Cloud Security

It Is Time to Upgrade Your Security Measures!

Updated: September 18, 2014

Cloud Security

Everyone uses the cloud these days, don't they? But, recent events such as the celebrity photo breach through iCloud has left many users wondering just how safe their data actually is. And, they should worry because cybercrime increases over 100 percent year after year. It is a big business. It seems that week doesn't go by when there isn't a major news story of a large company having their information hacked. So, it is critical to implement cloud security measures. Continue reading to discover more.

 

What types of questions should you ask?

Just to make things clear, despite what your cloud provider has told you, the cloud is never 100 percent secure. Also, the cloud will continue to grow and grow. Cloud companies will be the main client for server companies as your server farm consistently shrinks. So, first and foremost, is the cloud more secure than your on-site solution?

To answer this question accurately, you must compare your entire system to one that your cloud provider offers. You will probably find that your cloud provider has the ability to be a lot more secure because they have the dedicated staff needed to do so.

Another question to ask is, where are the vulnerabilities? The problem with cloud companies is they can be plagued with unique issues. Cloud providers have to worry about what is called "multitenancy." This is where a compromise of one client's data can lead to a compromise of another. Malicious hackers use this type of opportunity to scout for vulnerabilities. If they find even one, then a wide variety of accounts can and do get breached. Also, because the cloud is still in its infancy, security threats are still a vast and largely unexplored space.

Not to mention, lots of businesses are already actively being compromised without their knowledge. In fact, some companies are surprised to learn that they have been consistently hacked for over a decade. It takes a deep dive and penetration to find these things out. Yet, hackers are working everyday to gain access to new data. Security is still in reactionary mode, but it can't all be blamed on the cloud. They are in the business of ensuring customer satisfaction, this means that they might not have all the answers, but they are consistently working to keep your environment secure.

 

What to do?

Limit access

Do not give access to all of your staff for all of your information. If sensitive data needs to be accessed, give the opening to only a few select staff members who will also need to be monitored more closely. In addition, they need to be properly trained. These privileged users should also have stronger access control.

Restrict data access based on context

You still want your personnel to have the ability to gain entry to information even when they are off site. However, you should limit what types of data they can access. For example, a lawyer might be able to access all of his client records at the office. But, when he is using his mobile phone, he can only gain entry with additional security protocols such as several verification processes.

Assess data level

For more sensitive information, have your cloud provider utilize extra security and encryption features. There should also be more monitoring around that data for potential breaches.

Manage devices better

If you have a BYOD or CYOD policy, then you need to take measures to keep devices secure. Install the latest virus and malware detectors on all devices. Implement apps that separate work files from personal ones. Also, install patch management software, and scan all apps for vulnerabilities.

Protect the network

Even with all of your security implementations, the network still needs its own set of safeguards. It is critical to have network protection devices that have the ability to offer extra control, as well as analytics and insight that tells you which users are accessing what content.

Add a security intelligence layer

You still want the ability to see through the cloud. With security devices that validate IDs and passwords, you can successfully create an audit trail that is needed for forensics and regulatory compliance. It is important to understand how to look for the right signals that alert you of a potential attack or threat to your mass of data. Moreover, you want an advanced layer of intelligent analytics. This can bring all of your security monitors together to give you a single view of any possible threats, in the cloud, in real time.

Fighting off hackers can be like playing a game of whack-a-hole. When you hit one, another one seems to pop up. The objective is to continue to stay proactive and vigilant with your measures. Hackers are always on the prowl, and might be accessing your data without your knowledge. Recently, five million Gmail passwords surfaced on a Russian bitcoin forum. As a result, having 100% security is unheard of, but being 80% secure is a lot better than a 50% average.

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