4 Cloud Security Controls You Should Implement in 2017
Most, if not all, of your company's data is probably already in the cloud? But how secure is it? Follow these four tips to upgrade your cloud security protocols.
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Storing data in the cloud is a convenient and effortless way for companies to safeguard information without committing to an expensive on-premises data center. But how safe is that data, especially since you hear about sensitive information falling into the wrong hands every day? Learn to keep your data secure with the following four cloud security control guidelines.
Use All the Available Security Tools
As more and more data moves to the cloud, the risk that it may get breached increases as well. While many cloud services offer some security, under the shared responsibility model, companies bear a significant amount of responsibility in securing the data that they upload to the cloud.
Since not all cloud service providers offer the same level of security tools, find out what services your cloud host offers. For cloud storage services with security tools, use all the tools available to you. The responsibility for securing data lies with you; take advantage of any technology that offers a greater degree of protection for your data.
Use CASB Technology
One type of cloud security software continuously ensures visibility and compliance to reduce threats. Cloud access security brokers, or CASBs, consist of software designed to keep your data secure in the cloud. A CASB, by definition, monitors network traffic between a device, such as a laptop computer, and the cloud, and identifies unauthorized attempts at accessing private data. The CASB compares past user behavior to new events using machine learning, and alerts a security administrator when it detects a threat, and subsequently blocks the unauthorized access.
CASBs also provide visibility and user access controls. IT Departments typically underestimate employee use of unapproved cloud services by as much as 90%. The CASB visibility solution helps solve this by identifying all the cloud applications being used by an organization.
These services are then evaluated based on their security capabilities and vulnerabilities. This process would typically take an individual employee countless hours, but the CASB can accomplish it effortlessly and quickly. The cloud services are then sorted by their risk assessment ratings.
Products with extensive uses and security features are sanctioned, while vulnerable or dangerous ones are blacklisted. The CASB automatically sets access controls for these services, but the individual company is able to alter these protocols to its needs. Through its visibility, threat protection, and cloud governance capabilities, CASBs offer a single platform for securing your data in the cloud.
Control Cloud Access
Reducing risk means controlling access. Employers should limit access to sensitive information only to employees who must directly use the data to carry out their job duties. Grant temporary access to additional employees on an as-needed basis. Set up multi-layered protection so that if one safety measure fails, the other features will keep data protected. Many of today’s data breaches occur because of an insider threat, born out of negligence or malicious intent. As a result, internal security training for employees is just as important as your external defenses.
Go beyond usernames and passwords. Many programs feature biometrics, such as fingerprint identification, to verify user access. A recent ThreatStack study revealed that 73 percent of organizations surveyed had no multifactor authentication for cloud access.
Be careful when choosing a cloud security provider. Many public cloud storage servers do not restrict outbound data traffic. Use a host with built-in safeguards and security tools. The well-known names in the business, such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, offer users an array of security services to protect data, but you must actually configure these tools to ensure data security.
Protect Your Data
Some cloud services offer encryption, but you should still use your own encryption techniques to make sure the decryption keys remain within the company. If all other security levels fail, encryption serves as the last measure of protection for your files.
Prioritizing security is the best step to keeping your data secure. Keep a comprehensive inventory of all network devices and software, and find programs to recover data if needed. If you can afford to do so, schedule regular assessments and penetration testing. Secure all hardware and software configurations on all devices including laptops, mobile devices, and servers. The more security you have in place, the less of a risk you'll face of having data falling into the wrong hands.
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