Key Pillars of Cloud Security You Should Have in Place

We are firmly in the age of cloud computing. Estimates suggest that three-quarters of 

small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) now run most of their workloads in the cloud. It’s easy to understand why. The cloud’s flexibility, agility and low costs appeal to businesses of all sizes. 

However, as with all investments, there is a risk/reward ratio with the cloud. While it can be great for efficiency and productivity, it can also be a massive security headache. IDC research indicates that nearly 80% of companies experienced at least one cloud data breach in the past 18 months, and roughly half (43%) reported 10 or more breaches. 

What’s interesting about these breaches is that the majority aren’t down to the malicious work of hackers. Instead, they’re caused by the organizations themselves. 

The cloud works on a shared responsibility model

The cloud is founded on a model of shared responsibility. The cloud provider is responsible for keeping the underlying cloud infrastructure safe and secure, while the client is responsible for ensuring that data in the environment is protected.

A helpful analogy is to think of the cloud like renting a car. When you rent a car, you expect the rental company to ensure the vehicle is safe to drive, but it’s up to you to use it safely. 

When it comes to the cloud, many SMBs don’t realize that they have responsibilities for data security, which is why we see so many cloud breaches. In fact, by 2025, Gartner predicts that 99% of cloud security breaches will be the customers’ fault. 

On the flip side of this, the good news is that this means many cloud data breaches are entirely avoidable. By taking the time to learn about cloud security and implementing the appropriate policies, you can harness the potential of the cloud and lower your security risks. Here is how to do it. 

  1. Tackle cloud misconfigurations

Cloud misconfigurations are the biggest security risk in the cloud. These occur when an employee or administrator fails to implement the correct security controls in the cloud. This can lead to unauthorized access or expose your cloud environment to the broader internet. 

It’s very easy to enable a cloud misconfiguration. Often, cloud controls are complex to understand and cloud environments are set to allow for public access by default. We advise you to review your cloud services to ensure that your permissions and controls are water-tight to tackle this threat. If you need assistance with this, speak to our IT support. We are on hand to help. 

2. Fight against credentials compromise 

Another day, another data breach. While you might breathe a sigh of relief that your company isn’t the one in the headlines, you need to be aware that your business could still be impacted. When a big name gets breached, thousands – if not millions – of customers’ data is also leaked.

Chances are, you or your employees’ data is up for grabs on the Dark Web, and this information can be used as the basis for a credentials compromise attack. If a hacker can use your employee’s credentials to get into their cloud account, they could steal sensitive data, swindle other users or even deploy malware. 

The good news is that you can take some simple steps to reduce the likelihood of account compromise. We advise implementing identity and access management protocols, multi-factor authentication and good password policies. 

3. Mitigate the risk of human error 

As humans, we are bound to make occasional mistakes. Unfortunately, a small mistake could cause a huge data breach when it comes to data security. If your employee shares a cloud link or files with the wrong person, this could lead to a compliance fine. 

To tackle this threat, you should implement regular security training to teach your employees about the risks around human error. Solutions like data loss prevention (DLP) can also be a great help. 

4. Gain visibility into your environment 

These days, many employees use cloud applications without the business knowing. While this is good from a productivity perspective, it’s also a data security nightmare. It even has a name: shadow IT. How can you protect data if you don’t know where it is? 

To combat shadow IT, you need to be proactive. You should create strict cloud-usage policies and train your employees on them. If an employee wants to use an unknown service, you should put it in your policy that they discuss with you first. 

Unlock the power of the cloud without forsaking security 

The number of cloud threats out there can be overwhelming for SMBs – particularly as many don’t have the internal IT expertise to drive secure cloud adoption. If you’re concerned about the security of your cloud environments, we advise you consider outsourcing your IT security so that you can harness the power of the cloud securely.

Step up your cloud game today!

ECN IT Solutions can help your Tucson area business with secure cloud adoption.

We’re here and ready to talk cloud security with you! Reach out at 520-335-7553 or through our website.