The potential for violation of an organisation’s data security policies is often a perceived risk of using a hosted or cloud-based data warehouse. Yet these storage systems can be considered more solid solutions for data protection.

When is an organisation’s data security at risk?

Risking your company’s data may occur:

  1. Where multiple customer applications are running in the same environment, triggering fear of data leakage across the application boundary.
  2. When storage on virtual platforms may be distributed across multiple physical machines, which can create a fear about the ability to scrape “remnant” data should the application be migrated.

How can you ensure peak data protection?

Your enterprise must perform due diligence to assess the security and data privacy protection needs and ensure that the vendor can satisfy those needs. The cloud-based DW vendor might provide the following methods:

  • Authentication of user identity and authorisation of the user to prevent unauthorised data access
  • Finely-grained data access controls to prevent exposure of protected data attributes
  • Data masking to prevent presentation of protected data attributes
  • Data encryption, which might be applied to the data “at rest,” or where it is stored, as well as “in motion” as the data is accessed and delivered to the user’s portal
  • Data wiping, which is used to completely overwrite hard drives to prevent malicious recovery

As vendors have become more proactive in identifying and addressing existing and potential security vulnerabilities, the perception of cloud-based systems as data protection risks is starting to recede. However, to lessen fears of data exposure seek out vendors that provide an option for deploying your project on a “bare metal” cloud platform instead of a virtualised platform. Isolation of your application will avoid the perceived risks of virtualisation and multi-tenancy.

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