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8 Important Cloud Security Measures for the Modern Business
Today, businesses in all industries are turning to cloud security computing technology with highly valuable applications in remote work. It’s considered a trend to allow collaboration for teams working remotely.
Although cloud technology is quickly becoming a must-have tool for businesses, allowing organizations and employees to work from anywhere, it’s not without risks, particularly when it comes to data and privacy.
Previously, employees could only connect to the company network at work while protected by enterprise-grade firewalls and other security tools. As cloud technology evolves, remote employees can access corporate applications, services, and data from any location. With this in mind, a security breach is always possible.
What Is Cloud Security?
Cloud security encompasses all processes and technologies safeguarding a company’s cloud infrastructure from external and internal cybersecurity threats.
As more businesses transition to cloud technology, it’s crucial to prioritize cloud security to maintain continuity. When you make an effort to implement top-tier cloud security, you ensure that your company will continue to operate efficiently with high growth potential.
A Glimpse of The Possible Threats to Cloud Computing Security
Although cloud technology provides numerous benefits for remote work, it also gives cybercriminals a chance to infiltrate companies with inadequate cloud security measures.
Cloud-based applications and corporate virtual private networks (VPNs) have long been popular targets for hackers. If you fail to secure them properly, it allows cybercriminals easy access to corporate data and networks. In most cases, a hacker only requires a username and password, which they can obtain via phishing emails or brute force attacks to unravel simple passwords.
When a hacker utilizes the login credentials of a remote employee, it can be difficult to detect unauthorized access. Any attacks against cloud applications can be detrimental since hackers can steal large amounts of sensitive corporate data. In some cases, hackers utilize cloud services as an initial entry point to, later on, establish a ransomware attack, allowing them to steal data and deploy ransomware. Because of the potential harm that cloud computing risks can cause, your company should have the right tools and practices to ensure the efficient and safe use of cloud services.
Important Cloud Security Measures for Your Business
If you want to ensure the safety of your business data and systems against potential cybersecurity threats, make cloud security measures your priority. Here are some cloud security precautions you should take to protect your company:
- Implement Identity and Access Management Tools
Accessibility in the cloud is a crucial consideration for businesses. It’s important to make it a priority to control and limit access to only key employees to minimize the chances of data breaches.
A siloed system is one way to protect your corporate data while maintaining seamless access for your employees. If you take this approach, the identity and accessibility permissions, as well as the account structures, will be determined by an employee’s role or job function within the organization.
The segmentation serves to leverage the principle of least privilege, in which employees are granted access to only the resources and actions required to perform their job. By taking this approach, any bad actor who infiltrates your infrastructure or compromises your credentials will be limited in scope.
- Maximize Encryption
Cloud applications are particularly useful for real-time data storage and distribution. However, if you want to ensure the security of your corporate data, encryption is an important step that companies should take to protect data stored in the cloud.
Encryption generally makes data unreadable, protecting it against unauthorized or malicious users. Most cloud providers now provide this service automatically, utilizing end-to-end data protection to and from the cloud and within to protect data from manipulation or theft.
The ideal approach is to look for an encryption product that integrates seamlessly with current work processes. End-users are no longer required to take additional steps to comply with the company’s encryption policies.
- Regular Security Patch Updates
Cloud-based applications, like other applications, receive software updates as providers develop and implement fixes to ensure better functionality. Most of these updates also contain patches for security vulnerabilities. Remember that even applications hosted by a cloud provider are vulnerable to security flaws and cyberattacks.
Regardless of what you’re using, always prioritize critical security patches since they fix any vulnerabilities that can put your organization at risk of cyberattacks. If you don’t do it right away, hackers will have enough time to use these as an entry point into corporate data and networks.
It’s best to work with your IT provider or in-house IT team to schedule routine comprehensive security and system audits. Doing so will greatly assist in identifying any out-of-date processes, compromised passwords, and other potential security risks.
- Make Use of an Offline Backup
Although cloud technology can provide numerous benefits to any business in terms of overall operations and processes, you shouldn’t rely solely on the cloud for security.
While automated alerts and multi-factor authentication (MFA) help secure networks, a breach is always possible, especially if preventive security measures aren’t implemented.
One of the cloud security measures to prioritize is the proper storage of data backups offline. If a scenario results in unavailable cloud services, your organization will have something to work with during the downtime.
- Schedule Regular Employee Training
Making sure your workforce is aware of cybersecurity threats and how to respond is one way to prevent cyberattacks on your organization.
Comprehensive and regular training sessions should cover basic security measures such as the importance of creating a concrete password, and how to pinpoint possible social engineering attacks such as phishing, and even advanced topics such as risk management.
The cloud security training you’ll provide should help your workforce clearly understand the inherent risk of shadow IT. Some small businesses face the issue of employees implementing their tools and systems without the knowledge or support of the IT team. Once visibility of all the systems interacting with corporate data is lacking, it’s impossible to keep track of any possible vulnerabilities. Companies should explain this risk and instill the potential consequences for the entire organization.
It’s also crucial to invest in specialized training for your security team. Due to the constantly evolving threats, it’ll come in handy, so your security team can keep up with the latest threats and potential countermeasures against them.
- Review The Compliance Requirements
When it comes to data security and client privacy, organizations that collect personally identifiable information (PII), such as those in the healthcare, retail, and finance industries, must follow strict protocols. Some businesses in certain geographic locations may also have special compliance requirements from the local or state government to adhere to strictly. When running a business with compliance requirements, it may be best to review them before establishing a new cloud computing service. Make sure that the service provider you’ll be working with is capable of complying with the data security requirements.
- Utilize Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
A preventive measure to ensure your organization’s safety is to implement security controls on how your workforce logs in to the cloud services in the first place. Whether your organization utilizes a remote desktop protocol (RDP), a virtual private network (VPN), or an office application suite, your employees should have more than their username and password to gain access.
Whether it requires your employees to tap an alert on their mobile phone or utilize a key on their desktop, multi-factor authentication (MFA) plays a key role in maintaining an effective defense against unauthorized access. Companies that use security measures have been able to prevent fraudulent sign-in attempts over the years.
Aside from blocking unauthorized users from accessing accounts, the notification that it sends out asking an employee to log in can function as an alert that someone is attempting to gain access. Generally, it’s one of the ways to warn companies that malicious hackers are targeting them.
- Enable Security Logs
Aside from the security and system audits your IT provider or in-house IT team routinely performs, make the right choice by enabling logging features.
Maximizing the security logging feature helps the system administrators monitor which users are creating changes to the environment. In most cases, it’s something that would be nearly impossible to carry out manually. Once a hacker gains access and performs modifications, the security logs will shed light on all the unusual activities to start timely remediation.
In cloud security, misconfigurations are the most challenging to deal with. Proper logging capabilities will greatly help pinpoint any alterations that lead to a specific vulnerability to ensure they’re corrected and avoided in the future. The logging feature also helps identify users with more access than needed to do their job. Once spotted, the administrators can make the necessary adjustments to the permissions.
Cloud security is one of the crucial elements for businesses to prioritize to ensure safety against possible cyberattacks. A hacking attempt can put corporate data and networks at risk, possibly resulting in detrimental downtime that can put a company’s reputation on the line. If you want to ensure all company data and networks stay safe while operating efficiently simultaneously, make it a priority to consider these valuable cloud security measures at all costs.