5 Cloud Security Best Practices For Businesses

2022-11-10by Nikki Gabriel

Cloud computing is an essential technology for any organization operating today.


According to research, 94% of companies use some form of cloud technology for their work and 67% rely entirely on these virtual infrastructures.


However, scalability, lower cost, mobility, easy access, and the option to purchase cloud services on the go can often come at the cost of security.


Poorly protected cloud infrastructures are at risk of data loss, unauthorized use of credentials, information theft, and more.


How to strengthen cloud security and protect valuable data? We find out, below.

#1 Focus On Data Protection

Data control is a major concern for businesses that rely on the cloud. To guard the information within the storage:

?   Create backups for all of your files

?   Secure file sharing and communications

?   Improve data storage management

?   Insist on strong passwords

?   Encrypt data in the cloud


In case of technical errors or malware such as ransomware that locks files or even blocks access to the entire infrastructure, data recovery is essential.


Not having access to the files that workers need to successfully complete their daily tasks or losing client information can lead to major financial losses for the company, not to mention the reputational damage.


For instance, this could mean avoiding sending important files to clients via email and using more secure file containers that restrict access instead. Documents that are sent via email are duplicated on email servers and thus are easily available for hackers.


To manage data storage, it’s important to regularly check whether problems such as orphan resources or misconfigured buckets put the company’s information at risk.


Data encryption is important because it will take threat actors a longer time to read and misuse cyphered files.

#2 Use AI-Powered Tool to Detect Threats

The main advantage of AI technology is that it can detect and mitigate threats in real-time. For the cloud, it means that the software seeks vulnerabilities, analyses any potential threats, and leads to faster response times.


The dynamic nature of the cloud environment is what makes it an easy target for opportunistic hackers. Frequent changes can create gaps in security and form flaws that hackers can exploit.


Here, we’re not only talking about changes in a company’s cloud, but also possible vulnerabilities that haven’t been patched up by the vendors. Such weaknesses put at risk all of the organizations that use compromised services.


Most businesses combine cloud solutions from multiple vendors. Automated tools can aid them to uncover whether their data is at risk and point at the flaws that need the IT team's attention.


The continual discovery of issues such as misconfigured tools and potential criminal activity enables companies to mitigate threats early and patch up critical problems before they turn into incidents.


What’s more, data breaches cost companies more the longer it takes for their discovery within the system. The earlier the issues are discovered, the faster that security analysts can react to threats and save the company from costly cyber attacks.


#3 Guard Cloud-Based Apps With WAF

Web Application Firewall (WAF) is the basic tool for businesses that use cloud-based apps for work or rely on them to develop their own services.


WAF is designed to investigate incoming and outgoing traffic and take note of any changes that might occur within the native cloud application.


Essentially, it’s the protective wall between the internet and web application.


Also, the tool enforces the rules that determine whether traffic is safe and should be allowed or request is blocked as it indicates malicious activity.


The rules that govern whether the traffic is safe are either automatically updated or they can be written by the IT teams that manage security. The context of the company and regular activity is taken into consideration.


Such policies deter a threat actor from exploiting vulnerabilities within the application to gain unrestricted access.

#4 Introduce Strict Authorization Controls

For more robust authorization control, consider:


?  Role-based authorization

?   Better Identity and Access Management hygiene


Limiting access to employees based on their role within the company prevents major data breaches.


If a hacker obtains the credentials of one employee, they shouldn’t be given access to the complete infrastructure.


Therefore, every team member should be given access only to the parts of the system and files that are essential for their jobs.


Employees that are working longer within the company will have more privileges and thus greater access to the system.


To improve Identity and Access Management (IAM) hygiene, insist on the basics such as stronger passwords, introduce permission time-outs, and multi-factor authentication.

#5 Trust Only After Verification

Zero trust is often summed up as “trust but verify”.


This model has to be applied to all policies and tools that are used to guard the company against attacks — including virtual server compliance, access control, protection of data, and overall network security.


Integrating the zero trust principle could mean not letting in everyone that has credentials. Instead, additional verification is required for the user to access the system.


The terms also apply to protect the most important resources of the business that are on the cloud.


That is, they are isolated in private clouds, and workloads are separated from each other.

Final Word

Proper cloud security requires a layered security architecture that consists of policies, tools, and systems that aid companies in protecting data circling within the cloud as well as aiding IT teams to discover threats early.


First and foremost, cloud security is about protecting the data that is stored and circling within the system.


To do so, it’s necessary to have policies and tools that can discover weaknesses and respond to potential criminal activity early.


Applying a zero-trust mindset is just as important as having multiple layers of policies. This is because they can discover a criminal activity that is caused both by threats that are coming from inside or outside.

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