Ensuring data security on the cloud

Sheena Wong 

You might find yourself in this situation – using cloud technology for data backup and file recovery while being nervous about its security implications.  

In the past, the majority of sensitive business data was hosted at a classic Data Centre supported by server hardware, network appliances, cabling, power units and other environmental controls. To cater to the needs of remote working and on-demand network access, many enterprises have shifted towards cloud computing, which provides greater convenience, flexibility and data availability.  

Information Security Manager, Victor Ho provided his guidance on cloud security. 

What are the security risks of cloud computing?

There is always the risk of breach or loss for every piece of data uploaded to the cloud. This is why we need to adopt and implement proper security measures to counter risks such as malicious insider attacks, data breaches, stolen credentials or account hijacking, system vulnerabilities and unauthorised attempts to access important data.  

Another critical area to consider is the selection of Cloud Service Provider (CSP). Without proper data separation between different tenants in a multi-cloud arena, it will pose an opportunity for attackers to exploit the available attack surface. A mature CSP should comply with stringent security standards and organise regular risk assessments and security audits to identify and tackle these vulnerabilities. 

What is our cloud security strategy?

Gamuda adopts a hybrid mode of using several cloud-based business suites such as Office365, SharePoint Online (Microsoft Azure) and SAP system (AWS) while maintaining our on-premise Data Centre to host our organisational data.  

Group IT Department has always performed robust due diligence on the CSP before subscribing to their services. We have also embarked on Group-wide implementation of multifactor authentication (MFA) and data encryption to protect the true user identity and valuable business information.  

More importantly, for individuals using cloud computing, it is encouraged to follow cybersecuritiy’s fundamental and basic practices. As we have repeatedly reminded – always use a strong password combination, secure your home network, keep your gadgets updated with the latest security patches, do not share passwords, avoid using free public Wi-Fi, and avoid clicking any suspicious links within unknown emails.  

It is also essential to ensure the use of secure and encrypted web communication protocol (HTTPS) to access sensitive personal information, especially when you shop online and use internet banking services.