The Adoption of Cloud Services Has Increased Improves Simplicity of Use but Also Exposes Users to Greater Risk

It is evident that there are numerous advantages for businesses when utilising cloud-based services. These include cost reduction, scalability improvement, enhanced collaboration, increased mobility and adaptability, as well as automation of mundane tasks such as software updates and data backups.

As the adoption of remote workforces grows, the advantages that cloud computing brings to businesses are becoming increasingly apparent. Nevertheless, there are some drawbacks that must be taken into consideration. In recent years, cloud computing has become increasingly prevalent, and this has made it a target for cybercriminals seeking new attack routes. With this in mind, it is essential for businesses to be aware of the potential risks in order to safeguard their data in 2023 and beyond.

It is astonishing to discover that a large proportion of organisations are already utilising cloud services. Reports indicate that between 75% and 80% of firms have reported a breach in their cloud data. Nonetheless, it is not necessary to move all computer operations back in-house. In this article, we will discuss why and how cloud services are being abused, as well as the steps that can be taken to prevent it.

Reasons Why Online Storage Is a Weak Spot

Cyberattacks are a potential threat to any environment where data is stored or used. Different forms of cloud computing can bring unique security challenges, with hackers having a wide range of potential targets in the public cloud. Cloud service consumers may not have full visibility of their simulated infrastructures, and the flexibility of cloud computing can lead to less stringent adherence to security measures in an ever-changing environment.

When managing multiple public and private cloud providers, as well as on-premises installations, security is a key concern when considering a multicloud setup. It is the customer’s responsibility to ensure their own infrastructure is compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when using a cloud service.

How Attacks on Cloud Resources Are Changing

Storing data in multiple locations raises the risk of it being accessed by malicious hackers. This underscores the importance of cloud-based security solutions. Hackers have a variety of methods they can use to try to steal data, such as by phishing – sending emails or other communications with a link to a fraudulent website that captures personal information.

See this video for a straightforward explanation of what phishing is all about:

With the reuse of passwords becoming increasingly common, hackers are able to access a greater number of accounts with minimal effort. This increases their ability to gather information and gain power. In the case of ransomware attacks, the attackers may publish or threaten to publish the data unless a ransom is paid.

It is essential that staff receive training in cyber security, as phishing attempts and other forms of social engineering can only be successful with the assistance of someone within the organisation. It is imperative that employees are aware of the potential risks and are equipped with the knowledge to prevent them.

Recommended Procedures for Cybersecurity in the Cloud

Despite the cloud services your business utilises having their own security protocols and policies in place, it is still your company’s responsibility to take necessary steps to ensure the security of your data. Ultimately, any potential security breach will require your business to manage customer complaints, pay fines and incur additional time and money to rectify the situation. Below are some approaches you may wish to consider.

  • Professional development for the staff.

    Frequent configuration difficulties or inadequate security measures on the part of the system administrator may be responsible for cloud-based data breaches. To protect cloud data, one of the most crucial steps is to ensure staff are trained on the newest security threats and how to mitigate them.
  • Protected hardware.

    There is an increasing preference among workers to use their personal smartphones to access cloud applications, rather than having a dedicated work device that requires maintenance. As long as the appropriate procedures are in place to mitigate security and risk issues, this arrangement should be suitable.
  • Safety in the cloud.

    Amazon, Microsoft and Google are amongst the cloud service providers that have integrated security measures into their infrastructure and have provided additional tools to ensure they are used to their optimal capacity. If you have any queries regarding the security measures in place, please do not hesitate to contact your provider.
  • Negative Trust.

    Zero Trust security emphasises the importance of being vigilant and verifying activities; users should only be granted the permissions necessary to carry out their specific tasks. We strongly recommend that organisations adopt this strategy as it has the potential to significantly improve their network security.
  • Tools for managing identities and permissions.

    The security of online identities is the responsibility of Identity and Access Management (IAM). Access to the network is only granted to users who have been successfully identified, authenticated and authorised. In accordance with these principles, users who require additional access must undergo more thorough authentication processes.
  • Firewall for web applications.

    Data transfers to and from web application servers are monitored and regulated by a WAF, which adapts to new traffic patterns.
  • Account security system.

    Passwords may seem insignificant, but they are essential as they are the most common way for hackers to gain access to user accounts. To reduce the risk of using weak or repetitive passwords, staff should be encouraged to use password management software.
  • Multiple-factor authentication.

    Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of security to user accounts, making it much harder for hackers to gain access to data. This can be achieved through the use of a mobile phone, a fingerprint scanner or a physical key, among other methods.
  • Data copies.

    Don’t forget to create backups of your cloud-based programmes. If the supplier doesn’t provide this feature, you may want to look into alternatives.
  • Encryption.

    Data should be encrypted prior to being sent to the cloud in order to adhere to standard policy frameworks. This, in combination with authorised access, is an essential precaution.

Evaluate Your Current Cloud Security Methods

Cloud computing offers many advantages, however companies must take further precautions to protect customer data. To ensure data security, it is essential that every employee is aware of their responsibilities. There are numerous resources available to help with this, but the most important step is to ensure that everyone is aware of their part in maintaining data safety.

Team members, particularly those who are working remotely, could benefit from regular updates, reminders and simulated hacking exercises to ensure they are aware of the latest risks. Their work is essential in protecting the firm from the loss of information, resources and credibility with customers.

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