In this day and age, nearly every business makes use of cloud technology in some way. With greater efficiency and convenience, automation, reduced costs, and much more on the table, there are many reasons why this is the case.
Yet despite the large collection of benefits available, it’s essential for cloud environments to remain secure at all times. While cloud computing offers advanced security features, keeping your data safe is still a pressing issue when utilizing this technology.
The good news is that cloud security shouldn’t leave you with sleepless nights. The top cloud service providers do a lot of the heavy lifting to ensure your data doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. Yet you still have to be alert when it comes to protecting your business.
After all, it’s not uncommon for a company to suffer from cloud-related security threats. 2022 statistics reveal that, over the past 18 months, a staggering 79% of organizations experienced a cloud data breach.
To prevent your business from adding to that figure, here are seven key steps to improve cloud security.
Step #1: Educate yourself
First of all, it is highly recommended you become well-versed in all things relating to cloud security. Understandably, the more you know about this subject, the more aware you are of existing threats – and how to prevent these from impacting your business.
There is a lot to learn when it comes to cloud security and the threats that exist.
Fortunately, there are many resources online that can help with your education. Say you want to begin learning about privilege escalation types and how these can pose a problem for your business. You don’t have to look far for help. Sonrai Security has a comprehensive guide about all-things privilege escalation types.
With so much to learn, it can be overwhelming when you dive into the world of cloud security. Yet with the right collection of resources, you can quickly become a source of knowledge and help your company stay safe.
Step #2: Educate your employees
It’s not just you who has to become knowledgeable about cloud security. It’s important your employees are also aware of the threats that currently exist.
Did you know your staff members pose one of the biggest threats to your security efforts? This isn’t necessarily due to direct involvement. It is often because of negligence, where an employee clicks the wrong link via an email for example, or when they communicate sensitive information to a cybercriminal that is posing as another person within the company.
Lessons about cloud security shouldn’t be a one-and-done thing. As technology continues to evolve, so do cybercriminals as they look to devise the latest exploits to gain access to an organization’s data.
Add in the importance of security in general, and you should regularly teach your employees about staying safe on the cloud.
Step #3: Protect user data
As mentioned in the previous step, human negligence is the most common reason for security breaches. While teaching your employees goes some way to nullify this problem, more can be done. One of the most important tactics is to protect user data.
Protecting your staff’s identity is vital if they have access to your company’s sensitive data. Hackers will often target their identities. This means if they’re not visible, cybercriminals won’t be able to find the opening they’re seeking from your business.
On this subject, you must also take the necessary steps to protect your company’s metadata. If a hacker discovers evidence of this metadata, it poses a security risk that is the same as discovering the data itself. The problem is that a lot of cloud service providers use a single central location to store metadata. As a result, it’s recommended you utilize separate storage locations to distribute your metadata for added protection.
Step #4: Manage user access
The next move to limit human error is to manage user access for your employees. If you have numerous departments across your organization featuring a mixture of executives with lower-level staff members, not every employee requires access to every application or document.
You must establish access rights and ensure only the necessary people have access to vital business files.
Step #5: Boost password security
Another aspect of user access to consider is password security. You should incorporate robust policies when it comes to password strength and the regularity of refreshing said passwords.
In this day and age, it’s also standard practice to have multi-factor authentication for that extra layer of security. As an example, the first factor can be for an employee to enter their password as usual. Yet after this, they could be required to enter a passcode that was sent to their mobile phone. This extra step can go a long way to stopping cybercriminals in their tracks.
Step #6: Pick your SaaS providers with caution
As you likely know, a software as a service (SaaS) provider typically supplies your cloud data with an extra layer of protection. At least, that’s the case depending on the SaaS provider you select.
Make the wrong decision, and it’s possible that, instead of fortifying your cloud security, it will actually compromise it.
If a SaaS provider manages your encryption keys for example, this is a warning sign. The same can be said if they generate these keys within an unencrypted server.
Step #7: Ensure deleted data is deleted
With cloud services, one notable issue is the way deleted data can stick around. The reason is that you are unable to confirm if your deleted data is actually deleted from your cloud storage – something that is taken for granted with local storage systems.
Ultimately, you have to rely on your cloud service provider to ensure your data is permanently removed.
With this in mind, this is just another reason to never cheap out when selecting a CSP. Always select a provider that has a track record for exceptional service – even if it costs you a little extra.