The cloud creates security challenges because it expands the attack surface and impedes network visibility. Hackers can use your network to travel from vulnerable endpoints to the cloud. The cloud also creates ambiguity about who is accountable for security: your organization or the provider.
Today, companies are taking preventative approaches to overcoming security challenges by adopting frameworks, such as the Zero Trust and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework. These frameworks focus on being proactive about security by controlling access to mission-critical data and applications and identifying and detecting threats, such as malware, before they can successfully breach company systems.
Your company can be proactive and prevent attacks on your cloud infrastructure, data, and applications through employee education, encryption, and identity and access management.
Preventative Security Frameworks
Companies can improve their cloud security by using established preventative security frameworks to develop their overall cybersecurity strategies.
The NIST Cybersecurity Framework is a wheel that describes a continuous process of identifying, protecting, detecting, responding, and recovering. By first identifying threats, organizations can quickly move to the process of protecting themselves from risk before it can do any damage. Even preventative frameworks need to prepare for the eventuality that a breach may be successful. Response and recovery processes take this into account.
Zero Trust is a proactive approach to security that follows the core principles of “never trust; always verify.” Any users or devices that attempt to access data or applications must be evaluated to ensure that they have the correct authority. This validation process applies to employees of the company as well, guaranteeing that they only access resources appropriate to their level of authority and job requirements and preventing internal threats.
Keeping Employees in the Know
Employees can be a security liability, but with the right security awareness education, they can be your company’s first line of defense against threats to your cloud resources. Just as employees can be educated on how to avoid phishing scams in their email accounts, they can be made aware of how to safely use cloud data and applications.
Workers should understand how to create and use strong passwords when using cloud applications. Employees should also be discouraged from using Shadow IT, the practice of deploying cloud resources without the involvement of the company IT team.
Cloud Data Key Masters
Encryption helps prevent security risk by making data unreadable and unusable for hackers. In encryption, an algorithm is used to scramble sensitive information. Only the holder of the decryption key can unscramble and decipher the information.
Encryption can be used for data at rest and in transit, protecting stored data and data being transmitted to and from the cloud, respectively. Encrypting data in transit is important because this is when information is most vulnerable to being stolen or compromised.
Cloud Gate Keepers
In the past, companies relied on firewalls to keep threats out, but now using identity and access management is the best practice. Identity and access management is part of a Zero Trust approach to security because it verifies the identity of any user or device before granting access.
For example, multi-factor authentication (MFA) can be used to evaluate the authority of users that attempt to access cloud data or applications. In MFA, a combination of tools, such as biometrics and tokens, can be used to verify user identity, providing layers of security beyond a password.
Cloud Security Dragnet
Today’s complex hybrid and multicloud environments make securing cloud data and applications especially difficult. A preventative cloud security strategy should strengthen your organization’s security posture by casting a wide net to catch and evaluate any access attempts.
ProActive Solutions has strengths in both the cloud and security, making us suited to helping your company develop a preventative cloud security strategy. We take a consultative approach to working with our customers, taking the time to get to know and understand your cloud environment so we can find the right tools to meet your unique security challenges.
Get help developing a preventative cloud security strategy. Reach out to request a consultation from ProActive.