With 60% of the world’s corporate data being stored on the cloud, it’s become a new normal to work in an organization that stores its information on remote servers.
However, this also means that you and the rest of your team need to adhere to strong security protocols that protect the additional access points that are present in all cloud networks.
Here are seven tips to help enhance your company’s cloud security infrastructure.
1. Create Access Hierarchies
The first tip requires a supreme level of organization.
In short, your company should create an access hierarchy. Rather than limiting access based on rank, team members should only have access to data related to the projects they’re working on.
The idea is that only relevant users within your organization will have access to sensitive data, which reduces the chances of a security breach.
This is the same as having a locked filing cabinet in an office and only handing out keys to the people who need access.
2. Identify, Categorize, and Backup Data Properly
One thing that all cloud systems have in common is that they both send and receive data on a regular basis. How you identify, categorize, and back up this data directly impacts your security.
Therefore, you need to determine the type of data, group it properly, and make the right type of backup, ideally through an automated process.
The type of data will tell you the regulations you have to adhere to, which in turn, will reveal what types of backup protocols you’ll need to follow.
Make sure that your entire cloud system is backed up on a regular basis. This is your final line of defense that can save your company a huge amount of hassle if there’s a breach.
3. Add Multi-Factor Authentication in Every Possible Step
It’s estimated that 98% of cyberattacks employ some form of social engineering. Now, requiring simple login credentials to access sensitive data is simply not enough.
You should implement multi-factor authentication or MFA whenever possible. For example, whenever a user accesses a folder, app, or similar resource in your company cloud.
Employees should use a company account or device to verify their identity. This can be done through a message sent to the email address or phone issued by the company.
There are also other methods available, including biometric verification as well as authentication apps.
4. Use a Reliable VPN
A VPN or virtual private network encrypts the user’s internet connection. So, it’s impossible to decipher the data being transmitted between a VPN user and a cloud network.
This, of course, depends on the quality of the VPN being used.
Therefore, you should evaluate the different VPN providers out there and recommend one for your colleagues to use whenever they connect to a company platform.
You can start with a vpn google extension for your Chrome browser. Once you verify it works properly, test it on your mobile before recommending it.
5. Follow the Appropriate Infrastructure Configuration Standards
Cloud networks are often viewed as a standalone part of a company’s IT infrastructure. In reality, they are an extension of the company’s main infrastructure.
As such, cloud tools need to adhere to specific security configuration standards, for example:
- Encrypting all communications;
- Segmenting lateral traffic;
- And implementing security controls that follow cloud-specific methods.
It’s important to consider the unique nuances of the data and ensure that your cloud tools retain functionality while adhering to the necessary laws, like GDPR requirements.
6. Partner with Security-Centric Providers
Third-party tools can help you build a more secure cloud network, even if you’re already using robust native methods like web app firewalls.
However, transferring data with your third-party providers represents a potential security weakness.
You need to collaborate with platforms that adhere to strict security protocols that are either just as good or more advanced than your own.
Cybercriminals are constantly developing new methods to gain access to networks illegally, including third-party weaknesses.
Some estimates suggest that 3 out of every 5 security breaches in 2022 originated from a third party. So, you need to cover all the bases and work exclusively with reliable providers.
7. Create a Cloud Threat Detection Mechanism
You shouldn’t apply the same security principles to physical servers and cloud networks.
While it’s true that no security system is perfect, having an approach tailored to a cloud setup can help minimize the chances of a successful attack.
Best practices you can follow to improve your cloud detection system include:
- Leverage all default threat detection features found on the cloud app;
- Create a visibility-centric database that helps you identify suspicious behavior;
- Apply threat intelligence basics to detect potential vulnerabilities;
- Learn to identify and interpret behavioral anomalies;
- Conduct data security awareness training;
- And analyze Kubernetes at an individual level.
You can always hire a managed detection and response service if you don’t have the resources to implement best practices in-house.
Improving your company’s cloud security infrastructure can minimize the chances of suffering a security breach.
However, this is only possible by taking additional security steps, like creating access hierarchies, learning to handle data properly, implementing MFA, using a VPN, and following other best practices.