver data security, companies must take control of their data security and apply the same protection level to it as they do for on-premises technology.

This article will explore the risks of external applications and how revolutionary data security solutions can protect your organization.

 

Data is Rarely Resting

Data resides in traditional data stores and is spread across workflows and applications that are crucial for business operations. Without extending controls into these places, they become prime targets for attackers. Once an attacker gains access, the information inside is often an open book for them, compromising a large quantity of organizational intelligence that cybercriminals can utilize to launch wide-scale attacks.

 

External Applications

Externally hosted applications are essential for business operations. They deliver functionality that would have required the business to stand up infrastructure and self-host in the past. Many of these applications only require paying for the capacity needed at the time rather than buying a bundle of licenses in anticipation of what the workload may eventually be. These factors create a solid argument for businesses to utilize these tools over self-hosting application infrastructure.

The downside of this approach is how the data is stored. Information that would reside on internal systems is stored elsewhere with the application. Instead of having direct control over how the data is viewed and accessed, the business needs to rely on the application host to secure it. For highly regulated industries, this can be a challenge hosting data that improperly secured would cause compliance issues.

 

Automated Workflows

Similar to applications, automated workflows are essential to development and operations. Workflows include crucial information about how business operations work and proprietary organizational data. Tools such as Salesforce, ServiceNow, and Jira have cloud-hosted solutions and are employed by some of the largest organizations to control their workflows.

Organizations may not consider this type of application risky at first glance, but they contain essential organizational data that cybercriminals can steal. This information ranges from customer lists to internal support processes and technical architecture. Utilizing this information, cybercriminals can reverse engineer the entire internal architecture design, allowing more targeted attacks, especially phishing attacks. These attacks are far more credible and likely to have users open and click to reference legitimate internal individuals over trusted communications channels.

 

Securing Application Data in the Cloud

Just because an application is hosted in the cloud does not mean that a company needs to rely entirely upon the host’s security. Integrating a data security solution into these tools helps extend organizational protection into external space. This is the only way to guarantee that sufficient security is applied to your data hosted in these applications.

 

Integrated Data Encryption

One of the biggest challenges of storing data in an external source is that the data is not guaranteed to be protected using the same standards necessary to meet compliance needs. Solutions that can extend encryption protection into the source are essential for keeping data secure and compliant. This overcomes the challenge of trusting the application owner to protect the data. The encryption keeps the data unreadable to everyone who is not granted rights, including the application owner.

Data encryption is crucial for ensuring that any data stored is also protected by safe harbor. Safe harbor is vital for maintaining compliance with regulations such as GDPR if an attacker gains access to the application or if the application provider is breached. Safe harbor reduces the potential impact of the incident and even eliminates the penalties. This protects your assets from failures in their security while keeping your data safe.

 

Access Control

Many of these external tools may have a default set of user management handled by the application but offer external integration to simplify business administration. These integrations can include LDAP or SSO to allow companies to integrate their authentication and access management into the application. This overrides the default access and grants the company the ability to control who has access efficiently.

Integrating authentication allows your organization to manage access rather than relying on the application centrally. This simplifies the management process for maintaining appropriate access as employees come on board, leave, or change roles. When changes are made to your system, it is propagated to the application. This leaves all usernames and passwords within your IT structure rather than some application host. It places the trust and control back in the hands of your organization instead of relying entirely on others.

Data Protection Simplified

Sotero’s Data Security Platform extends beyond the standard infrastructure and uses plug-and-play interoperability. With minimal configuration, Sotero can integrate directly into external application data stores, acting as a buffer between the application front end provided and stored data. Sotero’s state-of-the-art patented encryption technology protects data through all stages of its lifecycle for on-premises and external applications.

Schedule a demo today to learn more about how Sotero can help your organization protect its data.

Tags:

data protection,

data regulations,

data security

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