1) Cloud Misconfiguration
Misconfigurations of cloud security settings are the leading cause of cloud data breaches. Several factors contribute to this problem. Organizations need help protecting their data due to data sharing and easy access to cloud infrastructure.
Security controls are also tricky to implement with cloud-based infrastructure, so organizations must rely on their cloud service providers (CSPs) for security. There is also a need for more experience in securing cloud infrastructure. Additionally, many companies use multiple clouds, each of which offers its own set of security controls. Inadequate configurations or security oversights can expose their cloud-based resources to attackers.
Here are a few best practices for preventing cloud-misconfiguration breaches:
- Keep a log of activities. Logging users' actions can help you manage your cloud environment. Tracking changes can be used to identify the cause of misconfiguration events. Monitor events using the native cloud logs capability.
- Ensure defense in depth and principle of least privilege model is enabled and enforced. Ensure user permissions are set correctly. Your risks increase with expanded access to your cloud environment. Access should be restricted to those who need it for their jobs.
- Use automated configuration management tools. Using these tools, you can develop, implement, test, build, release, and maintain your cloud infrastructure deployments. Selecting the right tools is a significant part of ensuring your operations run smoothly in the cloud. This is achieved using Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM).
- Continually audit misconfigurations. You can detect misconfigurations and other threats in your cloud environment by conducting regular audits.
- Establish, apply, and communicate strong security policies. Integrate strong security policies into all cloud processes. Ensure that employees know these policies, so that cloud settings are correctly configured.
- Automate the monitoring and alerting of misconfigurations. With automation, you can monitor and alert about cloud misconfigurations from one place.
2) Unauthorized Access
Unlike on-premises systems, cloud infrastructure is outside the network perimeter and accessible via the Internet. Easy access to cloud infrastructure can benefit remote employees and customers, but attackers can also exploit it. A compromised credential gives an attacker direct access to a company without its knowledge.
- Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) to reduce the risk of unauthorized access. Your organization is more vulnerable to phishing, brute-force attacks, and password theft without MFA.
- Ensure that users pick long passwords with letters, numbers, and special characters. Password education should emphasize the importance of avoiding words that can be guessed in a brute-force attack, regularly updating passwords, and never sharing them.
- Consider using tools like identity and access management (IAM) to centrally manage user access and credentials and ensure users comply with security standards.
3) Data Loss and Leakage
Many cloud vendors promote collaboration and shareability, but sometimes cloud environments make it too easy to share data, leading to data breaches. Breaches cost a lot of time, energy, and money.
Possible consequences of a data breach include:
- Reputational damage to customers or partners
- Intellectual property (IP) loss to competitors, which may affect product release
- Losses resulting from regulatory fines
- Liabilities under law and contracts
- Expenses incurred as a result of incident response and forensics
Data breaches can be prevented by following these data security best practices:
- Employee security education and training. Many organizations face data security threats because of untrained employees. You can minimize your risk by teaching your employees how to follow proper security practices. Establish security training sessions and ensure all employees are familiar with best practices.
- Data encryption. Effective data encryption can give you a variety of protections for your information. Data must be encrypted both during storage in the cloud and during transit. Encrypting data at rest is standard practice. Encrypting your data at rest and in motion is essential to securing your data and preventing breaches.
- CASBs. Cloud access security brokers (CASBs) are API-based systems that can be deployed for small or large use cases. They monitor network activity and limit high-risk operations, such as downloading files or sharing unsecured information on the internet. Companies that use cloud storage increasingly use CASB systems.
- Micro-segmentation. You can minimize risk by restricting network access to only a few devices or users using micro-segmentation. If not, your network could be wide open to data theft. "Just enough access," or JEA, is a security best practice. Using this approach, end users only have access to their needed resources. This can be accomplished by limiting employees' computer usage to work-related purposes and blocking inappropriate and unauthorized websites. Enabled micro-segmentation using the virtual private network and segmentation using the network boundaries.