You will often hear that the cloud is the future of business. It is easy to see why people think so. The cloud’s flexibility, agility, and scalability appeal to companies of all sizes. In line with this, 59% of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) using cloud services report significant productivity benefits from it, compared to 30% of those not yet in the cloud.
There are also cost efficiencies to be gained from using the cloud. Eighty-two percent of SMBs report reduced costs as a result of adopting cloud technology.
However, as with all tools that harness the power of the internet, cloud computing is not without its security risks. Unless you have a thorough cyber security strategy in place, your cloud could be the reason your company suffers a data breach or cyber attack.
Let’s look at why.
Common security risks associated with cloud computing
Cloud security risks can be put into two major buckets: insider threats and outsider threats.
Insider threats are risks brought about by your employees, who may inadvertently leak sensitive company data and expose it to the broader internet. This is most commonly done via cloud misconfigurations, where employees accidentally leave data repositories set to public when they should be private.
By contrast, outsider threats refer to cybercriminals who managed to break into your cloud environment. Most of the time, they do this through credentials compromise, where they get their hands on the login details of one of your employees and use these to access your cloud resources and data.
How to secure the cloud
As you can see, both insider and outsider threats are significant risks while using the cloud. To defend against these threats, it is essential to have the right solutions, procedures, and policies in place.
Here is what you should bear in mind.
Implement good password practices
We advise that you mandate your employees use unique, complex passwords for each of their cloud accounts. You can roll out a password manager to make this straightforward, so your employees do not have to remember loads of passwords!
We also advise implementing multi-factor authentication on your cloud accounts. This is a great way to tackle credentials compromise. If a hacker obtains your employee’s login details, they still will not be able to log in to the employee’s account!
Classify your data
Not all your data will need to be classified, but sensitive information like financial details and personally identifiable information should be treated with care. You need to take extra measures to protect this kind of data.
Data classification tools can be challenging to deploy for non-technical employees. We advise working with an IT security services provider like us, who can help you discover, classify and protect your sensitive data across your cloud applications.
Limit cloud misconfigurations
You should educate your users on the dangers of cloud misconfigurations and implement training sessions that show users how to configure cloud applications and files correctly.
If you work with an IT security services provider, they can also reduce misconfigurations for you by monitoring your cloud environment to ensure that your infrastructure and applications are secure.
Implement access privileges
You should segregate your employees’ account privileges using the principle of zero trust. This means that employees should only be able to access the data and files they need to do their jobs – and nothing more!
We can collaborate with you to implement a zero-trust approach across your cloud and network using solutions such as Duo Beyond, which empowers you to base application access decisions on the trust established in user identities and the trustworthiness of their devices.
Train your employees!
How do hackers get their hands on your employees’ credentials? Often, it is through phishing emails. Phishing emails are a type of scam where hackers send emails to victims, pretending to be a trusted source. Typically, these emails will contain links, which instruct victims to share sensitive login details.
Phishing emails are common. It is estimated that 36%. of breaches involved phishing in 2021, which is 11% more than 2020.
One of the easiest ways to combat phishing is through user awareness. You should teach your employees how to spot phishing emails and put them in place, so employees know how to report phishing scams that land in their inboxes.
We also advise backing up phishing training like Knowbe4, with anti-malware and anti-spam technologies, which should block most phishing emails from landing in your employees’ inboxes.
Need Help Securing Your Cloud Accounts?
Do not leave your cloud accounts unprotected! Twin State Technical Services Cloud Managed Services like Duo Security can help your Quad Cities area business with affordable multi-factor authentication and single sign-on solutions, that will significantly reduce your security risk.
Reference linked to:
cloud managed services, cloud security, password security