Keeping government data safe in the cloud is a crucial task that needs a lot of consideration and a multi-faceted approach. Government data is so vital and crucial that if it falls into wrong hands, it can cause huge problems. In recent years, cloud computing has gained a lot of popularity because of its various advantages such as scalability, cost-effectiveness, flexibility, etc and it is no surprise that governments are now using the cloud for storing their data.
However, as the use of the cloud is increasing, so are the risks associated with it, especially data breach risks. A data breach can have consequences for everyone, whether it is an individual or an organization but for government organizations, it can have serious consequences. Therefore, to address this issue, we will be having a look at some of the ways through which government organizations can keep their data safe in the cloud.
The first thing that government organizations have to do is conduct a thorough risk assessment. Risk assessment is very important as it helps to identify potential vulnerabilities and threats such as unauthorized access to the cloud & data, data breaches, weak security of the wireless networks, weak security of default gateway addresses like 192.168.0.1, potential loopholes in programs and applications being used, etc.
Risk assessment also helps in identifying the criticality of these security vulnerabilities and what sort of an impact a data breach might have. Only after thorough risk assessment would government organizations be able to come up with the right precautionary measures to protect their data in the cloud.
Multi-Factor Authentication And Access Controls
Having strong authentication and access control is important to keep government data safe in the cloud. It is important not only for government organizations but for other people too to enable multi-factor authentication to make sure that only authorized users can access sensitive data and no one else.
In addition, proper access controls should be in place for all the users so that even authorized users can access only the data they need to perform their job and not the additional data. This will prevent even authorized users from accessing data that is beyond their privileges. This can be accomplished by using various role-based access controls and assigning those roles to every individual according to their job position.
Next up is the most obvious and important one, encrypting data. Encrypting data is an effective way to protect data in the cloud. Encryption makes sure that the data is unreadable to unauthorized users, even if they gain access to the cloud. For government organizations, it is imperative that they encrypt all the sensitive data on the cloud as well as the data that is being transmitted across the cloud and other systems to ensure full security.
Employee training is as important as any other measure. Government employees aren’t considered tech-savvy as compared to those working in private organizations but since government organizations are using the cloud, it must be made sure that employees understand the importance of cyber security and try their best to prevent any data breaches.
Employees should be trained and educated about the importance of security and taught how they can prevent any mishap from happening. This includes training employees on proper password management, identifying potential phishing attempts, not giving unauthorized access to their accounts to anyone, being careful while managing wireless networks through 192.168.1.1, and reporting suspicious activity at the earliest.
Regularly Monitoring The Cloud Environment
Along with other things, regularly monitoring and auditing the cloud environment is crucial to identify any suspicious or unauthorized activity. Most people might not take this seriously but regularly monitoring the cloud environment is very important. Since government organizations have access to a whole bunch of tools, they should use state-of-the-art cloud security tools for monitoring security breaches, suspicious activity, or data exfiltration. Regular monitoring is also important to make sure that the cloud service provider is compliant with the government’s security policies.
Choosing A Reputable Cloud Service Provider
The final thing that government organizations can do to make sure that their data stays protected is select a reputable cloud service provider that can fulfill and comply with all the security requirements. A reputable cloud service provider will have all the aforementioned security measures in place to protect the data including encryption, access, controls, and monitoring along with various others. Additionally, reputable cloud service providers will also be working with top organizations and they will be transparent about their security measures and won’t be hesitant to undergo regular security audits.