Cloud computing continues to grow and evolve, which is why it is a must for users to stay in step with the cloud’s movements if they want to ensure that their data isn’t vulnerable in the cloud.
The main security issues with the cloud are mostly on the user-side, as vulnerabilities appear whenever the user’s abilities become incongruent or outdated next to the cloud’s current integrity protocols. In other words, staying secure up on the cloud is a matter of not getting left behind.
Here are some tips on how you can stay in step with the cloud’s developments over time:
Improve your visibility
Improving visibility means seeing the entirety of your virtual real estate up on the cloud — including and especially its contents. According to a survey conducted by cybersecurity firm Forcepoint, only 7% of businesses have good visibility of all of their critical data, and up to 58% of the respondents have stated that they only have slight control over their cloud-based data. Giving up visibility essentially equates to giving up control — and giving up control means your data is more readily exposed to threats.
Improve visibility by taking full stock of all your cloud-based data. Treat them like the assets that they are. Use security and data management solutions such as application programming interfaces (APIs) that have built-in autodiscovery technology, which will let you have a full view of all of your deployments in an expedited manner — without the risk of shadow IT (IT projects that are managed outside of, and without the knowledge of the official IT department).
Fill up the skill vacuum
A recent study conducted by a UK-based IT firm in collaboration with the London School of Economics found that around 31% of IT decision-makers believe their organizations have a lag in their ability to deploy cloud platforms due to a lack of skills. The same study also found that around 49% of IT decision-makers believe their organization is losing out on potential revenues because of their lack of cloud expertise.
Sourcing adequately-trained employees can be tricky, and many large companies often resort to shouldering the training costs themselves just to ensure that their staff is cloud-ready at all times. For small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), expending that much resources is often out of the question. Look into outsourcing your cloud needs to a reputable managed services provider (MSP) such as Xirtix Consulting, which offers a sizable array of cloud services to meet a variety of needs.
Use industry-best practices
According to Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA)’s 2017 Consumer Cybersecurity Confidence Index, 40% of consumers write their passwords down on paper, and 25% use the same password for the majority — if not all — of their online accounts. This includes even cloud-based business applications and data storage. For SMBs, these statistics cannot be ignored, as 53% of consumers state that they would stop using a company’s services if their information was breached.
These risks boil down to using industry-best practices. Good passwords should have ample length and character variety while being easy to recall, so that there is no need to write it down. This password example is one type of practice that cloud users and cloud-based businesses should strictly enforce. It only takes one small vulnerability to usher in system-wide damage.
It is always a good idea to configure and deploy cloud architecture based on industry-best practices and industry-wide standards. Two important benchmarks you should aim for are the Center for Internet Security (CIS) AWS Foundation Benchmark and the CIS Microsoft Azure Foundation Benchmark. Deploying an automated vulnerability management solution should also make your monitoring and response easier and faster.
Addressing cybersecurity gaps on the cloud may look like a daunting task, but it always pays to be ready. It also pays to enlist the help of a reputable MSP; Xirtix Consulting offers a robust cloud management solution that effectively does all the heavy lifting for you. This way, you can focus on growing your business.
It is Xirtix Consulting LLC CEO Nick Dragna’s aim to reduce all technology challenges to two items: Strategy and Process. Wrap our Trademark XCare Managed Services around your IT solutions to simplify your technology challenges. Get in touch with us today and have Your IT. Managed. Period.