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While cloud infrastructure, services and applications are increasingly recognised for the value they offer, maintaining their security is not always straightforward.

In the final blog post of our three-part series on cloud security, we outline the key controls organisations should take to minimise cloud security risks.

 

Provide regular employee training

Aan attacker attempting to steal data from a cloud environment

All too often, people are the weakest links in the security chain and, for this reason, every organisation’s cloud security strategy should heavily prioritise employee training and education.

Gartner estimates that up to 95% of cloud breaches occur due to human errors such as configuration mistakes and it expects this trend to continue.

Specialist cloud security training should be provided to IT and cyber security staff, with more general awareness training for the rest of the workforce.

General awareness training should cover areas such as password management, data protection and social engineering, and be updated regularly to reflect the latest risks.

Phishing is the number one attack vector used to target employees. This is why it’s important to warn employees about the tell-tale signs of attacks and the dangers of opening attachments and links shared by unknown senders.

 

Enforce multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is one of the best ways to prevent cloud breaches, providing a supplementary layer of protection in the event of user passwords credentials falling into the wrong hands.

Organisations should aim to enforce multi-factor authentication across all cloud applications. However, a recent survey revealed that adoption remains low. For example, 97% of all Microsoft 365 users fail to utilise MFA.

 

Create dedicated admin accounts

Accounts with elevated privileges are frequently targeted by cybercriminals in order to obtain greater access to systems and assets and to instigate further attacks.

Limit the risk of these accounts being compromised by ensuring that system admins have separate accounts for day-to-day operations and system administration.

 

Undertake regular security assessments

 

With the threat landscape evolving so quickly, it is crucial to review the security of the infrastructure and services used to identify and address any vulnerabilities discovered.

Organisations should assess their cloud security on a regular basis and quickly and efficiently address gaps. This is because malicious actors use automated tools to identify cloud systems that are insecure and hold sensitive data.

Cloud vulnerability assessments and cloud penetration testing can help with cloud security posture management by identifying risks such as misconfigurations and providing guidance to help remediate any vulnerabilities identified.

 

Proactively monitor cloud environments

An employee attempting to access data from an unknown location

The swiftly evolving nature of cyber threats means that organisations should not just rely on preventative security measures. Minimising cyber security risk also requires organisations to be proactive in their approach to threat detection and response.

Cloud security monitoring can help organisations to detect changes that could indicate the presence of an attacker. These include data loss, infrastructure changes, suspicious user and account activity, misconfigurations and application and container risks.

A managed detection and response service can help reduce these risks by providing the people, technology and intelligence needed to proactively monitor cloud and hybrid cloud environments 24/7/365.

 

Enhancing cloud security with specialist support

As highlighted in part 1 and part 2 of this blog series, organisations face many challenges in attempting fully securing the cloud.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach that will provide the best level of protection. Organisations should make efforts to improve visibility of the threats they face and develop a multi-layered approach that is tailored to their own unique risk profile.

Given the wide range of potential controls, consulting with independent expertise to understand which controls to implement and how to do so most effectively is advisable.

 

Why choose Redscan?

Redscan is an award-winning provider of security services that help organisations to make lasting improvements to their cloud security posture.

Our assessment services, including CREST-accredited Penetration Testing and Red Teaming, help to identify and address the latest cloud security vulnerabilities.

ThreatDetect™, our Managed Detection and Response service, integrates experienced security professionals, the latest cutting-edge technologies and aggregated intelligence to swiftly identify, disrupt and remediate threats across networks, endpoints and cloud environments.

 

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