The cloud has so many strategic advantages for business. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the cloud model took off as employees needed to be able to work remotely from anywhere. The reasons that make cloud so appealing have also introduced a host of new cyber security threats and challenges.
Cyber criminals have quickly noticed that remote employees could be easy targets to break into networks that have poorly configured cloud security. Cyber criminals only need to steal a username and password, either via phishing emails or brute forcing their way, and all of a sudden, those criminals have access to your network.
So, what can you do to better protect your cloud network? Thankfully, there are some cyber security best practices for cloud computing that can you help you protect your business.
- Multifactor authentication
It should go without saying that multifactor authentication is something that need to be present, and not just for cloud computing. Passwords have become too easy to steal, and relying on a password alone for authentication is no longer good enough. According to Microsoft, MFA protects against 99.9% of fraudulent sign-in attempts. In addition to blocking unauthorised users from automatically gaining entry to accounts, the notification sent out by the service, which asks the user if they attempted to log in, can act as an alert that someone breached the password.
All data transferred to and stored on the cloud must be encrypted. This way, the data is unreadable by unauthorized individuals. Some cloud providers automatically provide this service, employing end-to-end protection of data to and from the cloud, as well as inside it, preventing it from being manipulated or stolen. It is best to check with your cloud provider to find out if they offer this service.
- Vulnerability and Remediation Management
Also known as patch management, this is important for all applications. Just like you would for any other hardware and software used on your network, you need to ensure you apply the updates and patches for security vulnerabilities as soon as possible. When vulnerabilities are not remediated in a timely manner, the potential exists for cyber criminals to abuse these vulnerabilities as an entry point to the network and lead to further cyberattacks.
- Use Principle of least privilege
One favourite tactic of cyber criminals is to exploit accounts with admin user privileges. Admin user privileges allow the user to access and make changes to any part of your network. In your business, you need to ensure only those who need admin access have it. These accounts also need to be secured with multifactor authentication so that even if the admin password is compromised, the cyber criminal will not be able to get in.
As has been seen with the surge in ransomware attacks this year, it is important that you continue to backup your data. Backups of data should be stored offline, so in the event that your cloud services are unavailable, you still have your data to work with.
- Ensure cloud apps are easy to use
Cloud applications can make collaboration easier for everyone, but if they are not easily accessible and intuitive to use, your organization runs the risk of employees not wanting to use them. While your business needs to be as secure as possible, if your cloud apps are too difficult to use, employees will become frustrated and turn to public cloud tools instead. This is not something you want, as Information stolen from an employee’s personal account could potentially lead to an extensive data breach or wider compromise of your business. You need to work with your cloud provider to ensure that the tools are easy to use while having the most security possible. If necessary, you may need to provide training to ensure your employees are able to use the cloud apps provided in a secure manner.
While securing your cloud environment can be challenging, following these 6 best practices can help. If you need help implementing any of these best practices, contact Uzado today to learn more about how we can help you manage your cloud cyber security.