The top cloud security risks you need to know how to mitigate
Hackers are constantly in search of data they can use for their own gain – and cloud-based systems are a target-rich environment for them. Since cloud solutions are available via the internet, they have inherent security risks. If left unmitigated, your company’s data could be easily targeted and exploited by hackers.
Here’s just some of the ways you can mitigate data breaches for optimal cloud security:
- Make two-factor authentication and encryption mandatory for your organization. While 2FA may be annoying and a hassle for your employees, not having it enabled could be disastrous. (Ignore ten days of whining. They’ll get used to it.)
- In the unfortunate event of a data breach, change local and network administrator passwords immediately. Regularly changing passwords should be part of sensible security protocol regardless, but immediate action is absolutely necessary when a breach occurs.
- Create a protocol where logging in is centralized. This will allow for better investigations for any incident that should occur.
Verizon’s Data Breach Investigation Report shows over 30% of cyber incidents involve some sort of malware. It’s still a major risk factor you must mitigate with cloud security. Attackers will use scripts (or code) to eavesdrop, steal data, or compromise the integrity of sensitive information. The level of malevolent sophistication has evolved — the malware you had to worry about in 2012 is vastly different from what you face today. Today, hackers are turning to backdoor or command and control (C&C) malware to gain access via email or social media links and then, once inside, download additional malware undetected.
Here’s the bare minimum needed to mitigate malware for optimal cloud security:
- Constant vigilance. Always be monitoring all accounts and account access.
- Ensure firewalls are used and (almost as important) always updated.
- Good training! Make sure your employees know healthy browsing and downloading habits.
Advanced Persistent Threats
With Advanced Persistent Threats (APT), hackers will focus on targeting a small subset of your organization in a staged approach. Typically this will involve some sort of social engineering (phishing is a popular technique) to gain information from insiders. They will use this information to go deeper into your organization over a long period of time and gather more information along the way until they can attack and gain access.
To avoid APT, here’s how you mitigate the risks:
- Training and education. Ensure your employees understand and can identify and avoid phishing techniques.
- Adopt proactive security measures. Your IT teams should be constantly monitoring and looking for anomalies in your systems.