Top 5 Best Practices to Mitigate Cloud Security Threats

Top 5 Best Practices to Mitigate Cloud Security Threats

Cloud computing is boosting the free flow of data and open collaborations in this digital era. But there are some concerns about its security. How does one mitigate them?

This has enabled businesses to be more productive, streamlining remote working. While the cloud environment provides many benefits, it also brings vulnerabilities for malicious actors to exploit.

According to Statista report: Estimated financial damage as a result of cloud cyber-threats worldwide in 2022

Out of the 720 IT respondents surveyed, 7% of respondents answered that their companies suffered losses worth over USD 500,000 because of cloud cyber threats.

How Unauthorized Access to Data Can Be the Biggest Risk to Cloud Security?

Unauthorized access involves people accessing business data, endpoints, networks, or applications without valid permission. It can increase the system downtime, which can disrupt important operations. Also, a loss of productivity can result in financial loss to the company.

Businesses should identify and respond to unauthorized access and remediate potential threats before they lead to any severe damage. The good thing is that they can tackle these weak access controls through security solutions.

Many firewall applications allow the blocking of access to a cloud environment. Also, businesses can track and monitor the app access.

  • Best Practices to Prevent Poor Access Management

  1. Businesses can use third-party security software to generate lists of users, privileges, and roles from cloud environments. This helps the security team to sort and analyze it.
  2. They must develop a robust data governance framework for all user accounts. Also, connecting these accounts to central directory services can help monitor and revoke access privileges.
  3. They must also integrate logging and event monitoring mechanisms. This can help to detect suspicious changes and unusual activity.

How does Cloud Misconfiguration Affect Security?

Businesses suffer from cloud misconfiguration, which affects security. Common weaknesses include:

  1. Inadequate access restrictions
  2. Default passwords
  3. Unorganized permission controls
  4. Inactive data encryption

These vulnerabilities result from insider threats and a lack of security awareness.

Another way businesses may introduce vulnerabilities is by trying to personalize their cloud usage by imposing plug-ins. These changes can generate configuration drift, which brings management, availability, and security problems.

According to Statista – From 2019 to 2022,

Over 60% of respondents named misconfiguration of the cloud platform/wrong set up as the biggest security threat in public clouds.

  • Best Practices to Overcome Cloud Misconfiguration Error

  1. Businesses must learn and understand all the settings and permissions of their cloud services. They must also use the advantages of integrated security features.
  2. The configured cloud settings may change. Hence, they must regularly audit their cloud asset. Proper monitoring and auditing can help them detect potential misconfigurations.
  3. They must modify the permissions and credentials. Also, set up multi-factor authentication to strengthen the security.

How an Unsecure API can be a Nightmare for the Security Team?

Using APIs presents clear advantages for businesses. However, it poses a significant challenge for the security team. While APIs streamline cloud computing processes, they can be much more complex.

There is a gray area wherein unsecured APIs may grant hackers access to private information. This can pose a substantial cause of cloud data breaches.

  • Best Practices for API security

  1. It is imperative to implement comprehensive authentication and authorization policies to ensure the security of APIs. Businesses must incorporate tokens, signatures, encryption, and API gateways.
  2. Adopting Web Application Firewalls is crucial. They provide vital protection against vulnerability exploits in cloud-based APIs.
  3. It is advisable to rely solely on standard API frameworks that prioritize security. Scrutinize their security aspects before integrating third-party applications.

How Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks Impact the Business?

DDoS attacks represent a prevalent and highly detrimental cloud attack. These attacks involve inundating online services with malicious connection requests. This leads to denying legitimate users access.

  • Best Practices to tackle DDoS attacks in the cloud

  1. Businesses should maintain excess bandwidth on their internet connection to counter DDoS attacks. This makes it more challenging for hackers to flood the connection.
  2. Regular vulnerability assessments are essential. It helps them to identify and rectify system weaknesses exploited for DDoS attacks.
  3. They must have a backup internet connection with separate IP addresses. This could be an alternative route in case the primary circuit gets flooded.
  4. They must use custom rules to configure Web Application Firewalls (WAF). It ensures the monitoring and filtering of traffic based on specific requirements.

Also Read: Cloud Security Threats to Monitor in 2023

What Makes Data Leaks and Data Breaches the largest and most Critical Cloud Computing Threat?

Today, the most significant and critical threat in cloud computing for businesses is losing personal and sensitive data. This occurs when companies allow employees to use personal devices for work without implementing robust security measures.

Statista states that – In 2022,

74% of respondents from the Asia-Pacific region stated that their company perceived security breaches and data leaks as an important threat.

This percentage was slightly lower for respondents from the EMEA region.

Storing sensitive information and passwords in plain text files can further compound the risk. The shared nature of the cloud environment amplifies the consequences of a single vulnerability. This leads to widespread data breaches and loss.

  • Best Practices to Avoid the Risk of Data Leaks

  1. They should encrypt the data before storing it in the cloud.
  2. Regularly changing passwords and securely managing them are essential practices.
  3. Assigning access permissions on a “need to know” basis helps prevent unauthorized access.
  4. Training the staff on security protocols is crucial. This will reduce the inadvertent disclosure of sensitive information.

The cloud is an indispensable part of enterprise infrastructure today. Keeping it secure is one of the most critical aspects of its management. Data and applications are at risk. Any threat of attack could mean disaster. Hence, knowing ways to mitigate security risks in the cloud is critical.

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