The adoption of cloud computing has been facing a challenge of perceived security risks. Cloud storage helps with the problem of massive data storage and sharing, but many are still confused with respect to its security. Business and IT leaders benefit the most from cloud security but are found to be concerned about the loss of critical data and essential applications when migrating to cloud.
The following is Statista’s Report based on a world-wide survey on cloud computing risks. The report revealed that 48% of the organizations found the security aspect to be a major challenge. 
Importance of Cloud Security
Organizations should prioritize cloud security due to the significance that includes –
1. Ease of Service
Cloud services can be purchased easily online without any external involvement from a vendor. By completing a few formalities online and selecting the requirement, one may be processed for payment. The process is simple and doesn’t involve live communication that may cause a delay while finalizing service.
2. Connecting IoT and Endpoint Devices
Cloud storage can be connected to the Internet of Things and other endpoint devices like printers, copiers, etc. for shared access. But many organizations are still recognizing the need to secure these devices against cloud security vulnerabilities.
3. Unaffected by Physical Loss
Even on the ground level, if any information is deleted or stolen, the data remains unaffected and intact at cloud database. The original information stored in the cloud can be retrieved anytime.
4. Customized Access to Information
When data is stored in cloud server, it cannot be taken for granted. The access to the data has to be defined and only the required amount of information flows through the channel. The other data remains untouched by those who do not require it.
5. Certified Reliable Cloud Provider
Cloud providers must comply with the certifications like SOC-2 which is a defined criterion for managing customers based on the principles of security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy.  The cloud service provider must comply with the regulations of such acts.
Data Breaches Increasing by the Day
The main reasons behind data beaches are targeted attacks, human errors, poor security practices, or application vulnerabilities. Between January 2017 and March 2018, 19 billion records of personal and confidential data have been compromised.  A majority of cloud breaches have been due to misconfigurations from the user’s end resulting in a brute force attack, SQL injection, etc. On the positive end, these breaches were not due to the lack of security measures from the cloud provider.
More interesting facts that support the expansion of cloud security:
- By 2022, at least 95% of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault. 
- By 2020, public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) workloads will suffer at least 60% fewer security incidents than those in traditional data centers. 
- The overall cloud market is expected to grow by 25.5% by 2022. 
Tips to Make Cloud Security a Priority
1. Encrypt Your Data
To protect the confidentiality of data, it is important to encrypt it using various encryption technologies available. Limit the access to the encryption keys only to trusted third parties. Consider splitting tasks between your organization and cloud service provider, where the service provider will hold the data, and the keys to the encrypted data lies with you.
2. Authentication of Users
List out all the people from your organization that access cloud data and those from the service provider and ensure their authenticity to access the data. Passwords are not the only form of authentication management and therefore, a two-factor approach will give authenticity to the access.
3. Setting Levels
Giving equal access to everyone in the organization would be risky and unwise. Define and give relevant access based on job needs and update the same with the cloud service provider. Though mapping database access is not easy, it can be achieved if the cloud provider is familiar with latest technologies.
4. Monitor User Activity
Cloud providers monitor and record transactions, review them regularly and ensure that the controls placed are working. When a breach occurs, the record will serve as evidence to answer many concerns of unauthorized access.
5. Compliance to Laws
Ensure that your cloud provider is compliant with the respective law and acts defined for database security. A third-party consultant can be hired to verify the compliance of the cloud service provider. Accountability can be shifted to the cloud provider, but legal responsibility cannot be avoided.
6. Proper Deletion of Data
Data encryption ensures that even if the data is not completely removed from the cloud server, it cannot be read as the encryption keys lie with the subscriber. Whenever you delete the data, ask for the technical and operational information about how data is deleted and the process on back-up data deletion too.
7. Know Who the Owner of the Data Is
When hosting third-party data it is important to know whom it belongs to. The laws on data differ geographically, where, few privacy laws restrict mobility of data. When you have multiple cloud servers in different countries, you may not transfer data due to the law that binds you from the real owner.
8. Establish Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
The agreement with the cloud provider should be broadly defined and at the same time specific on definitions and penalties. In the lack of proper defined agreement, the providers cannot claim unnecessary penalties or restrict access.
9. Disaster Recovery Plan with Cloud Vendor
Ensure that the cloud service provider is equipped with a good disaster recovery plan. The plan should be tested and verified regularly. There is no assurance that the plan will work at the required hour if not tested earlier.
10. Defined Exit Strategy
The exit strategy should not be like a room-checkout in a hotel after stay. It should defined in a proper lease agreement and the ways to check out if the cloud provider’s services are not satisfactory. Exit strategy at the end of the lease and emergency-exits should be clearly defined in the agreement.
There is a lot to learn when it comes to cloud security and how best we can exploit cloud storage as a weapon against frequent breaches. Cloud security is a priority and a cybersecurity professional can handle the performance and access to the cloud storage in a productive way. Organizations and cloud providers often rely on the cybersecurity workforce to define, manage, and execute the process in compliance to the law. Cloud storage offers potential to cyber enthusiasts.
If you want to build your career in cybersecurity, then join the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity (BSCS) degree program offered by EC-Council University. It is a two-year full-time online degree program that gives you required knowledge on cybersecurity and an opportunity to attain up to four industry recognized credentials with the degree.
Sources: https://www.statista.com/statistics/511283/worldwide-survey-cloud-computing-risks/  https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/is-the-cloud-secure/  https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/cloud-security-market-100018098.html  https://www.incapsula.com/web-application-security/soc-2-compliance.html  https://techbeacon.com/security/30-cybersecurity-stats-matter-most