The wide adoption and application of cloud technology have been one of the most revolutionary steps in digital technology recently, but just like everything else, the benefits don’t come without elements of risk.
As most companies now use multiple cloud-based services, it is necessary for organizations to be aware of those risks, and to be able to protect themselves from cloud security threats.
Risk assessment is the primary step towards creating a protective environment for your data, systems, and operations. To do that, the following steps are mandatory.
- Usage of a data classification engine for identification and tagging of datasets, which are at most risk of being stolen
- Identifying all parties that can currently access sensitive data
- Identifying the locations, devices, and roles of each user with access to sensitive data
- Utilization of user behavior analytics to identify malicious users
- Assessing risks from Shadow IT: What other cloud services are the users utilizing and how risky are they?
- Auditing and correcting misconfigurations in the IaaS (AWS, Azure, etc.); just one can lead to exploitable security gaps
After an assessment, it’s time to put in the necessary protective measures and data protection policies, which will protect against the risks discovered, in accordance with their immediate and potential level of threat.
- Educating users against breaking data protection policies levied on account of the assessment
- Private encryption keys will keep your data inaccessible to not just outside entities, but also to the cloud service providers themselves
- Restrict data access, sharing and downloading, to and from unregistered devices
- Protect your IaaS with antimalware software, across operating systems and virtual networks
Similar to protective measures discussed in the previous point, threat response is a more advanced set of steps that the administrators can arrange to be taken automatically.
- Making two-factor authentication a mandatory and automatic process if an unregistered device attempts to access data
- The firewall should be connected to a constantly updated database for cloud risk factors
- Regular scanning of cloud-stored files for potential malware should be automated
The Tools of the Trade
This brief introduction to cloud security measures should provide you with an idea regarding how to proceed, but you also need the right tools to take the necessary actions.
For a more detailed, step-by-step guide to cloud security, as well as for getting access to the actual cloud access security broker software, cloud workload protection software and virtual network security software tools that you will need to initiate the necessary security measures discussed, visit the McAfee website.
Cyberthreats are not exclusive to big enterprises and governments. Cybercriminal organizations will regularly attempt to find and breach small companies, as they are generally easier to hack into. Also, when a cloud service provider is compromised, it immediately puts all their big and small clients in danger. It should be considered a necessity to have extra layers of private cloud security in place, irrespective of the organization’s size.