Cloud data protection is the practice of securing a company’s data in a cloud environment, wherever that data is located, whether it’s at rest or in motion, and whether it’s managed internally by the company or externally by a third party.
This practice has become increasingly important as more companies have switched from building and managing their own data centers to storing their applications and data in the cloud instead. A 2018 survey by IDG, a leading technology media company, stated that 73% of companies had applications or infrastructure in the cloud, with another 17% expected to make the move in the coming year.1
Why Companies Need Cloud Data Protection
Companies are collecting massive amounts of data, ranging from highly confidential business, financial and customer data to fairly unimportant information. They’re also moving more and more of their data to the cloud and storing it in more places than ever – public, private and hybrid clouds, cloud storage environments, software-as-a-service applications, and so on.
As they do this, companies are discovering just how complicated protecting and securing all their data across multiple environments can be. For example:
On top of this, companies face a host of security challenges, including the potential for:
Companies must also comply with data protection and privacy laws and regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, in the EU; the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, in the U.S., and others. However, it can be incredibly difficult for companies to consistently establish and enforce security policies across multiple cloud environments, let alone prove compliance to auditors.
For these reasons, it’s no surprise that nine out of 10 cybersecurity professionals are concerned about cloud security. They say their biggest challenges are protecting against data loss and leakage (67%), threats to data privacy (61%) and breaches of confidentiality (53%).2
This also explains why the data protection market is projected to surpass US$158 billion by 2024.3
How Companies Can Better Protect Their Data in Cloud Environments
To successfully protect and secure their data in cloud environments, companies must first know:
With this information in hand, companies must then put consistent, unified, and automated cloud data protection offering in place – one that will help them discover, classify, monitor, protect, and secure their applications and data across multiple environments. This offering must also be able to distinguish between everyday activities and potentially suspicious ones.
The Benefits of Cloud Data Protection
Among the benefits of cloud data protection, it enables companies to:
For more information on cloud data protection and cloud security, visit paloaltonetworks.com/cloud-data-loss-prevention.