6 Ways Businesses Can Boost Their Cloud Security Resilience

The rise in cloud-based cyberattacks continues to climb as hackers pursue vulnerable businesses transitioning away from on-premises infrastructure. Although decision-makers may have believed the cloud was a more secure space to house valuable and sensitive digital assets, the statistical data appears to prove otherwise.

  • Phishing Schemes: 58 per cent of incidents involved the cloud.
  • Ransomware or Malware: 19 per cent of attacks involve the cloud.
  • Infrastructure Attacks: 30 per cent of incidents were cloud-based.
  • Supply Chain Compromises: 17 per cent of organisations reported a cloud incident.

Data theft incidents in the cloud were almost equal to the number that occurred in on-premises networks in 2023. These statistics represent real-life catastrophes that harmed businesses of all types and sizes. They also highlight the fact that hackers will follow companies anywhere in hopes of exploiting vulnerabilities for ill-gotten gain. The question industry leaders need to answer is: How can my organisation improve its cloud security resiliency?

Ways to Improve Cybersecurity Resilience

Cybersecurity resiliency involves a two-fold approach to protecting vital data in the cloud. On the one hand, possessing capabilities that can deter, detect, and expel threat actors is mission-critical. But as the statistics demonstrate, hackers continue to devise new and more nefarious techniques to penetrate business networks.

It may be a hard pill to swallow, but no operation is genuinely immune from a data breach or malware attack. That’s why security resiliency must also include a way to right the ship after getting digitally blindsided. These are ways your organisation can harden its attack surface and become more self-reliant.

1: Use a Private Cloud

The vast majority of companies use public clouds because they are viewed as cost-effective. These shared spaces house data from hundreds, if not thousands, of entities. Although they are considered adequately safe, shifting to a private cloud offers complete control over data storage and infrastructure.

Rather than relying on the cloud provider to deal with security measures, you can onboard a third-party cybersecurity expert to ensure the organisation’s personal protection. Does a private cloud cost more? The short answer is: Yes. Is it worth the investment? That’s something for you to decide in terms of budgetary flexibility, ability to tolerate risk, and a cybersecurity consultant’s recommendation.

2: Embrace Zero Trust Policies

One of the perks of leveraging the cloud involves seamless collaboration. Users from anywhere can log onto the platform and work together to drive company goals. But this facet also cracks the window for insider threats and human error. It’s essential to integrate zero trust measures into every legitimate user profile, bar none. Anytime an employee or independent contractor requires access to items outside their base needs, they must get approval, often from a high-level role like a CISO or vCISO. Limiting access protects trade secrets, personal identity information, financial records, and the system at large.

3: Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

This simple security measure has been roundly effective at stopping hackers from breaching cloud-based networks. One of the cybercriminals’ more popular ways to steal valuable data involves learning an employee’s username and password. Too many organisations use corporate email as the username, leaving hackers to guess sometimes weak passwords. Fortunately, MFA changes the dynamic.

Anytime a legitimate user tries to access the network, a code is sent to a secondary device. Hackers would need to possess the cellphone or device to learn the code. Brilliant in its simplicity, MFA continues to frustrate digital thieves.

4: Ongoing Threat Monitoring

Transitioning a business into the cloud does not alleviate the need for constant cybersecurity monitoring. Threat actors are often living in other time zones and countries that won’t extradite them for online crimes. It’s up to every business to ensure that attempted data breaches at 2 a.m. are met with resistance.

Some companies leverage threat identification methods such as AI and machine learning to set off alerts. Then, cybersecurity experts quickly investigate and decide on an appropriate defence. Others take proactive measures such as threat-hunting to ferret out bad actors and potential malware before they can gain a foothold.

When an enterprise has security experts monitoring its cloud-based infrastructure and assets 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anomalies can be identified and dealt with swiftly. The alternative may be waking up to a ransomware demand.

5: Incident Response Policies

Business resiliency requires a pathway back from a devastating cybersecurity breach. Leadership teams typically work with a third-party firm that handles issues such as cloud computing, managed IT and has staff members who are cybersecurity experts.

Following a thorough risk assessment, the firm provides in-depth analyses of the company’s strengths and vulnerabilities. The report also makes recommendations regarding ways to cure cybersecurity gaps and lays the foundation for an incident response plan. Bringing department heads and key stakeholders together, everyone takes on a role. These may involve daily backups that are stored in multiple locations, as well as offline, among others. In the event of an emergency, everyone has a role to play in restoring operational integrity as quickly as possible.

6: Cybersecurity Awareness Training

The importance of a security-trained staff cannot be understated. When decision-makers enlist the support of cybersecurity firms to educate front-line workers about the tactics used by hackers, that heightened awareness changes the company’s culture. Instead of employees being the weak link cybercriminals seek to exploit, they are now part of an overarching security posture. When hackers grow weary of testing their phishing schemes and social engineering tricks on educated staff members, they look elsewhere for low-hanging fruit. The ability to deter, detect, defend, and implement a disaster restoration program is an absolute must in the digital age. The fact that companies are adopting the cloud to lower costs and improve efficiency doesn’t change the global chess match being played out between hackers and cybersecurity professionals. Keep in mind that honest business professionals and their livelihoods remain at risk. By hardening your defences and planning for the worst, your preparation will pay dividends.

John Funk
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John Funk is a Creative Consultant at SevenAtoms. A lifelong writer and storyteller, he has a passion for tech and cybersecurity. When he’s not found enjoying craft beer or playing Dungeons & Dragons, John can be often found spending time with his cats.

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