From buying groceries to getting expert assignment paper help – everything happens online these days.
And now that sensible people are avoiding store visits due to the ongoing pandemic, it has become important for businesses of all sizes to shift their operations online.
Thanks to cloud technology, it is easier to make that transition and run operations smoothly.
You will be surprised to know that almost every business you can think of right now uses public cloud services for crucial business applications besides just storing sensitive data on the cloud.
While major public cloud service providers including Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, offer an extremely safe environment, you still need to take several measures to strengthen cloud security.
It is important to note that security breaches are rarely caused by poor cloud data security. In most cases, it is a result of human errors – such as stolen login credentials, accidental deletions, insecure WiFi connections, disgruntled employees, and other employee mishaps. Here are 6 ways you can improve cloud security for your business:
1. Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA):
With time, hackers have gotten a lot smarter. They have their ways to get past the security of the traditional username and password combinations. Stolen credentials are one of the many ways hackers can access your online business data and applications. When a hacker has your user credentials, he/she can log into all your cloud-based applications and services that you use on a daily basis to run your business.
Multi-factor authentication often referred to as two-factor authentication, helps ensure that only authorized personnel can log in to the cloud apps and access the sensitive data stored on the cloud. MFA happens to be one of the cheapest security controls that effectively keep hackers from accessing cloud applications. Implement MFA as a part of your infrastructure as a service (IAAS) plan.
2. Manage User Access for Better Security:
In an organization, every employee does not require access to all the applications and every piece of information. When you set proper levels of authorization, it ensures that every employee can view or manipulate only those applications or data that are necessary for him/her or the job he/she does. Assigning access control reduces the risks of unintended changes in information from an employee and also protects you from hackers with stolen employee credentials.
You must already be aware of phishing emails. If one of your employees with access to everything on the cloud system falls for such phishing emails and inadvertently gives away his/her login information to the hackers – the hacker can have access to your private cloud and everything on it. Thus, it is important to manage user visibility and control. Hire a team of IT consultants if you cannot do it yourself.
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3. Assess User Activities to Detect Intruders:
If you want to detect intruders before they can cause any harm to your cloud system, you need to use real-time monitoring and analysis of user activities. This will help you spot irregularities that are different from normal usage patterns. For instance, if you detect a login to your system from a previously unknown device or IP address, you can flag that and take the necessary measures.
In most cases, such abnormal activities indicate a breach in your system. The earlier you can catch them, the more likely you are at stopping the hackers from causing harm to your cloud system. There are plenty of data protection solutions available to businesses these days to set up automated 24×7 networking monitoring and management. Some of the best ones are:
- Endpoint Detection and Response
- Vulnerability Scanning and Remediation
- Intrusion Detection and Response
Before you pick a cybersecurity solution and invest largely in it, do get a third-party risk assessment.
4. Develop a Comprehensive Off-Boarding Process:
When your employees leave the company, you need to make sure that they no longer have access to your cloud system, customer information, and/or intellectual properties. This is a crucial security responsibility that organizations often ignore for days. If the departing employee has any ill intentions, he/she can cause damage to your cloud systems until you revoke his/her access.
You need a systemized deprovisioning process that will help you ensure that all the access rights for each departing employee are revoked. If you are unable to manage this process from within the organisation, don’t hesitate to outsource the task to someone who has the necessary expertise to set up, implement and maintain this process.
5. Educate Your Employees About Phishing:
As mentioned, phishing is a major threat that got every company in the world, worrying. With this trick and several others (social media spying and spoofing websites), hackers can gain access to secure information by stealing the login credentials of your employees. With the rapid expansion of Microsoft Office 365, which is an attractive target for hackers, the frequency of phishing attacks is also increasing.
You should offer quality training sessions in your organisations to educate your employees about the scams and how they can keep sensitive data safe from the hands of hackers. The anti-phishing training needs to be frequent and must be made into a continual process. It will be better if you appoint someone within the organisation to manage this process properly.
6. Opt for the Cloud to Cloud Backup Solutions:
Even if you avail of the aforementioned measures, there are still plenty of risks associated with the cloud application suite and platform. While you need to consider human errors, there is also a major possibility of losing your cloud data and a certain amount of cloud functionality due to lightning strikes. Thus, it is a good idea to keep a backup of your cloud storage.
An interesting fact is that most cloud providers, including Microsoft, store deleted data in their data centers for a short period of time. So, do check with your cloud service provider to determine what that time frame is and whether the service provider charges any fees to restore data. Also, cloud-to-cloud backup solutions are gaining some popularity. Check-in with a reputable IT consultant to decide which backup solution is best suited for your business.
With time, hackers will only acquire more advanced measures to gain access to your data and applications. So, you do need to improve your security measures accordingly to secure your cloud storage and functions from such threats.
These aforementioned tips can be really useful to safeguard your cloud system in 2021. However, you should keep on improving security with time.