I recently saw an article targeted at non-profits that was a bit frightening. The statement was that small non-profits, and by extension many businesses, could benefit from the ease of deployment of cloud services. The writers presented AWS, Dropbox, DocuSign, et. al. as a great way to increase your infrastructure with very little staff.
While the writers were not wrong….they were not entirely correct, either. It’s incredibly easy and can be cost effective to use a cloud based infrastructure. However, when things go wrong, they can go REALLY wrong. In February of 2018, Fedex had a misconfigured S3 bucket that exposed a preponderance of customer data. That’s simply the first of many notable breaches that have occurred so far in 2018, and the list grows as you travel back in time. Accenture, Time Warner and Uber are a few of the big names with AWS security issues in 2017.
So, if the big guys who have a staff can’t get it right, what can you do? A few things to consider:
- What, specifically, are you deploying to the cloud? A static website carries less business risk than an application that contains or transfers client data.
- What are the risks associated with the cloud deployment? Type of data, does it contain PII, etc.? What is the business impact if this data were to be compromised?
- Are there any regulatory guidelines for your industry that could affect cloud deployment of data?
- Have you done your due diligence on cloud security in general? The Cloud Security Alliance has a lot of good resources available for best practices. Adam from MSI wrote a good article on some of the permissions issues recently, as well.
- What resources do you have or can you leverage to make sure that your deployment is secure? If you don’t have internal resources, consider leveraging an external resource like MSI to assist.
Remember – just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should. But cloud infrastructure can be a great resource if you handle it properly.