A B2B Case Study of Securing Data in The Cloud

A new paradigm in technology has emerged in the last two decades. Data is moving from antiquated legacy systems to cloud-based systems. The cloud has changed the way tech enterprises do business. Emergent sectors such as SaaS (Software as a Service) have also emerged due to the cloud.

Organizations that run their delivery models through the cloud face an entirely new set of challenges related to data. The increasing migration of sensitive information to the cloud has exacerbated the data risks that enterprises face.

In this article, you will get some great information on cloud data security. We’ll also concentrate on how businesses that use SaaS platforms, such as B2Bs, are adjusting to the evolving data regulations. Let’s dive right in!

What Are The Risks of Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage faces some of the usual suspects when it comes to data risks. Some of these include:

  • Hacking unauthorized access to the cloud resource. This could result in data losses such as financial and customer information.
  • File sharing, that would result in the distribution of sensitive information with unauthorized third parties.
  • The accidental or intentional syncing of employees’ personal and work devices. This could result in the unintentional sharing of data.
  • Compatibility issues between the cloud provider and your systems could end in data losses.

Operating inside the cloud environment itself poses risks, as the business has no control over the cloud infrastructure. The cloud provider’s security and operational processes may be unclear. A hack of the cloud could result in potential losses or exposure to confidential data such as stolen credentials.

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Cloud Data Security in the Shifting B2B SaaS Model

It is undeniable that cloud computing has revolutionized how modern businesses operate. Companies now have access to highly scalable/flexible solutions that move around the challenges of traditional IT systems.

B2B companies provide services to other companies. They are hosted on the cloud through the SaaS provider; the SaaS can be considered a 3rd party provider. B2Bs deal with sensitive customer data that can easily be exposed in case of breaches. The triumvirate of data security management in the cloud and SaaS operations involves the following:

  • Confidentiality: The data should only be accessible by authorized persons. For B2B SaaS businesses, these measures may include access control, encryption, and data minimization.
  • Integrity: The accuracy, consistency, and trustworthiness of the data should be unchanged in its entire lifecycle. For B2Bs, that might involve data validation, backup/recovery, and version control.
  • Accessibility: Limit data access to a few people. That also implies availability and redundancy, disaster recovery, and performance optimization.

The frequency of cyberattacks has been increasing as cloud services grow; 60% of businesses hosted in the cloud reported increased phishing or malware attacks. Thus, businesses in this space must adapt their security operations and features to ensure utmost security.

The Shared Responsibility Model

The security responsibilities between the cloud provider and the B2B customer should always be properly delineated. This is not always clear, and misinterpretations might lead to security gaps and vulnerabilities.

Typical vulnerabilities might occur at the application layer. For example, for a cloud-hosted e-commerce platform, APIs are the primary operation tool.

API vulnerabilities cause security risks in various ways. Some of these include security misconfigurations, broken authentication, and broken authorization protocols.

Data Privacy Regulations

Businesses operating in the cloud have a responsibility to ensure the protection of data moving through it. They should maintain regulatory standards, and gird their systems to prevent breaches.

The shared responsibility model implies that cloud security is a joint responsibility between the Cloud Service Provider and the business. Challenges faced here may include:

Data storage and locality – For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires health service providers to perform daily backups.

Data transfer and encryption – Organizations need to securely transmit data between multiple cloud environments. Additional security measures include SSL.

Third-Party Access and Integrations – For a cloud-hosted business such as a B2B, the 3rd party problem is exacerbated by the CSP, vendors, or even contractors. Especially for third-party integrations, legislations include:

  • CCPA – the California Consumer Privacy Act enhances consumer data privacy rights for California residents.
  • GDPR – A benchmark for privacy laws, the General Data Protection Regulation safeguards the privacy and personal data of EU residents. The GDPR emphasizes explicit consent, the right to access and erase data, and data breach notifications.
  • HIPAA – This federal US law governs the privacy and security of protected health information. This involves technical, administrative, and physical measures to protect the data.

Data Insurance

While B2Bs and other businesses in the cloud can make their best efforts to ensure data security in the cloud, mishaps always occur. Data insurance provides a safety net in the aftermath of a data security incident.

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First-party coverage focuses on financial recovery. The insured is compensated for direct losses. Meanwhile, third-party coverage addresses liability concerns. These include legal fees and damages arising from third-party claims. These policies extend to cover various cloud-related scenarios, such as data breaches, regulatory fines, and cyber extortion.

Data insurance plays a crucial role in the immediate aftermath of an incident, such as a data breach, with incident response and recovery. This is important for business continuity and also mitigates reputational damage.

In Conclusion

The cloud has completely revolutionized data technology, providing alternatives that legacy systems cannot. While it offers numerous advantages such as scaling and fast deployment, it comes with added risks to customer data.

Cloud-hosted businesses such as SaaS B2Bs still face threats to customer data including hacking, data breaches, and data losses. This article has explored some of these challenges and how businesses, such as in the B2B space, can mitigate some of these challenges. Hopefully, as a student learning about cloud cybersec or an aspiring professional, this article has shone some light on this area.

Josh Linus
Josh Linus
Josh can talk films for hours on end, discussing the really good cinema, the really bad, and anything in between. He enjoys everything - from epic fantasies to horror, from rom-coms to crime and action thrillers, from sci-fi to musical dramas.

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