Cloud security threats: How to protect your data and mitigate risks?
Be it Google G-Suite, Dropbox, Adobe, Salesforce, or Microsoft Office 365, almost every business uses cloud services for their critical business requirements. Despite its rapid growth, cloud computing brings the possibility of severe security threats that can drastically affect an organization. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime damages might hit $6 trillion by 2021. 1 out of 4 will experience a data breach, and on average, businesses are investing about $7.2 million on security breaches. These figures prove how devastating security threats can be if they are left unchecked.
While cloud systems, applications, and networks are not located within your control physically, the security responsibility and risk mitigation are definitely within your control.
Some of the latest security threats to cloud data management include:
- Phishing attacks
- Ransomware attacks
- Insider threats
- Asynchronous procedure calls
- Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS)
- Uneven security gaps
Why is cloud security important?
While cloud service providers protect your data, they can’t protect your data when it leaves the cloud to interact with other systems.
Cloud security is essential to protect your data as well as the integrity of your business. According to a survey, 60% of breaches occur at patches that are available but not applied. You will need a team to continually monitor potential security threats to ensure that your cloud infrastructure is always up-to-date.
Regardless of your organization’s size, it would be best to implement strong network security services to protect your organizational and customer data.
Read more: Why It’s Time to Embrace Cloud and Mobility Trends To Recession-Proof Your Business?
Six ways to protect your data and monitor your cloud environment
1. Set-up multi-factor authentication (MFA)
Stolen credentials make it easy for hackers to access your business data and applications is to steal your credentials. The combination of complex usernames and passwords alone is not sufficient to secure your user accounts from hackers.
So, protect your cloud users with two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication to ensure only authorized people can access your cloud apps and have access to sensitive information.
Deploying multi-factor authentication is an effective way to keep potential hackers from accessing your cloud applications. Most security experts believe that it is mandatory to implement MFA as it is also one of the cheapest security controls an organization can have.
2. Assign access controls
Not all your employees need to have access to every file, application, or data. By setting up proper authorization levels, each employee can only view or access applications or data required to complete their job.
Assigning access controls will ensure that your employees don’t edit any information accidentally that they are not authorized to access. Additionally, it will also protect you from hackers who have hacked an employee’s credentials.
3. Leverage automation to monitor, log and analyze user activities
Real-time monitoring and user activity analysis can help you identify any irregularities or abnormal moves that are not part of your regular usage patterns. For example, log in from an unknown IP or device.
Such irregularities could indicate a breach in your system, so it is essential to identify them early on to prevent hackers from hacking your system and help you resolve any security issues before they wreak havoc with your security system.
You can leverage data protection solutions to automate the process and support 24/7 monitoring and management.
Note: Every business has different needs for different levels of security services, so you may consider getting a third-party risk assessment before making significant investments. At Fingent, we identify and evaluate any loopholes in your current infrastructure and provide you with apt cloud infrastructure solutions using our unique approach.
4. Provide anti-phishing training to your employees
Small Business Trends reports that 1 in every 99 emails is a phishing attack, which amounts to 4.8 emails per employee in a five-day workweek.
Hackers can easily steal employees’ login credentials to gain access to secure information via phishing. In this kind of social engineering attack, the attacker sends fraudulent emails, texts, or websites to trick the victim into sharing access to sensitive information. Providing ongoing training to your employees to recognize a phishing attempt is the best way to prevent employees from falling prey to such scams.
5. Create a comprehensive off-boarding process for departing employees
Ensure that your departing employees no longer have access to your cloud storage, data, systems, customer data, and intellectual properties.
As every employee is likely to have access to different cloud applications and platforms, you need to set up a process that will ensure all the access rights for departing employees are revoked. If you can’t manage this internally, you may consider outsourcing this task to a credible vendor.
Learn more: Take a look at how InfinCE, an infinite cloud platform, ensures secured work-collaboration within an organization, and helps enhance company efficiency & growth!
6. Cloud-to-cloud backup solutions
There is no doubt that there are legitimate risks associated with any cloud application or platform. However, the odds of you losing data due to your cloud provider’s error is low compared to human error.
Say, an employee deletes your data accidentally, and a hacker obtains the account password and corrupts the information, or an employee clears her inbox and folders. In such cases, cloud providers can do nothing much past a specific period. Most cloud providers store deleted data only for a short time.
You can check with your cloud provider about the time frame and whether they charge any fees to restore the data. If your company must abide by strict regulations or be concerned about being liable for corrupted data, you can consider cloud-to-cloud back-up solutions.
There’s no denying that cloud computing is one of the most cost-effective options to maintain a high level of security for your sensitive data. At Fingent, our experts can help design a comprehensive cloud computing strategy that will help achieve your business objectives and provide you with ongoing management to keep your data protected. Contact us now and get started.
Cloud computing refers to the method of computing in which an interconnected network of remote servers is utilized for the execution of the operations such as storage, management, and processing of information. The business units in the current era are making use of multiple cloud computing services and techniques in an integrated architecture. There are various deployment and delivery models of the cloud which are amalgamated as one unit for the execution of business processes and activities. However, with the expansion of such practices, there are some security issues that have been observed.
The security issues and occurrences are primarily associated with network-based security risks, availability, confidentiality threats and integrity risks. Events such as Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, malware attacks, message/media alteration attacks, spoofing and phishing attacks, man-in-the-middle attacks, and eavesdropping attacks are common in the multi-cloud environment.
Organizations are required to follow certain steps towards security to make sure that the security risks and occurrences are prevented, detected and controlled. The following security measures and steps shall be included in for achieving a secure multi-cloud environment.
- Prioritization of Visibility: The business organizations in the multi-cloud environment must ensure that they have complete visibility across all the cloud instances. Behavior-based monitoring shall be adopted for enhancing the visibility. Objectionable modifications and malevolent activities will also be highlighted with this process.
- Adherence to the Best Practices: In the case of the multi-cloud environment, there are various systems, devices, and networks that are involved. Each of these entities has a set of guiding principles and standards. The cloud security team must analyze and understand the best practices that are associated with each entity. For instance, in case of NoSQL databases present in the multi-cloud environment, it would be best to meet the compliance requirements, install advanced access control and authentication measures and promote database security for the overall security of the cloud.
- Flexible and Secure Governance: Governance is a critical element in any of the organizations. It is possible to establish trust and security across the organization only with the aid of well-governed systems. In association with the multi-cloud environment, the processes such as identity management, scheduling activities and resource allocation must be securely governed.
- Encryption of the Data at Rest: It is often witnessed that the business organizations enforce and implement the encryption of the information that is in-transit. However, the encryption of the information at rest is often not paid due attention. Such loopholes in security provide the attackers with an opportunity to get hold of the information at rest and misuse the same. It is, therefore, extremely necessary to encrypt the information at rest using advanced encryption algorithms.
- Advanced Shared Responsibility Model: Sharing of resources is one of the prime features of cloud computing, which gets enhanced in the multi-cloud environment. There are overlapping responsibilities and ideas that are often observed which may lead to the occurrences of loopholes in the security. Every entity that is present in a multi-cloud environment must make sure that complete justice is done to the shared responsibility model of the cloud. The allocation of roles and responsibilities shall be done in such a manner that there are complete transparency and ease of execution that is involved.
- Network-based Security Controls: Most of the security issues that occur in the multi-cloud environment have networks as the prime agents of the threats. It adds to the requirement of implementing automated and advanced network security tools and controls to ensure that such risks are avoided and controlled. Some of these tools include network monitoring tools, intrusion detection systems, intrusion prevention systems, anti-malware tools, and anti-denial tools.
Cloud strategy and planning has provided the organizations with the ability to enhance the performance, speed, and quality of their respective business operations and activities. With the occurrence of the security risks and threats, there is a poor impact on the business continuity and customer engagement. It is, therefore, required to include the basic and advanced steps to security to deal with the security issues and problems. These steps shall combine administrative, physical, logical and technical controls.
The use of security solutions that are available in the market will allow the organizations to achieve and maintain security in the multi-cloud environment. These solutions will provide an integrated security mechanism and will eliminate the need to deploy security measures for each of the cloud model and elements. Security concepts and requirements, such as information security, network security, and database security are now provided in a single package by the leading software solution providers while entrusting them for your digital transformations.