The ManageForce Blog

Database Management and Security in the Cloud

Posted by Dan Ryan | 10/26/17 10:17 AM

There are few tasks more integral to business success than ensuring the security and efficiency of your Oracle, SQL Server, or NoSQL databases. So, it’s no surprise that security remains a top concern for enterprise data management. Although the cloud is more secure than ever before, recent high-profile breaches from the likes of Equifax, Target, and AWS, have made this uphill trust battle even more difficult for cloud service providers.

 Case in point: According to a recent McAfee report 74% of organizations surveyed said they are storing some or all of their sensitive data in public clouds. However, a recent report from Intel found only 23% of organizations today completely trust the public cloud to keep their data secure. Although that number may seem low it’s worth noting that trust is on the rise and up from 13% in the 2016 report.

The truth is the cloud is more secure than ever, and in most cases more secure than on-premise database solutions. In fact, Alert Logic’s 2017 Cloud Security Report found that on-premise data centers were 51% more likely to experience a security incident. How is that possible? Here are a few of the trends guiding improved security in the cloud.

Public Cloud Resources

Semantically speaking, many would guess that the private cloud has stronger security, but the truth is (in most cases) the opposite. The security controls put into place on the public cloud are often more robust than a company's on-premises setup, allowing enterprises to take advantage of their public cloud providers' significant security investments.

Compliance and Industry Regulations Standardizing Approaches

When it comes to guidelines for storing data, industries like financial services and healthcare are out front. Compliance and industry regulations may have forced their hands, but other industries are taking note, and it’s just in time as a recent report from Unitrends found only 14% of survey respondents have to protect backup cloud servers. These examples of highly regulated industries are leading the way when it comes to standardized processes for the cloud.

Building Redundancy via a Hybrid Architecture

According to a recent survey from RightScale, 71% of enterprises are working with a mix of private and public cloud solutions, a situation that is now widely referred to as hybrid cloud. Hybrid cloud provides organizations with a wide array of advantages from cost to scalability to handling specific industry regulations and compliance requirements. You can add to that list securing your data. To be clear, a hybrid cloud architecture is not a data security solution on its own, but it allows organizations to build redundancy into their IT architecture, and the result is extra security in the event of disaster recovery.

Tightening Your Security with Cloud Security Best Practices

While these trends are securing the cloud as a whole, the strength of that security for your organization is still reliant on how you’re managing your data. Here are a few best practices to ensure the security of your Oracle, SQL Server, and NoSQL databases in the cloud:

  • Manage Roles and Permissions Closely - Not being specific and intentional when assigning access to your databases may save you a few minutes at the front end, but can end in huge (likely not malicious) holes in your database security. The importance of taking the time to only allow as much access as necessary cannot be overstated.
  • Automation - Most serious data breaches come down to one issue—human error (as was the case with Equifax and AWS). That’s why increasing automation and minimizing the "human element" can reduce your security risks.
  • Regular Health Checks - Health checks are an easy way to regularly monitor for vulnerabilities in your database management. Daily monitoring is of course a must as well, but these deep dives into your database solutions are a good idea to make sure all of your bases are covered.

The supersonic speed of cloud growth has businesses of all shapes and sizes doing their best to keep up with the management of mission-critical data. That can be even more challenging when you have to balance it with keeping up with the ever changing landscape of the enterprise as well. Get a good grasp on both with this guide to how companies are altering their database management in the cloud.


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Topics: Database, Database Management, Database Administration

Written by Dan Ryan


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