The cloud has become so ingrained into our society that you might not even think about it at all at this point. The vast majority of businesses use the cloud in some fashion, as do the vast majority of individuals, whether they realize it or not. Digital payments, data storage, application hosting, and online communication are all ways in which businesses use the power of the cloud for their day to day operations. And with that much of your business utilizing the cloud, it’s important to ensure that your cloud security is up to snuff.
An Increase in Remote Attacks on Cloud Services
According to a report by McAfee security, in the first four months of 2020, there was a 630% increase in attacks on cloud service targets. The rise in attacks on these services coincides with the rise in use of these services due to the stay at home orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over that same four-month period, there was a 50% increase in cloud service use and a 600% increase in online collaboration service use — think Zoom. With so many more people using cloud-based services for important work, it was only a matter of time before they became targets. More users leads to more potential openings for malicious actors to infiltrate systems.
Why Cloud Security should be Taken Seriously
Cloud security is necessary and should be taken seriously for three main reasons: You and your business rely on it, there are many potential entry points into cloud systems, and the threats to those systems are constantly evolving.
Your Business Relies on the Cloud
As previously mentioned, the cloud is used for a wide variety of different business functions, from simple internal communication to hosting the complex applications you need to do your work. Not only do you use the cloud to access vital business information, but that information itself is also sent to, from, and all throughout the cloud. Because of this, depending on when and where an attack occurs, data may be lost if it’s not properly backed up. And even if backups exist, they can be corrupted like any other data.
For this reason, your best option is to prevent attacks before they happen. Backups are great to have as a safety net, and any good cloud security system will utilize them. But prevention is the number one way to ensure your data, applications, and ability to run your business stay protected from online attacks.
There are many Potential Points of Entry
One of the biggest problems with relying on the cloud is that it has so many potential points of entry for attackers. Every connected system, device, application, and user account is a potential entry point. Because of this, a robust security system is required to keep everything locked down. Breaches should not happen in the first place, but if they do, there should be multiple layers of security. When one account, device, or cloud application is compromised, there should be ways to prevent the attack from spreading all throughout the cloud.
When you partner with an IT security provider, vulnerabilities in your cloud system will be fixed, access will be restricted as needed, and the system will be monitored for breaches 24/7.
Online Threats are Evolving
Both online threats and cloud security are locked in a constant evolutionary struggle for supremacy. As threats evolve to breach the latest security trends, security systems evolve new ways to keep those threats locked out. If you don’t have a cloud security provider, chances are your security isn’t up to date. And if your security isn’t up to date, it’s only a matter of time before attackers find a way in.
How Cloud Security is Achieved
In order to achieve a secure cloud system, three things are required: Continuous monitoring for threats, utilization of trusted software, and the strict management of access to specific information and applications on the cloud.
Monitoring for suspicious activity is one way to mitigate the damage done by threats that have already breached the first line of defense. If a threat is spotted, it can be cut off from the rest of the system and dealt with before it becomes a larger issue. But monitoring can also be useful for preventing those breaches. Monitoring for updates and possible vulnerabilities is an important preemptive aspect of cloud security. When applications are out of date or vulnerabilities are discovered, your security provider will complete the necessary updates and patches.
Sticking to software from publishers you know and trust is a great way to keep your cloud secure. If you don’t know who made an application and how it uses your system, your best bet is to avoid it. Trusted publishers are also more likely to take the security of their software seriously by seeking out vulnerabilities and then patching them through routine updates.
Your cloud security partner can help you make the right choices regarding trusted software, both from a security and an integration standpoint.
The final of the three main ways to keep your cloud secure is to manage access to specific data and applications within it. Users should only have access to the data and programs that they need to perform their job. Restricting access to unnecessary portions of the cloud helps to compartmentalize the system in case of a breach. An example of this in action would be if the account of an engineer was breached. That may grant the attacker access to the engineering files, but they wouldn’t be able to gain access to the financial records of the company as well because the engineer doesn’t need that to do their job. As a rule of thumb, you don’t want one person to have access to everything, just in case.
Along with managing access via users, it can also be done via device or geographic location. A company accountant may have access to all of the finances, but only if they’re using one of their company-issued devices. Additionally, restricting access to certain geographic locations can be useful too. If your business is based on the East coast of the United States, a login attempt from Russia could be blocked automatically to safeguard the cloud.
Secure Your Cloud with ITSG
As more individuals and businesses make use of the cloud for their day to day operations, the rise in online attacks has increased by over 600%. To protect your business from these attacks, it’s important to invest in a robust online security program. With ITSG, your cloud will be monitored 24/7, be updated when necessary, and utilize breach mitigation efforts such as access restriction. Contact us today for more information on how ITSG can keep your cloud system running smoothly and securely.