Gone are the days when people used file cabinets for storing sensitive data. The cloud has shown itself compelling as a safe virtual location for privately housing data such as health documentation, employment files, and family videos and photos. In addition, many businesses are choosing cloud computing and are willing to spend the necessary money to do it. This is true as 94% of enterprises currently use cloud-based software, with 36% paying more than USD$12 million yearly on such technology.
Similarly, the cloud constantly changed the practices of businesses on its internal operation and in serving customers. Cloud architecture has made remote work less hard for various companies while at the same time giving access to data and tools that the employees need to work together. Another reason cloud provides an dded advantage is that companies can gain the benefits of efficiency, scalability, and an opportunity to save on costs which can only happen by moving away from on-premise data storage.
However, the unconstrained development in cloud computing raises Cloud Security risks among companies’ data. Data breaches, data loss, identity risks, malware, denial of service, and system vulnerabilities are among the matters of concern. And so, experts believe that Cloud Security solutions set up in the cloud can be suitable for businesses. These Cloud Security solutions can significantly reduce cloud security risk in your business, preventing unnecessary loss of data and money. In the same manner, knowing the essential things regarding security solutions that you can do can indeed help. This article will exactly delve into that.
To start, here are the ways to minimize cloud security risks in your business.
1. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
New ways of becoming vulnerable to cybercriminals always appear, and stolen credentials are one of the primary ways hackers access online company data and applications. That’s why traditional username and password combinations are not enough to safeguard user accounts from hackers. And so, the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) to adequately protect cloud users is vital to ensure that only authorized individuals can have access to sensitive data and cloud apps. Nearly all of the security experts out there say that it’s required as part of Cloud Security solutions. They will also tell you that you’re careless if you fail to apply MFA as part of your infrastructure as a service plan.
But what is multi-factor authentication? Multi-factor authentication, also called two-factor authentication or two-step authentication, is an electronic authentication system where a person needs more than one distinct authentication factor for successful authentication. It makes use of a multi-factor authenticator or a combination of authenticators that gives diverse factors. Likewise, other usual authentication methods include answering secret questions, integrating biometric logins, giving off personal identification numbers (PIN), or typing in a code that the cloud provider emailed or texted to you.
Note that what’s good about this authentication system is that even if a hacker knows your password, they will still have a hard time getting into your account. All in all, MFA is one of the most affordable yet most effective Cloud Security controls to ward off potential hackers from gaining access to your cloud applications.
2. Limit User Access
When more than one user accesses a company’s cloud storage, the first step to take is to start levels of clearance. Your business should limit user access to do this. Limiting cloud data access to specific employees can only significantly increase data stability. In other words, the smaller the number of people who have access to the data, the better. Moreover, when data entry access is limited and targeted, it can be way less hard to detect the origin of a data breach.
One way to limit user access is to link identities to back-end directories, even for external identities. Another step is to use a smartphone access control system that gives a way to manage users easily and assign door access no matter where the IT support personnel is. An access control system can limit employees to only one sign-on (SSO) authentication.
Encryption is the act of hiding pertinent data, such as financial information (codes and credit card numbers), in the form of unreadable codes. Encryption is crucial in terms of your data being in the cloud. In cloud encryption, you can alter the company’s text and data by using encryption algorithms, which are then stored in the cloud.
Likewise, nearly all cloud storage users assume that each cloud service they have chosen provides its encryption. This opinion can be valid. For instance, DropBox employs an excellent encryption system for business files. The problem is that you don’t possess the decryption key either because this cloud service owns the encryption key. However, what’s worse is that hackers can access your data if they also take possession of the decryption key. Therefore, you need to encrypt your data and files using encryption software or application before sending them into the cloud.
Altogether, cryptographic protection of data is essential, no matter its size. It may seem unnecessary but be reminded that data breaches can occur at any moment. And so, if the cloud data are well encrypted, you can avoid being worried about unauthorized access halfway and on the chance of improper handling. In short, encryption will always keep your data secure.
4. Backup Business Data
More and more data are being moved in and out of servers as businesses rely on cloud computing. Therefore, there’s a greater possibility of data corruption or mishandling. Likewise, corruption of files that can undermine business processes can occur if you fail to back up the company’s cloud data early. Therefore, you should back up your cloud data. Backing up cloud data is the best method for companies to prevent configuration errors and malware that could endanger or erase it.
Most cloud service providers do automatic backup of data, which should make you comfortable at a certain level. On the other hand, the Cloud Security of their backup devices isn’t easy to determine. Also, it’s hard to ensure that cyber risks will make your cloud server vulnerable. In this scenario, using a physical drive such as a universal series bus (USB) to back up data is an ideal course of action. Furthermore, keeping your cloud data offline to ensure that no one can access it through the internet is also good.
Likewise, we can’t leave things to chance. Nearly all businesses can’t afford to keep their private information on their personnel’s home PCs. And so, placing automatic backups and recovery on independent servers is vital. This practice can help keep your most recent changes on files and data saved and secured whenever unexpected incidents happen.
5. Educate Employees
Here are the specific ways to apply employee education on cloud security:
- Set up a plan—You can set up a response protocol if the employees feel that they’ve been compromised. Your business can develop a document that gives your staff the steps to take in various situations to make them more prepared.
- Involve the whole company—Employees are more likely to own their duties concerning security procedures when they’re actively a part of safeguarding business assets. And so, you can get all of the workforce involved in security training and inform them of the best
- actions possible.
- Run untold security tests—Training your staff means nothing if the employees fail to keep in mind the information received. Therefore, you can spend money on tools that provide the chance to send simulated phishing emails to check if your staff has made the correct steps in such situations.
6. Conduct Penetration Testing
When your business is ready for cloud data security, always remember to test it. Think like a cybercriminal and find ways of testing whether or not the system you’ve made can be invaded or tampered with. This practice is called penetration testing, and it helps reduce cloud security threats while saving you from wasting time. Likewise, there are some things to remember when employing penetration testing, these are:
- Analyze your business’ vulnerabilities and make an inventory of what to test, like applications and servers.
- A penetration test looks like a real cyber-attack. Therefore, you should inform your cloud provider before it begins.
As you continue to develop your plan for a cloud penetration test, remember that internal risks are as real as external ones.
The use of file cabinets is over in terms of storing sensitive information. The cloud has proven helpful in storing private data such as employment files, health documentation, and family videos and photos. In addition, many companies have chosen the cloud as part of their operation. It makes remote work much more manageable and allows the business team to collaborate. It can also make one’s business more efficient, provides scalability, and provides the chance to save on costs.
On the other hand, different security risks among businesses’ sensitive data arise along with the growth of cloud computing usage. Therefore, experts agree that you should incorporate security solutions into the cloud. All in all, to have proper cloud security, you can practice some Cloud Security practices such as employing multi-factor authentication, encrypting cloud data, educating employees, and backing up business data.