September 16, 2021

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Return to Work: Securing Your Hybrid Cloud Environment

4 min read

As useful as cloud computing has become, its cybersecurity risks should not be ignored. Like any Internet of Things (IoT) device, cloud services have inherent vulnerabilities that can be exploited by determined threat actors. While cloud computing has its weaknesses, its faults should not outweigh its benefits. To help business leaders maximize the effectiveness of their cybersecurity as well as their return on investment (ROI), here is a breakdown of some of the most impactful cloud security solutions and practices a company should use.

Plan Out Your Cloud Adoption

A company’s cybersecurity is never more vulnerable than during cloud migration. Transitioning your processes, assets, and data storage to a completely new cloud platform via an internet connection presents a lot of opportunities for interception and data breaches. In order to minimize the number of gaps in your cloud security, it is recommended to develop a detailed, comprehensive plan that utilizes a 360-degree approach to cybersecurity. But how do you create a plan if you don’t have experience with cloud deployment?

Outsource the Necessary Skills and Resources

Most businesses do not specialize in cybersecurity techniques, tools, and practices. For that reason, the IT departments of most companies are at a disadvantage when it comes to maximizing the quality of their cybersecurity protocols. Fortunately, there is an easy way to overcome this problem. Just like how organizations can outsource their cloud computing needs, businesses also outsource their cybersecurity programming.

Hiring a third-party cybersecurity firm is an excellent and effective way to not only improve your methods of data protection but also evaluate your existing strategies. One of the most challenging obstacles to overcome while implementing cloud security solutions is internal bias. No matter how skilled your IT department is, it will always be difficult to objectively evaluate the strength and comprehensiveness of your cybersecurity. By using a third-party cybersecurity firm, you can audit your current cloud security practices, employ the offensive capabilities of digital forensics, and formulate a 360-degree plan of attack for addressing any identified gaps. Why struggle planning your own cloud adoption alone when you can work with a team of cybersecurity professionals?

Develop a Multi-CSP Strategy

Over the course of the 21st century, firms have optimized their computing environments by selecting their servers, data storage devices, and IoTs a-la-carte from multiple vendors. This ensures that organizations are integrating the best hardware and software solutions available to their business operations and needs. This same train of thought has now seeped its way into cloud computing. Rather than investing all of your resources into an individual cloud service provider (CSP), organizations are beginning to divide their cloud computing workloads across multiple CSPs. This, essentially, acts as a hedge against CSP failure, which is particularly important when it comes to cloud security. For example, when a CSP data breach occurs, the data and assets of multiple vendors – including your own – may be at risk. By developing a multi-CSP strategy, a business can protect itself from having all of its cloud information compromised in a single data breach. WIth multiple CSPs, a company can decrease the attack surface of cybersecurity threats by splitting up its cloud workloads. Unfortunately, a strategy like this doesn’t overcome the fundamental vulnerabilities of poor access management.

Improved Access Management

Human error is one of the largest detriments to a business’s cloud security because human error exploits cloud security’s most devastating weakness: public access. Human error, in this case, refers to both the mishandling of sensitive information as well as the quality of user authentication. The open accessibility provided by cloud computing’s use of public networks, combined with human error, can increase a firm’s exposure to cybersecurity threats. This is because open networks are as accessible for users as they are for cybercriminals. How a company circumvents this glaring cloud security weakness is through improved access management.

Through effective access management, businesses can reduce the likelihood of human error as well as the success of malicious users. Access management, in many organizations, can be improved through better endpoint security. This is because endpoint security addresses the unreliability of end-users and protects them from mishandling their login credentials. Such methods of endpoint security include multi-factor authentication and data encryption. Access management can also be upgraded through an improved assignment of user access rights – allocating roles and minimizing access permissions.

There are many ways to optimize one’s cloud security needs, from a detailed cloud deployment plan to a comprehensive multi-CSP strategy. Regardless of which method one chooses to employ, it should be supported with research, experience, and expertise. Cloud computing is an integral part of many corporations; their operations, their services, and even their business model. Cloud security ensures the quality and safety of all of those functions. Therefore, investing in one’s cloud security means investing in your company’s success.

Anas Chbib is one of the most respected leaders in the security industry, known for his unmatched business ethics, inspirational entrepreneurial spirit, and fierce desire to offer organizations worldwide highly-secured environments in order to ensure business continuity and better service. Anas is currently the Founder and CEO of AGT, a highly respected, international cybersecurity firm.

 

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