Statista reports that the cloud computing market is growing enormously and is expected to reach an estimated $835 billion by 2027. More IT directors are migrating their midsized company data to the cloud daily. You’ve heard of the significant cloud providers, including Google, Amazon, and Microsoft Azure. While the transition to the cloud significantly benefits midsize businesses, it brings new security challenges. Organizations must protect themselves against cloud attacks and guard themselves against other security vulnerabilities.
Types of Cloud Attacks
All organizations, including small and medium-sized businesses up to corporate giants using cloud services, are vulnerable to cloud attacks. Keep the following cloud security threats in mind and then we’ll talk about how to put defensive measures in place.
Data loss, leaks, and data breaches
If your information system is vulnerable it enables malicious actors to compromise confidential client and organizational information. Adversaries can gain access to and alter data stored in the cloud while making it difficult or impossible to revert, thus data loss.
Attacks due to poor access management
Vulnerable or non-existent IAM (Identity and Access Management) or PAM (Privileged Access Management) policies can result in a lack of proper identification, authentication, and authorization, leading to unauthorized persons accessing information network systems. It opens up the network to cyber-attacks that could lead to data privacy violations, financial losses, and reputational harm.
Threats from misconfigured cloud storage
A misconfigured cloud makes cloud servers vulnerable to attacks from threat actors. It usually happens when organizations use default cloud storage settings with standard access management, without the proper settings review and controls put in place you are welcoming many different attacks.
Disgruntled employees can sabotage and tamper with network settings, so they are able to access the system and wreak havoc. These insider attacks are more pernicious because employees with malicious intentions get to know the systems, data, and applications over time and they can cause more damage than an external hacker.
External threats like DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks flood the server, service, or system with internet traffic prevent users from accessing applications, and disrupt business workflow. It can bring work to a halt altogether as well. The DDoS attack costs organizations time and money when taking into consideration productivity and the ability to continue business.
Infiltration through insecure APIs
Businesses can rely heavily on APIs to connect internet-based software to data and perform productive functions. However, unsecured APIs create risk for your organization because they contain security flaws that can compromise private data. There is an even greater risk when multiple APIs are running on different systems. Configured properly, APIs save time, when they are not, the flaws compromise the integrity of user controls, as well as leaked data.
There are numerous cloud-based threats that medium-sized businesses encounter. Therefore, defending the network system from cloud attacks is of paramount importance.
How do I defend my midsize business from a cloud attack?
Midsize businesses may have a smaller budget compared to corporate giants, however, they still have access to great tools and protocols to secure their sensitive information and cloud infrastructure. Below are some of the fundamental defense mechanisms midsize businesses must adhere to:
Proper access management
Proper access management is vital to robust cybersecurity systems. Organizations must have well-defined Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies that do not grant access to unauthenticated users. They must ensure that unauthorized users do not access critical information systems, thus preserving the CIA triad parameters (confidentiality, integrity, and availability) of the organization’s data.
Threat actors target the data in transit because it is easy to intercept it and gain insightful information about the organization and its information assets. Therefore, encrypting all outgoing data ensures malicious actors do not access it. Securing the encryption keys is also crucial because access to the keys compromises the data in transit.
Employees are the first point of contact for customers within the organization. Malicious actors take advantage of vulnerable employees who are not aware of or practicing cybersecurity procedures. Therefore, educating employees about the latest cybersecurity threats and mitigation strategies is crucial.
For example, strong password management, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), alertness in identifying phishing email messages, and refraining from downloading malicious attachments can help deter malicious actors from launching their attacks. Ongoing training is key for your employees in identifying suspicious activity and protecting your business.
Maintain and test your data backup
The chances of permanent data loss are high as hackers evolve and mature their methods within the cloud environment. Therefore, midsized organizations must have a secure data backup plan. Onsite and offsite storage improves your security stature, as you have data in multiple places. Also, be certain to test your data backups on a periodic basis to be certain they are working well.
Cybersecurity best practices
Organizations must follow cybersecurity best practices to protect their critical information assets from being compromised. They include the following.
Formulating effective cybersecurity policies and adhering to them
A proper cybersecurity policy must clearly define the security measures the IT team and users must take to protect the organization’s assets. It includes a robust password management system to ensure the use of strong passwords and change them at reasonable frequencies. Setting up MFA is an excellent line of defense to ensure only authorized users access the system.
Carrying Out Regular Testing and Maintenance of Hardware and Software
Protect your IT systems using robust safeguards because they are vulnerable to cyber attacks from malicious actors. Therefore, regular system maintenance and testing, applying software security patches, and updating hardware regularly for more secure equipment are essential to identify the vulnerabilities and threats that could affect the business.
Put proper risk mitigation solutions in place
Identifying a risk is vital. However, the job is complete only when one prevents the risk from causing irreparable damage. Therefore, every midsize business must have a well-defined incident response strategy to deal with cybersecurity incidents effectively and resume business operations.
Choose a trusted cloud service provider
Select a cloud security service provider who delivers the best-layered security protocols and complies with industrial standards and statutory regulations. Medium-sized businesses must review the shared responsibility model and understand the challenges of handling various aspects of cloud security.
More businesses are shifting data and resources to the cloud environment for ease of conducting business. However, cyber risks persist because malicious actors keep advancing and launching innovative attacks to compromise network system security and cause data privacy violations. The best way to defend against cloud service attacks is to leverage the services of the best cloud service provider possible.
Develop your cloud risk remediation plan
Take steps today to reduce your organization’s risk and remediate any existing security issues. With the right tools, resources, and education in place, your organization can quickly remediate cybersecurity risks.
Midsize businesses in Omaha and Lincoln can collaborate with the best cloud services that suit their needs to help with remediation strategies. Choose from the most reliable and professional companies for IT support the Omaha region can offer you to protect your business from cyber-attacks.