Let's talk about the importance of proper cloud security and how it's often overlooked when companies plan their cybersecurity strategies.
One of the main misconceptions about cloud apps is that they're quick and easy to sign up for, and so users often assume that they don't need to worry about security because it's already taken care of. However, this is an incorrect assumption because cloud security is a shared model. While the provider of the solution handles securing the backend infrastructure, the user is responsible for configuring their own security settings properly.
Misconfiguration is a huge problem and is actually the number one cause of cloud data breaches. It's an unforced error that occurs when a company has made a mistake and hasn't adequately secured their cloud application. This can happen in many ways, such as giving too many employees administrative privileges or neglecting to turn on a security function that prevents the downloading of cloud files by unauthorized users.
The good news is that there are ways to reduce your risk of a cloud data breach and improve cloud security. Here are some tips to get you started:
First and foremost, enable visibility into your entire cloud infrastructure. This means gaining an understanding of all the different cloud apps employees are using at your business. Shadow IT use, which is unauthorized use of cloud apps, is estimated to be approximately 10 times the size of known cloud use. This can be dangerous because it's outside the purview of the company's IT team and can often result in breaches due to misconfiguration. Gain visibility into your entire cloud environment, so you know what you need to protect.
Restrict privileged accounts, as the more privileged accounts you have, the higher the risk of a misconfiguration. There should be very few users that can change security configurations. Audit privileged accounts in all cloud tools and then reduce the number of administrative accounts to only what's needed to operate.
Put in place automated security policies, as automation helps mitigate human error. Automating as many security policies as possible helps prevent cloud security breaches. Use a cloud security audit tool, like Microsoft Secure Score, to scan your cloud environment and let you know where problems exist. It should also provide recommended remediation steps.
Set up alerts for when configurations change, as several things can cause a change in a security setting without you realizing it. Be proactive by setting up alerts for any significant change in your cloud environment. For example, when the setting to force multi-factor authentication gets turned off, an alert should be set up so your team knows right away when a change occurs to an important security setting.
Finally, have a cloud specialist check your cloud settings. Business owners, executives, and office managers aren't cybersecurity experts. It's best to have a cloud security specialist from a trusted IT company check your settings and ensure they're set up to keep your data protected without restricting your team.
In conclusion, don't leave your company at risk by neglecting misconfiguration. Most work is now done in the cloud, and companies store data in these online environments. Follow these tips to improve cloud security and lower your chances of a data breach. If you're unsure of where to start, give us a call today to set up a cloud security assessment. Stay safe out there!