Over the last decade, there has been a major shift in how companies work and where they store their data. At the beginning of the technology age, much of the software a company used was installed on hard drives of computers and servers that were kept on site. Data was similarly stored using offline methods, like flash drives and external drives.
Today, business technology infrastructure looks quite different. It’s largely based on cloud services and relies on SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), and other online facilitators.
Between 2017 and 2021, the adoption of PaaS grew from 32% to 56%, meaning over half of companies use a cloud platform containing several different cloud apps.
What has this done to cybersecurity threats?
They have also shifted to the cloud. Credential theft is now the number one tactic used in phishing emails and breached login credentials has become the top cause of data breaches in the world.
Businesses that want to keep up, need to shift their mindset from only being concerned about on-premises assets and include cloud security as a major piece of their strategy.
Small businesses often make the mistake of assuming that the cloud provider (Microsoft, Google, Amazon Web Services, etc.) will handle all the security. But it’s a shared responsibility.
While cloud providers can ensure their data centers have proper threat monitoring and response, they can’t make your employees secure their passwords.
There are four core elements of cloud security that you should address when planning your IT security strategy.
Account Access Controls
As we noted, credential theft is now a main target of cybercriminals and has become a major cause of data security incidents. Addressing the security of account access is a must and will go a long way towards ensuring you don’t suffer any insider attacks from breached passwords.
Privileged accounts are particularly lucrative for hackers because they allow them to gain access to many other areas of a cloud account, such as account management, running of scripts, and payment information.
Some of the ways you can improve account access security include:
- Create settings in apps that reject weak passwords
- Regularly audit privileged accounts
- Put multi-factor authentication in place for all users
- Use a single sign-on (SSO) solution that enables blanket security policies across all cloud account logins
- Use a business password manager
If you pick up your smartphone right now, how many business apps are you automatically logged into?
Apps like Slack, Trello, MS Word, and others will have persistent logins, meaning that if you’ve already logged in on your device, it keeps you logged in.
This is convenient for users, but dangerous if a criminal has access to your phone either physically or through the use of mobile malware that allows remote access.
It’s vital to put endpoint security in place to ensure only authorized personnel are connecting to your cloud accounts and data. You can do this through the use of mobile device managers (like Microsoft Intune) that can secure mobile devices, track unusual access patterns, and apply common security policies to protect cloud data that follows it to the device.
Back-Up All Cloud Data
With most data transitioned to cloud platforms, it’s important that you update your backup and recovery strategy accordingly. Cloud storage is not the same as having a backup where files can’t be edited once captured.
Cloud service providers recommend that you backup the data you have stored in their services. For example, Microsoft’s Services Agreement states, “We recommend that you regularly backup Your Content and Data that you store on the Services or store using Third-Party Apps and Services.”
Ransomware is not only a danger to computers and on-premises servers, it can also infect cloud storage. Once this happens, you need to have a way to restore your data, so you won’t end up at the mercy of the attacker.
There are backup systems designed specifically to capture data stored in cloud platforms.
Custom Cloud Security Configuration
One of the contributing factors to many cloud data breaches is misconfiguration of security settings. In some cases, this simply means that the company never changed security from default settings, and as a result, left the accounts vulnerable to attack.
It’s important to have your cloud security settings customized by a cloud security professional, like GEEK911. This ensures that you aren’t leaving vital protections disabled and that your security is as consistent as possible across different types of cloud platforms.
Let Us Help You With Your Cloud Security Strategy
Don’t leave your cloud data vulnerable to a breach. GEEK911 can help your Silicon Valley area business with a holistic cybersecurity strategy that incorporates vital cloud safeguards.
Schedule a consultation by calling 1-866-433-5411 or reach us online.