December 7, 2022
In part two of our three-part series on cloud security, we discussed some important methods for securing your organization’s data on cloud applications. In our final article on the topic, we discuss a few more essential protections your company should put in place.
Treat administrative accounts with extra care.
Cloud services can be complex. As such, some members of the IT team will have highly privileged access to the service to help manage the cloud. However, a compromise of a high-level administrator account could give an attacker extensive control over the network and the ability to perform any action the administrator privileges allow — which could be extremely damaging for the company using cloud services.
It is therefore imperative that administrator accounts are secured with tools such as multi-factor authentication and that admin-level privileges are only provided to employees who need them to do their jobs. It’s also important to ensure that regular users who don’t need administrative privileges don’t have them. Otherwise, in the event of account compromise, an attacker could quickly exploit this access to gain control of cloud services.
Make offline backups.
While cloud services can — and have — provided organizations around the world with benefits, it’s important to not rely on the cloud for security entirely. While tools like multi-factor authentication and automated alerts can help secure networks, no network is impossible to breach. This is especially true if extra security measures haven’t been applied. That’s why a good cloud security strategy should also involve storing backups of data and storing it offline. That way, in the event of an event that makes cloud services unavailable, there’s something there for the company to work with.
Don’t make cloud security frustrating.
There’s something else that organizations can do to ensure the security of the cloud: Provide employees with the correct tools in the first place. Cloud application suites can make collaboration easier for everyone, but they also need to be accessible and intuitive to use. Otherwise, organizations run the risk of employees not wanting to use them. A business could set up the most secure enterprise cloud suite possible, but if it’s too difficult to use, employees — frustrated with not being able to do their jobs — could turn to public cloud tools instead.
This issue could lead to corporate data being stored in personal accounts, creating greater risk of theft — especially if a user doesn’t have multi-factor authentication or other controls in place to protect their personal account. Information being stolen from a personal account could potentially lead to an extensive data breach or wider compromise of the organization.
For a business to ensure it has a secure cloud security strategy, not only should it be using tools like multi-factor authentication, encryption, and offline backups to protect data as much as possible, the business must also make sure that all these tools are simple to use to encourage employees to use them correctly and follow best practices for cloud security.
Ideally, every method mentioned in this series should be implemented in conjunction with each other. If you need assistance with implementation, have questions, require a security assessment, or need a free consultation, contact us today.