The cloud is far and away one of the most beneficial technologies that a modern business has at its disposal. Unfortunately, the same can be said for modern cybercriminals. The cloud has given cybercriminals new opportunities that are important to acknowledge—as well, of course, to protect your business against.
The cloud has seen its usage rise greatly in recent years, even before the pandemic sent so much of the workforce home into isolation. While this has given great utility to businesses, it has also given cybercriminals a lot of opportunities, simply based on the cloud and how it works.
Let’s go over a few ways that the cloud can provide an opportunity for cybercriminals.
Depending on the cloud you’re using and what you’re using it for, your cloud service or solution may need to be configured in certain ways—and, if not done correctly, these configurations could easily leave a business and its data vulnerable. This makes it crucial that you have a professional involved in the setup to ensure that all goes according to plan.
Whether it's the interface that a user interacts with or the application itself, any insecure system present in the cloud could render your entire business vulnerable. This makes it all the more important that you protect your data in other ways—for example, encrypting any data you store in the cloud.
A DoS attack—or an attack where numerous computing resources are leveraged against a target to overwhelm it with traffic—is an effective strategy that cybercriminals have used time and time again. Cloud computing now enables cybercriminals to effectively rent these resources for use in their botnet, allowing them more flexibility and capability… a bad combination where cybercrime is concerned.
There are a few ways that you can make your use of the cloud more resistant to attacks.
Care to take a guess at the way many cybercriminals make it into the cloud in the first place? Insufficiently secure passwords. In light of this, adding more authentication requirements to your cloud access and restricting what a user is able to access based on their role can help to minimize the damage that any individual user’s account can do.
Your network endpoints—the computers, peripherals, and other hardware that connects back to your larger infrastructure—are essential to your business’ processes. However, this interconnectivity can easily lend itself to a threat infiltrating your network through one of these endpoints. Securing them with the requisite protections is essential, particularly if your team members are to work remotely at any time.
Encryption allows you to secure your data by—and this is a vast simplification of the process—scrambling it and shuffling it to be unrecognizable without the proper decryption keys. Adopting this safeguard and encrypting all data that is to be stored in the cloud can help protect the data you are relying on the cloud to store.
We cannot emphasize enough how important it is for you to always back up your data… and while we’re talking about potential cloud security issues, the cloud is still the best place to do so. Fortunately, most cloud providers have their own security safeguards and protections in place to ensure that the data entrusted to them remains safe.
Finally, we come to a practice that is good for your security in general: turning your employees into an asset, rather than allowing them to become a risk. Security training needs to be an essential part of any team member’s work experience. If you shape your company culture to be one of security awareness, you can engage your team in keeping the business safe.
Trust Managed IT Force to assist you in doing so. Find out how we can help you boost your organizational cybersecurity by calling 724-473-3950.
About the author
Dan has 25 years of progressive experience in the IT industry. He has led three successful companies focused on small and medium business IT solutions since 1997.