Many people switched from office to remote work in 2020, and organizations were forced to scale out on short notice. All of this has demonstrated the performance, reliability and security of cloud systems and the ease of use for users and administrators.
There have been enormous changes in how everyone works, learns, and socializes online over the last 18 months. During the global lockdown, being online was more important than ever.
Instead of developing advanced threats, cyber criminals took advantage of the circumstance by enhancing the capabilities of current malware campaigns. As more people rely on cloud services for their daily work — file sharing, collaboration, and video – cloud platform attacks are becoming more common.
All forms of attacks are destructive, with the potential to disrupt business flow and reputation, but due to the rapid transition to remote working settings, businesses have been quick to learn. There has been a lot of talk about shifting network perimeters and the elastic security needed to extend and contract based on dynamic usage and demand, thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices and expectations for always-on connectivity and access.
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The pandemic stretched the network perimeter to its limits, with nearly all users relocating to remote work locations overnight and cloud services becoming commonplace. This move compelled security and IT departments to quickly adjust.
As employees utilized personal devices to access business information, the transition to remote working increased cyber risk. As a result, phishing campaigns targeting personal email accounts have proliferated in the hopes of stealing data or spreading malware and ransomware. Employees will require ongoing security awareness training and updates as companies transition to a hybrid work paradigm, which must be adaptable for a remote workforce.
Because the network is the lifeblood of a company, it must be secured and monitored continuously from edge to edge, including in cloud and physical environments. Machine learning and analytics are critical to keeping the network in good form, allowing security teams to respond quickly to changing events and make recommendations. As users continue to execute their tasks in the hyper-connected, distributed world, security and IT professionals should ensure future system stability and availability.
Shifting to the cloud
Cloud computing enables businesses to scale, with reliably guaranteed performance and the assurance that the most up-to-date software is constantly in use. This is the cloud provider’s responsibility and is done automatically. The risk of an attack is reduced when definitive software is used because any new vulnerability are promptly recognized and patched.
Here are a few pointers to consider before moving to the cloud to ensure that the adoption is safe and secure:
- Businesses should ensure that cloud providers prioritize security and provide robust security solutions to safeguard data and applications. Companies should ideally work with a cloud provider who can extend their existing data center security to the cloud. The security team’s learning curve will be shortened as a result, and the same policies can be deployed across physical and cloud infrastructure.
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- It’s critical that the cloud provider and the customer agree on a stringent security service-level agreement (SLA) for downtime, patching, and security upgrades. Businesses should ensure that it contains detailed, well-defined procedures for what to do in the event of a system-wide attack, such as a provider-level DDoS attack or advanced breach.
- Companies should ensure that the provider supports and employs the most complex password process possible. Complex passwords and multi-factor authentication based on apps and/or tokens should be used.
The protection policies and passwords in place for any cloud-based instance of a product are only as robust as the security policies and passwords in place. An administrator can still make mistakes, as the world has seen with the numerous databases that have been disclosed on the internet
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