What is Cloud Security?
This Article covers the topic of what we can do to Improve Cloud Security. Cloud adoption is an IT security strategy that is disrupting industries around the world. The move to the cloud provides convenience, lower total cost of ownership, and consistent uptimes compared to on-premises infrastructure. As a result of the benefits available from cloud migration, it’s expected that spending on public cloud infrastructure and services will grow to $500 billion by 2023.
When it comes to cybersecurity, cloud security (or cloud computing security) spans policies, practices, and technologies for protecting cloud computing systems. In essence, cloud security fundamentally secures cloud-stored data and other digital assets against data breaches, malware, distributed denial of service (DDoS), hacking, and other cybersecurity threats.
With cloud security, end-users expect their data to be more secure in the cloud than on their hard drives or local servers. Though cloud service providers have cybersecurity measures in place, that doesn’t mean they are invulnerable to data breaches, DDoS, and other cybersecurity threats.
How to Improve Cloud Security, in Six Ways
1. Deploy Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to Improve Cloud Security
The traditional username and password combination is often insufficient to protect user accounts from hackers, and stolen credentials is one of the main ways hackers get access to your on-line business data and applications.
Once they have your user credentials, they can log into all those cloud-based applications and services that you use every day to run your business.
Protect all of your cloud users with multi factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that only authorized personnel can log in to your cloud apps and access that sensitive data in your on- or off- premise environment.
MFA is one of the cheapest yet most effective security controls to keep would-be hackers from accessing your cloud applications.
In fact, most security experts will tell you that its now considered negligent if you DON’T implement MFA as part of your infrastructure as a service (IAAS) plan.
If you want to learn more about exactly what MFA is, take a look at our data sheet to get all the details.
2. Manage Your User Access to Improve Cloud Computing Security
Most employees don’t need access to every application, every piece of information, or every file in your cloud infrastructure.
Setting proper levels of authorization with an IAM plan ensures that each employee can only view or manipulate the applications or data necessary for him or her to do their job.
Simply Assigning access control not only helps prevent an employee from accidentally editing information that he or she isn’t authorized to access. But this also protects you from hackers who have stolen an employee’s credentials.
It should also be noted that many regulatory compliance standards, such as HIPAA, FINRA and many others. It Requires these kinds of security measures.
If an employee who has access to EVERYTHING gets tricked by a phishing email. Then the Employee inadvertently provides their log in information to your private cloud – well, now the hacker has the keys to all your kingdoms!
If you don’t have the in-house time or talent to manage this user visibility and control yourself. Then be sure to work with a qualified IT consultant to help you get this set up properly.
You can also explore on-going management of all your cloud IT services by signing up with a Managed Services Provider. A provide who can completely take the burden of user access and management,. This is also known as identity and access management (IAM), off your plate.
3. Monitor End User Activities With Automated Solutions to Detect Intruders
Real-time monitoring and analysis of end user activities can help you spot irregularities. These are Irregularities that deviate from normal usage patterns, e.g., log in from a previously unknown IP or devices.
These abnormal activities could indicate a breach in your system. Therefore catching them early on can stop hackers in their tracks, and allow you to fix security issues before they cause mayhem.
There are many SOCaaS solutions that can help you out with this. By starting with automated 24/7 networking monitoring and management and moving up to advanced cyber security solutions such as:
- Intrusion Detection & Response
- Vulnerability Scanning and Remediation
- Endpoint Detection and Response
Every business has varying needs for different levels of cyber security services. Therefore be sure to get a third party risk assessment before making any large investments.
4. Create a Comprehensive Off-boarding Process to Protect against Departing Employees
When employees leave your company. You must make sure they can no longer access your cloud storage, systems, data, customer information, and intellectual properties. This is a crucial security responsibility that often gets pushed back days or weeks after someone has left.
Since each employee would likely have access to many different cloud applications and platforms. Therefore you need a systemized deprovisioning process to ensure that all the access rights for each departing employee are revoked.
Again, if you can’t manage this internally, don’t hesitate to outsource this task. Outsource it to someone who knows how to properly set up, implement and maintain this process.
5. Provide Anti-Phishing Training for Employees on a Regular Basis
Hackers can gain access to secure information by stealing employees’ login credentials through a number of ways. These include social engineering techniques such as phishing, spoofing websites, and social media spying. Cybersecurity has become a shared responsibility.
As an example, the rapid expansion of Microsoft Office 365. This has made it a very attractive target for hackers . Whereby more and more threats are emerging, specifically the frequency of phishing attacks.
Offering ongoing training is the best way to protect employees. By preventing them from falling victims to these scams and compromising your company’s sensitive data.
Keep in mind we said “ongoing” – phishing training is not one and done. This is a continual process that needs be managed by someone within the organization in order to make it effective!
6. Consider Cloud-to-Cloud Back Up Solutions to Improve Cloud Security
As mentioned, the odds of you losing data because of your cloud provider’s mistake is very low. However losing that data due to human error is high.
Let’s use Microsoft Office 365 as an example.
If an employee should accidentally delete data, a hacker obtains an account password and corrupts the data. Or a rogue employee cleans out his inbox and folders. In this case there is nothing Microsoft can do past a certain time period.
Note that most cloud providers, including Microsoft . Do store deleted data in their data centers for a short period of time, including your Microsoft Office 365 data.
But be sure to check with your cloud provider to determine what this time frame is. Also if there are fees to restore that data (when possible to retrieve it.)
Companies that must abide by strict regulations or are concerned with being held liable due to missing or corrupted data, are turning to cloud-to-cloud back up solutions.
There are many of these solutions on the market today . These Solutions Can help protect you and your organization. Therefore check in with a reputable IT consultant to determine which solution is best for your business.
Minimize Your Cloud Computing Security Risks
In general, cloud computing is a much more cost effective option. It is also definitely more secure if you take the right precautions.
Following industry best practices in selecting, installing, provisioning, and managing multi cloud services can help you get the most out of cloud computing. This while still maintaining a high level of security to protect your sensitive data.
Experienced IT professionals can help you design and budget for a comprehensive cloud computing strategy. One that ties all the pieces together, and even provide ongoing management to make sure you’re protected.