Cloud computing has revolutionised how we store, use, and share data. As more and more data is moving to the Cloud, the challenges for data security increase. It is a topic of concern for organisations that are entirely dependent on cloud for their applications.
The security threats have increased even more recently as several employees have started working remotely, and they use a mix of personal and business devices. Due to which there are more possibilities of attack. Preventing data theft and leaks is crucial to prevent loss and also maintain customers’ trust.
What are the threats?
With Cloud computing, there is always a risk of losing sensitive data. Organisations usually collect customer data for providing services and do internal analysis to develop themselves. If Cloud security is breached, there is a significant risk of hackers getting access to the company’s intellectual property, company files, and customer data. Malware and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are other potential risks that can probably lead to data loss and crashing the servers.
There are legal and compliance issues and all the threats, as the governments are getting more stringent with data protection laws. Companies must stay updated with the laws and remain compliant.
Minimising Cloud Computing security threats for your Company
The first and foremost step towards securing your data on Cloud is educating your employees. You must train your employees in proper defence practices to minimise and avoid countless security threats. You must also plan a response protocol that can help the employees in case their data is compromised. A standard operating procedure (SOP) must be formulated that consists of the steps to be taken in such a scenario. You must also conduct security tests simulating threats like phishing without informing your employees. Simulation tests will help you get an overview of how efficiently your employees can handle security breaches.
Also, create a strong off-boarding process for departing employees to ensure that they can no longer access your Cloud storage systems, the data stored, intellectual properties, and any customer data. When an employee leaves your company, make sure you revoke the employee’s access to the applications he was working on. And change the passwords. The companies who cannot manage this internally must consider outsourcing this task to professionals who can create a full-proof setup, implement it, and maintain the whole process.
Real-time analysis and monitoring of your end-user activities will help you spot irregularities from the usual usage patterns. For example, if a user logs in from an unknown device or IP, any abnormal activity could indicate a threat. Real-time monitoring will help you catch and fix issues before they cause any harm.
Your data must have a backup as when you have your data on cloud, there is a constant possibility of permanent data loss. Therefore a backup is essential to keep things running even if your data is compromised.
You must also control the access of data to your employees. Who has access to what data and why needs to be recorded. It is even better to have single sign-on (SSO) authentication capabilities instead of having numerous passwords.
Encryption is essential for Cloud data protection. Encryption ensures that the movement of data in the Cloud is secure. Also, make sure that you do not store the encryption keys in the same software where you store your data. It is preferable to keep physical ownership of encryption keys to IT teams.
Always remember to take your passwords seriously. Your files should be encrypted with passwords, and choosing a strong password is equally essential. Your passwords must contain at least eight characters, including one number, mixed-case letters, and non-alphanumeric symbols. Never keep the same passwords for all accounts.
And last but not least, regularly test your security system. Penetration testing is a reliable way to perform tests. It will help you identify and address vulnerabilities and minimise Cloud security threats. Before performing a penetration test, make sure you inform your Cloud provider before beginning, as it will imitate a real attack. Also, evaluate your weaknesses beforehand and create a list of things that need to be tested.
The volume of data in the Cloud is growing exponentially, which poses a risk for organisations that store and share their data via Cloud. For this, organisations need to understand the security concerns and make informed decisions for their cloud adoption. Though cloud provides immense advantages, however, they come with their own concerns and security threats. Companies must understand that the cloud is very different from an on-premises data centre. They need to step ahead of the traditional security strategies and tools to secure their data effectively.