Every organisation has tons of sensitive information stored in the cloud. The unanticipated surge in remote work resulted in an increase in the amount of information stored in the cloud. According to TechJury, 67% of enterprise infrastructure is cloud-based.
However, with organisations allowing employees to use both business and personal devices at work, the attack surface has expanded, increasing opportunities for threat actors to target vulnerable devices.
In a recent report, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency found that the number of phishing emails has increased, exploiting weaknesses in cloud security practices. Lack of cybersecurity hygiene and awareness in organisations often results in employees getting tricked into sharing their credentials with attackers who send phishing emails that look legitimate.
A security administrator needs to be on top of their game to keep their network safe from attacks. Especially when it comes to ensuring cloud security, they must be vigilant, monitor every single activity that takes place, and regularly hunt down threats.
Here are seven vital security tips for enterprise cloud security administrators to help them protect their cloud infrastructures from attackers.
The conventional combination of username and password is no longer enough to ensure the security of user accounts. Threat actors are constantly developing new techniques and methods to compromise accounts and gain access to networks. Once an attacker obtains the required credentials, they can easily access cloud-based applications and services that are used to carry out daily business activities. Eventually, they can jeopardise the network as well.
Deploying MFA is vital to securing cloud applications and ensuring that only authorised personnel can log in to them and access critical resources stored within.
Practice privilege and access control techniques
Controlling which privileges users have and what data they have access to is one of the best ways of improving the security of cloud applications. The possibility of getting compromised drastically decreases when users have access to only the information they need and can only use it with the permission that an administrator provides.
However, administrators must make sure that required permissions and privileges are shared with employees based on their roles so that they can carry out their work without any hindrances.
Adopt Zero Trust policies
Traditionally, it is believed that threat actors will always emerge from the untrusted side of the network, whereas users on the trusted side are absolutely trustworthy. However, the Zero Trust model emphasises the need to ensure only known traffic or legitimate application communication is allowed, to inspect and record all network activities, and to enforce strict access control.
However, implementing just a gateway isn’t enough to establish Zero Trust in the cloud. You should monitor all traffic and activities for all applications.
Employ a CASB and SASE
Organisations are rapidly shifting from on-premises to the cloud in the hope of enjoying scalability and performance benefits. However, not many organisations pay attention to the security threats such a shift brings along and they don’t make investments to secure their cloud installations. With threat actors grabbing every single opportunity to exploit vulnerable networks, organisations must keep updating their security to stay protected.
Technologies like a cloud access security broker (CASB) and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) are essential for monitoring and securing cloud installations. While a CASB serves as an enforcement centre that applies security policies to everything a business uses in the cloud, SASE combines security and network connectivity technologies into a single, cloud-delivered platform to enable a fast, secure cloud transformation.
Automate solutions to monitor user activities
Scalability is one of the biggest selling points of the cloud. However, it increases the volume of activity in a network. In order to ensure security and data protection, it is vital to monitor all the activities performed by users.
Sifting through logs manually in the hope of detecting malicious activities is a Herculean task. This is why organisations should deploy automated solutions that can monitor activities in the cloud and provide instant alerts. The solution should also be able to provide exhaustive reports that help organisations make informed decisions.
Create backup and recovery plans
Having backup and recovery plans is essential for ensuring no data is lost in the event of a security incident. Security administrators must regularly create copies of sensitive data and store them in a secure place where they can be recovered.
Mandate awareness programs for employees
According to Foundry’s cloud computing study, a lack of cloud expertise is one of the biggest challenges organisations face. Organisations must provide employees with the necessary training on how best to use the cloud and what not to do in order to avoid data breaches and security incidents.
With enterprises adopting varying practices ranging from fully on-premises work to fully remote work, security administrators face the challenge of restoring normalcy in network security within their respective organisations. While this might sound easy, with the last two years of drastic changes to the IT infrastructures of organisations, it’ll definitely be challenging to revamp and fix loopholes in existing security policies. Organisations must provide the utmost support for their technical teams in order to secure their networks from unprecedented attacks during the shift.