Cloud computing has become one of the biggest technological trends in modern times. Companies are already using cloud providers to store critical data, applications, and even entire virtual machines within. Service providers are leasing out their service on a per-user subscription basis, making it too easy for any business or individual user to access these services over the internet. The main idea behind cloud storage is that end-users will have direct access to their data irrespective of where they are at any point in time. Many companies use this feature to allow their employees to work from home instead of sitting in an office all day long. In contrast, others who own IOS devices can download apps directly off the Apple app store without bothering to update them manually, thanks to iCloud.
Five Cybersecurity Strategies To Protect The Cloud
- Identify the Threats
The primary purpose of moving towards cloud-based solutions is to cut costs, but this may come at the expense of security – one that many organizations are not willing to take. While it may be all too easy to ignore or forget about cloud security amid these cost-cutting measures, organizations must understand that neglecting security can lead to severe financial and legal implications.
To ensure information remains protected when using the cloud, companies should identify their specific cybersecurity risks associated with cloud computing providers and services before implementing any solutions. This will help them establish a plan for migrating data from on-premise servers onto a public or private cloud infrastructure while being aware of all associated security issues. Companies must also have a plan in place that works to address these issues if problems arise.
- Plan Ahead of Deployment
As with any product or service, the best practice is planning and conducting the proper research before implementing cloud-based services. This means organizations will need to look at all associated costs and weigh them against any security risks – these could include the cost of data loss if a breach does occur and what this might mean in terms of business interruption; what type of liability they may face for failing to protect customer information; whether their contracts with providers afford them rights over their data when it comes to location, accessibility, processing timeframes, and third-party access; how they can be made aware of changes in pricing models offered by providers; where their servers are located, who has access to them and what the security measures are.
- Go Beyond Passwords
Passwords may seem like a basic form of authentication, but they alone should not secure data. Organizations must implement multifactor authentication at every point where users interact with their cloud-based platforms. This could be in addition to their password or used as an additional layer of protection when accessing sensitive information. Multifactor authentication requires more than just a username and password, adding another element that helps establish identity, such as something the user has (a smart card), something they are (a biometric identifier), or somewhere they have been (IP address geolocation).
- Keep Data Separate
By segregating different types of data within an organization, companies can help limit the scope of any breach. This means that as well as storing sensitive data such as financial information and personal details in a secure location with restricted access, it is equally important to keep this apart from other less sensitive data. With cloud computing, this could mean creating separate user accounts for those processing highly confidential information, only allowing those who need to see and access specific files to do so, and deploying network segmentation strategies throughout the company’s IT infrastructure.
- Define Your Provider’s Role
While assessing risk and security concerns associated with moving towards a cloud-based solution, organizations must define their provider’s role in maintaining confidentiality, integrity, and data availability. This will help them understand what level of responsibility the provider has for protecting their data and how liability will be divided in the event of a breach. This is especially important when considering whether to use a public or private cloud environment with different levels of security on offer.
The goal is to arm you with enough information to make informed decisions on what to protect and how best to secure it.