Congratulations on your move to the cloud! The cloud has many strategic advantages for businesses. The cloud model became so important during the COVID-19 pandemic as employees needed to be able to work remotely. Those reasons are part of what makes the cloud so appealing, however, the cloud has also introduced a host of new cybersecurity threats and challenges.
Cybercriminals have found that remote employees are easy targets to breach because they often have poorly configured cloud security. Cybercriminals only need to steal a username and password, either via phishing emails or brute-forcing, and suddenly, those criminals have access to your network.
So, how can you protect your cloud network? Here are 6 cybersecurity best practices for cloud computing that your organization should follow to protect itself.
- Ensure cloud apps are easy to use
The biggest benefit of using cloud applications is that it makes collaboration easier for everyone. If they are not easily accessible and intuitive to use, however, your organization runs the risk of employees not using them. The more difficult it is for your employees to use your cloud apps, the more likely they will switch to public cloud tools. This is bad from a cybersecurity standpoint. If corporate information is stolen from an employee’s personal account, it could lead to an extensive data breach or wider compromise of your business. Consult with your cloud provider to ensure the tools are easy to use and secure. When adding new cloud applications, provide adequate training to ensure employees can securely use the cloud apps.
- Multifactor authentication
Multifactor authentication is something that needs to be present for every logon. Passwords are too easy to steal and relying on a password alone for authentication is not good enough. According to Microsoft, MFA protects against 99.9% of fraudulent sign-in attempts. Besides preventing unauthorized users from automatically gaining access to accounts, the service's notification, which asks the user whether they tried to log in, may also serve as a warning that the password has been compromised.
- Use the Principle of least privilege
A favourite tactic of cybercriminals is to exploit accounts with administrator privileges. With admin privileges, the user can access and make changes to any part of the network. You need to make sure that only the people who need admin access have it in your organization. A multifactor authentication system needs to be in place to safeguard admin accounts so that a cybercriminal will not be able to access them even if the admin password has been compromised.
Whenever data is transferred to or stored in the cloud, it must be encrypted. Otherwise, unauthorized individuals may read the data. Many cloud providers provide encryption services, ensuring end-to-end data protection inside and outside the cloud. The goal is to prevent unauthorized access or manipulation of the data. Check with your cloud provider to ensure they offer this service. If they don’t, you want to find a provider who does.
- Vulnerability and Remediation Management
Also known as patch management, this is important to secure your applications. Patching all your cloud applications promptly is just as important as patching any other hardware or software on your network. If not, cybercriminals can abuse these vulnerabilities to breach your network.
As there has been a surge in ransomware attacks, it is important that you backup your data. Backups of data should be stored offline, so if your cloud services are unavailable for any reason, you still have access to your data. Regular testing of backups to ensure you can easily restore from them if necessary is also a great best practice.
Securing your cloud environment doesn’t have to be a struggle. Keeping these 6 best practices in mind will ensure your success. If you need help following these best practices, contact Quick Intelligence. We can help you manage your cloud cybersecurity.