September 10, 2021
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Tips to Protect Yourself Against Cloud Security Threats

Tips to Protect Yourself Against Cloud Security Threats

Orville BravoSeptember 10, 2021,

When we talk of cybersecurity and cloud security threats, there are actually two places the threat can originate from- internal and external. Wherever the threat evolves from- it is critical to set up security measures to protect your organization. So, what are these threats and what can you do to secure yourself?

Consulting with cyber-security experts, we have their advice on what you can do to protect yourself from cloud-security threats.

  1. Train Employees

Uneducated employees are usually the cause of expensive and risky data breaches, which is why it’s so important to train them. You can do so by setting up response protocols, with unannounced security threats, and manuals to help guide them. 

  1. Strong Passwords

Not taking passwords seriously can be a huge security risk with dire consequences. Simpler passwords with small degrees of complexities aren’t enough anymore and can be cracked within seconds. The more complex and lengthier your password is, the better. 

  1. Appropriate Cloud Governance Policies

Certifying cloud applications may help, but it’s not enough as you’ll need governance policies to ensure compliance with various kinds of data privacy mandates. You can do so by training employees and enforcing usage policies.

Aseem Kishore, Founder Help Desk Geek

The most frequent cloud computing security concerns that many organizations and enterprises confront are a lack of cyber security precautions and planning in their cloud migration process.

  1. Misconfiguration Issues

One of the most serious risks of cloud infrastructure is security misconfiguration attacks. A minor error in a tiny component might have a huge influence on cloud security and set off a chain reaction with other security concerns.

Publically accessible or misconfigured storage buckets (S3 or azure blobs), unrestricted outbound access or use of unencrypted tokens or keys are some of the examples of cloud security misconfiguration issues.

To prevent security misconfiguration vulnerabilities, it is essential to follow secure baselines practices that can be set in line with CIS benchmarks or similar standards.

  1. Insecure API

APIs, in cloud computing, is the core of processing and are intended to make data access and integration easier. The same APIs may pose a significant high-security risk on a line of communication through MITM (Man-in-the-Middle Attack) and exploitation of the sensitive data in the cloud if not appropriately secured.

API security is a primary concern of cloud computing due to the number and frequency of APIs used in most organizations running in the cloud.

Poor cloud security design principles, lack of authentication and access control mechanisms, and an incorrect dependency chain of APIs are the leading causes of the insecure API layer.

Multiple API attack vectors can be exposed from different external sources (mobile apps, third-party services, etc.) that attackers could use to exploit the target organization.

To prevent API security risks in the cloud, consider penetration testing before going live to ensure you have identified all the risks affecting your APIs. Benchmark against prevalent OWASP Top 10 API risks to ensure you are presenting minimal attack surface once live.

Harman Singh, a director at Cyphere; a cybersecurity services company

  1. Perform Simulated Cloud Security Breach

Always anticipate the inevitable. Practice performing monthly simulated security cloud breaches to better understand evolving cyber threats. It is also a good way to find vulnerable parts of your security to keep criminals at bay.

Erin Zadoorian, an Executive Editor and CEO of the Ministry of Hemp

  1. Educate Your Employees

Security threats are often caused by the lack of proper training and awareness among employees. Encourage employees to become more involved in security measures by having their complete security training.

  1. Secure A Data Backup Plan

As the cloud grows more prevalent, it is important that you have a backup of your data. This is not only about protecting your business data; it is also about ensuring its integrity.

  1. Encryption is key

Cloud encryption is used to secure data and text. It allows for the transformation of data into encrypted text. Do not store encryption keys in software that you use to store data.

  1. Take passwords seriously

Since passwords are encrypted with files, they can be easily cracked. Due to the complexity of our passwords, they are prone to be reused by hackers. Instead of creating multiple passwords, try creating unique ones that are only used Once.

Yana Trihub, a UX scientist  Chief Executive Officer at KeyUA

  1. Zero Trust Cyber Security Principles

We’re seeing (and helping) more businesses begin to adopt Zero Trust cyber security principles at an organizational level. A lot of the big names are adopting this model; even the Biden administration’s White House is rolling it out for their new cyber security protocols. A Zero Trust security system is an approach to the design and implementation of information security systems that assume every user, device, or application accessing an IT system is untrusted and must be treated with the same level of scrutiny. 

The traditional approach to computer security has long been based on perimeter defenses being designed based on threat intelligence about the most likely attackers targeting a network or organization.

These traditional networks have begun to struggle when faced with new attack vectors, cloud-based security threats and evolutions in the cybercrime landscape. More traditional perimeter-based defenses, such as firewalls or signature-based antivirus software, are no longer sufficient to protect networks.

These new threats include application-based attacks and advanced persistent threats (APT) that have become more sophisticated and harder to stop once inside traditional networks.

The traditional network security perimeter, which was typically based on a strict Access Control List (ACL) of IP addresses and port numbers coming into the network, is being dismantled in favor of Zero Trust systems that focus on role-based access, risk-based identity assignment and micro-segmentation within a network.

Charles Griffiths, Head of IT and Operations at AAG-IT.com

  1. Know Where The Threats Evolve From

The best way to defend against cloud security threats is knowing where the threats evolve from. Therefore, it's important to assess both internal and external threats. From an internal perspective, one of the biggest cloud threats is unauthorized access to cloud platforms. From terminated employees still having cloud accounts to current employees with inappropriate access, or perhaps vendors with VPN access that goes unchecked, access control is a huge issue in terms of cloud security. 

  1. Lock Down User Access

Locking down user access rights is, in my opinion, one of the most fundamentally important steps to take in terms of cloud security. As for external threats, there'll always be the DoS, DDoS, and other related network attacks found so common in today's cloud world. You can't always - or ever - stop the attacks, but you can respond quickly and comprehensively; thus, having a well-documented incident response plan in place is vital to cloud security.

Charles Denyer, Austin-based cybersecurity and national security expert

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