The vast majority of businesses are using public cloud services for their company’s critical applications. In fact, approximately 90 percent of businesses are now running on the cloud, and around 200 Zettabytes of data will be saved on the cloud by 2025.
Cloud managed services allow access to your files anywhere with an Internet connection. A big advantage of cloud computing is that it can grow as your business grows.
Cloud backup has numerous benefits, including scalability, convenience, and disaster recovery. Cloud backup tends to be much less expensive than traditional on-premises backup solutions.
As much as the cloud offers advantages for companies, it is vulnerable to cyber threats. This is where cloud security must be addressed.
Watch this video to learn about better steps to cloud security:
As more organizations migrate their data, applications, and other important assets to the cloud, it becomes essential to know how to protect this extremely sensitive business information that could be exposed.
Cyberattacks and breaches on cloud services continue to increase. As of January 2023, in the past 18 months, 79 percent of companies have experienced at least one cloud data breach. What’s yet more startling is that 43 percent have reported 10 or more breaches in that period.
This means that with roughly 90 percent of organizations now hosting at least some of their IT environment in the cloud, the majority of companies have fallen victim to a breach.
The stakes are high when it comes to your company’s information being susceptible to a cloud cyberattack. Preventing leaks and data theft is vital in order to maintain your customers’ trust. Then there is the cost of a data breach that could easily reach millions of dollars for companies like yours.
Fortunately, there are ways you can stay up to date with cloud security trends and be aware of the evolving challenges and threats.
7 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Cloud Security
We will examine the most effective ways your business can protect your cloud services. If you take these seven recommended actions, you will have the peace of mind of knowing that your valuable business data is as secure as possible.
1) Implement Multi-Factor Authentication
The traditional username and password combination tends to be inadequate for protecting your accounts from hackers. Instead, use multi-factor authentication (MFA) to protect all your company’s cloud users. It ensures that only authorized personnel can log in to your cloud apps and across sensitive data in your off-premise environment.
The benefits of MFA for cloud security include:
Assures consumer identity — Protects consumer data from identity theft.
Risk-based access control — Confirms users based on risk factors like location, user device, IP address, and location.
High-level protection — Get better protection as compared to 2FA (two-factor authentication).
Compliance-based access — MFA ensures that users are in compliance with standard guidelines and policies.
Time-based codes — Provides your company’s users one-time access with time-based codes.
MFA is the most cost-effective security control to keep would-be hackers from infiltrating your cloud applications.
2) Utilize Encryption
Encryption involves scrambling your data, so it is not readable to anyone outside of your company.
Cloud encryption is the process of transforming your data from its original plain text format to an unreadable format like ciphertext before it is transferred to and stored in the cloud. Cloud encryption renders your company’s information indecipherable. The only way to access this information unscrambled is with the encryption keys. This is the case even if data is stolen, shared with an unauthorized user, or data is lost.
Encryption is considered a highly effective component of a business’s cybersecurity strategy. While protecting the data from misuse, cloud encryption also addresses other security issues, such as:
- Enhanced protection against unauthorized data access from other public cloud tenants.
- Compliance with regulatory standards having to do with data privacy and protection.
- In certain cases, absolving a company of the need to disclose breaches or other security events.
3) Manage Your User Access
The majority of your company’s employees do not need access to every application or file in your cloud infrastructure. It is a best practice to establish proper levels of authorization with an IAM Plan to ensure that every employee can only view or manipulate the applications or data required to do their job.
With Identity and Access Management (IAM), you can centrally manage permissions that control which AWS resources users can access. You use IAM to control who is authenticated, signed in – and is authorized and has permissions -- to use resources.
There are serious risks to not implementing restricted user access. For example, suppose one of your employees has access to all files and data and gets tricked by a phishing email and unknowingly provides their log-in information to your private cloud. In that case, a hacker now has the keys to all your business’s sensitive data and other valuable information.
Keep in mind that the more people who have higher level access, the greater the chances that cybercriminals will gain entry into your company’s cloud services.
4) Backup Your Cloud
Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security that just because you have your important data and files saved in the cloud, you don’t need to back up the cloud. Cybercriminals can breach any network that your company has.
Although the likelihood of losing data as a result of your cloud provider’s mistake is quite low, human error can still cause your business to lose cloud data. This is why a cloud-to-cloud backup solution is a smart move for any company.
By backing up your cloud data, your business can restore information, ensure business continuity, and protect yourself against a major IT crisis.
Along with protecting against data loss or viruses, many organizations need to secure cloud data to meet industry standards or regulations. Otherwise, not taking this action may result in costly penalties and fines.
In a ransomware attack, backing up the cloud can come in handy. If you have backed up the cloud, you will still have access to all your data. You may not know where the stolen data is, but you can at least continue with your day-to-day operations.
If you want to enhance your cloud security, then backup your cloud.
5) Put in Next-Generation Firewall
A next-generation firewall (NGFW) is network security that comes with functions that eclipse a traditional firewall. It is capable of filtering network traffic utilizing a defined set of rules.
The features of an NGFW include the following:
- Reverse proxy/web gateway
- In-line deep packet inspection (DPI)
- Block threats at the network edge
- Identity and Access Management
- Intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS)
6) Monitor End User Activities to Detect Intruders
Empowered with real-time monitoring and analysis of end-user activities, your business will be able to immediately notice irregularities that diverge from normal usage patterns, such as a log-in from a previously unknown IP or device.
These unusual activities might indicate a breach in your system. So, spotting an anomaly right away can prevent hackers from creating havoc with your cloud files and data. This also enables your company to fix security issues before they become major problems.
There are numerous SOCaaS solutions that can assist you with monitoring end-user activities. One is automated 24/7 networking monitoring and management, all the way up to advanced cyber security solutions, like the following:
Vulnerability Scanning and Remediation — The vulnerability remediation process fixes or neutralizes any detected weaknesses in your network. It includes four steps: finding vulnerabilities through scanning and testing, prioritizing, fixing, and monitoring vulnerabilities.
Endpoint Detection and Response — Endpoint detection and response (EDR) involves tools that are used to detect and investigate threats on endpoints. EDR tools usually provide detection, investigation, threat hunting, and response capabilities. EDR provides protection against a wide range of potential threats.
Intrusion Detection & Response — An Intrusion Detection & Response System (IDS) finds suspicious activities and generates alerts upon detection. From these alerts, a security operations center (SOC) analyst or incident responder is able to investigate the problem and take the necessary actions to rectify the threat.
An SOS-as-a-Service (SOCaaS) is a security model that consists of a third-party vendor operating and maintaining a fully-managed SOC on a subscription basis through the cloud.
7) Cloud Visibility & Control
With cloud visibility, you are able to view all your activities in the cloud.
With this capability, you can detect weak performance and possible risks in the cloud deployment. After you identify what is affecting the process, you’re able to implement policies to control risks.
Security controls are a set of measures that assist your business in protecting cloud systems.
The security controls process involves the following:
Prevention — Addresses threats in your cloud systems.
Detection — Finds an attack before it becomes a data breach.
Correction — Limits the effects of an attack after it has occurred.
Look to Adept Networks as Your Cloud Services Provider
At Adept Networks, we know that businesses like yours, as well as hospitals, and financial institutions, require a certain level of security compliance to operate. With Adept Networks as your cloud managed service provider, we can give your business assurance it will be held to compliance standards and remain secure.
To see how not to fall victim to a cloud security breach and instead take control of your security, simply call Adept Networks at 877-664-4779 or set up a quick call, and we’ll walk you through your options.