Cloud services are helping companies reduce costs as they won’t have to purchase additional hardware for storage. The cloud also supports a remote work environment since teams can access data anywhere, anytime. It means businesses can outsource employees worldwide, giving them access to global talent.
However, some vulnerabilities make your data in the cloud a target of cybercriminals, such as misconfigured cloud storage, insecure application programming interfaces (APIs), and poor access management.
These cloud vulnerabilities may lead to hackers accessing confidential information like intellectual property (IP) documents. They also use phishing scams to steal consumers’ financial data and use it for identity theft. Similarly, they put Denial of Service (DoS) attacks to flood your system with requests, causing downtime.
Once these attacks affect your cloud system, you abide by data privacy compliance requirements like GDPR, PCI SSC, and CCPA. This results in both financial and reputational loss. As such, taking preventive cloud security measures is a must. It includes partnering with IT support in Chicago or similar service providers. They provide monthly audits to protect your cloud data from cyber threats and penetration.
The Following Are Four Expert Tips for Protecting Your Cloud Data:
1. Conduct Penetration Testing
Penetration testing is the process of identifying the strengths and weaknesses of an organization’s data infrastructure. It includes its networks, systems, and web applications through stimulation of an attack through an external source. Its primary purpose is to discover the vulnerabilities that might compromise the security of your cloud data.
Consider hiring Exigent or a similar consulting agency to conduct this penetration test. They will contact your cloud provider to review the permitted and prohibited services in their pen-testing policy. Then, they’ll check your company’s system to overview its potential access points, software versions, and any existing leaked keys. This report will make it easier for the IT agent to discover flaws and eliminate vulnerabilities.
2. Encrypt Data Before Migration
Before migrating new data into the cloud, encryption is suggestible. Encrypting data provides total data protection since it scrambles the text in a document, making the information unreadable. If a hacker gains access to your cloud account, they’ll need a decryption key to decode the file. This allows your cloud data to remain safe even if they steal your username and password through phishing scams.
When encrypting cloud storage, ensure you partner with cloud service providers with built-in zero-knowledge encryption features. Keep your decryption keys off web servers so hackers won’t be able to steal them by gaining access to your web server. Instead, store them in an offline storage location, such as flash drives or CDs. Then, place them inside a safe room with strict security personnel and surveillance. It ensures that only authorized personnel can access your files.
3. Enable MFA
With the increasing efforts of cybercriminals to steal confidential information, strong passwords are no longer enough to keep them out. An excellent way to protect your cloud data against this attack is by enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA).
When someone tries to log into your account from an unknown device, they need more than just their password. Successful access requires users to enter a one-time PIN that the system sends through SMS or e-mail. The hacker must also answer a secret question, providing the data with a second layer of security.
If they still guessed the answer, they must pass biometric verification. And since it’s impossible to get past this step without the presence of authorized users, these access attempts frustrate the hacker. It translates to a lesser risk of data breaches or identity theft.
4. Refrain From Using Public Wi-Fi
Picture this: A Chief Marketing Officer and other team members are coming to Japan to meet with a million-dollar prospective client. While waiting for their airport flight, they use public Wi-Fi to log in to their company account or review their presentation. Without cybersecurity measures on their devices, they leave the cloud information a target for cybercrime. It exposes them to possible data and account loss.
To avoid this situation, you can establish a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) security policy for your employees. It involves training employees about device safety protocols and all the threats of connecting mobile phones to public Wi-Fi. Educate your team about the importance of not ignoring operating system (OS) updates and even MFA fatigue attacks. It is essential as it keeps your data safe from cyber exploitation.
You can also ask your in-house or outsourced IT support to install virtual private networks (VPNs) on all company devices. It protects all cloud data from network sniffers, hackers, and unauthorized parties accessing information while traveling.
Summing It Up
Many organizations migrate their data to the cloud in hopes that they can secure their business information. However, without cybersecurity practices, they still fall victim to threats like phishing and malware attacks.
This is why protecting your cloud data is imperative. It involves data encryption, revoking unauthorized access using MFA, and educating employees about cyber threats. With these preventive measures, cybercriminals will have more difficulty penetrating your systems. You can rest assured that even if they guess your password, they won’t be able to decode sensitive information. It protects your company’s integrity, making your brand more trustworthy.