In the first installment of our series, we took at common cloud security risks and what you can do to address both known and unknown threats. We also touched on the potential consequences of poor security practices. In part two of the series, we will take a deeper dive into why cloud security matters and how your business can be negatively impacted by failing to address these issues.

The Current State of Cloud Security

Cloud computing continues to expand to include more products, services and technology. At the same time, more businesses are adopting cloud computing in order to accelerate growth and innovation. In 2020, public cloud services are expected to increase by 17%. As a result cyber criminals have become more sophisticated and have more opportunities to launch attacks. While not all of these attacks are preventable, there are clear ways to mitigate risks and avoid creating vulnerabilities caused by misconfiguration.

Consequences of Poor Security Practices

1- Loss of reputation and trust

In an increasingly global and competitive business world, companies work hard to build recognizable brands that people can trust. A strong reputation can be an invaluable tool when new businesses are constantly emerging and trying to earn their share of the market. If your business experiences a security breach, especially one that results in the loss of customer data, you could lose the trust and business of both customers and partners.

2- Financial hardships

If you don’t have a recovery plan in place, you could find yourself quickly racking up bills when it comes to responding to the incident and investing in the forensic resources necessary to pinpoint the breach. This can be in addition to the costs of loss of business and any legal and regulatory fees that you may incur. While some businesses are hesitant to invest in a security response plan upfront, this proactive strategy can result in significant savings in the event of a security breach.

3- Loss of intellectual property

While loss of customer data and personal information is one of the most common security concerns, you are also at risk of losing intellectual property. If you have been developing new products and working towards a launch date, your advances could be made public to competitors. This can mean that you lose the competitive edge and have to push back product releases.

4- Compliance violations

One of the main goals of cloud security is to ensure compliance with industry standards. Different industries are regulated by various organizations and requirements that work to create new regulations that address the changing nature of business and security. This helps to create a consistent experience and hold businesses accountable for poor practices.

For example, HIPAA is responsible for overseeing the healthcare industry and creating standards that protect patient information. If there is a data breach due to negligence, the facility will be forced to pay fines and make improvements to their system. No matter what industry you are a part of, these violations can be costly.

5- Legal and contractual issues

Taking advantage of cloud technology means taking on certain legal and contractual responsibilities with both the cloud provider and your clients. If you don’t take the necessary steps to mitigate risks, you could violate legal agreements.

Taking Advantage of Cloud Technology

Keep in mind that these are only consequences if you don’t implement the proper security strategies. With the right plan in place, you can experience all the advantages of the cloud while also reducing risk and increasing your ability to recover quickly when an issue does occur. As long as you are practicing due diligence, adhering to compliance standards and doing your best to identify emerging threats, you won’t be subject to fines and other ramifications.

The important point to remember is that cloud security isn’t just about protecting consumer data. While this is certainly a top priority, there are also other issues to take into consideration that can affect your business financially, legally and from a brand and reputation perspective. Taking the time to create a comprehensive and flexible cloud security plan will allow you to keep the DevOps pipeline moving while also mitigating risks and avoiding compliance issues.

Looking forward to the next installment in this series, we will be getting into the details of cloud security best practices and some of the basic steps you need to take and things to consider as you choose a provider and begin moving to the cloud. For more information about cloud security and compliance, contact the experts at prancer. We specialize in providing companies with a pre and post deployment multi-cloud validation framework that supports continuous cloud compliance. Browse our website or contact us directly for more details.