Blog Post February 29, 2024

Six Ways to Improve Cloud Security for Your Organization

By: Brittany Holmes, Corporate Communications Manager 

Cloud security has become increasingly crucial as more organizations are transitioning from on-premise solutions to cloud-based services. The scalability and convenience of cloud products drive this shift. According to a study by Gartner, it is estimated that by 2026, 75% of organizations will adopt a digital transformation model predicated on cloud as the fundamental underlying platform. This showcases organizations moving toward the growing trend of cloud adoption and cloud technology as a key driver in their digital transformation journey and cybersecurity strategy.  

The rapid transition to the cloud has greatly expanded the potential areas for cyberattacks, posing a significant challenge for security teams. Cybercriminals have been targeting cloud environments by exploiting vulnerabilities in public-facing applications like web servers, gaining access through valid accounts, password resets, or by planting web shells for long-term access. These insights highlight the critical importance of implementing strong cloud security practices and actively managing exposure to mitigate the increasing threat of cloud-related attacks.  

This blog uncovers how to secure your cloud environment.   

Six ways to improve cloud security for your organization: 

1. Encrypt all data within the cloud:

Encryption makes it more difficult for cybercriminals to infiltrate sensitive information stored in the cloud. This added layer of protection ensures that data remains secure and confidential, reducing the risk of cyberattacks and breaches. Encryption also allows for secure data transmission between users and the cloud, further enhancing the security of information stored in the cloud. 

Implementing encryption also helps organizations comply with various data protection regulations and industry standards. By encrypting all data within the cloud, organizations can demonstrate a commitment to safeguarding sensitive information and maintaining data privacy. 

2. Centralize visibility of private, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments: 

Organizations can have visibility within a single pane of glass view across all cloud environments by centralizing the visibility of private, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments. IT teams can monitor and manage security controls, policies, and configurations more easily. This allows for better coordination and communication between different cloud environments, enabling organizations to quickly identify and remediate any security vulnerabilities or threats that may arise. 

Investing in Extended Detection and Response (XDR) solutions can further enhance centralized visibility across multiple cloud environments. XDR is a security platform that integrates and correlates security data from various sources such as endpoints, networks, and applications, providing a holistic view of the organization’s security posture. 

3. Enforce cloud security standards: 

By implementing and enforcing strict cloud security standards, organizations can ensure that all cloud services and applications adhere to best practices for data protection, access control, encryption, and compliance requirements. This can help mitigate the risk of unauthorized access compromising sensitive information stored in the cloud.  

Organizations should establish policies and procedures to enforce cloud security standards effectively. For example, conduct regular audits and assessments to monitor compliance with these standards and provide ongoing training and education for employees on best practices for securing cloud environments. 

4. Employ machine learning detection capabilities: 

Leveraging threat detection capabilities, such as User Entity and Behavior Analytics (UEBA) and Machine Learning, detects and responds to security threats in real-time. UEBA technology analyzes user behavior patterns and identifies deviations that may indicate a potential security incident. Machine Learning algorithms help block and predict security incidents by analyzing large datasets and identifying patterns indicative of malicious activity. By leveraging these advanced technologies, organizations can proactively protect their cloud environments from cyber threats. 

5. Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA): 

Utilizing security tools and technologies, such as encryption, MFA, and intrusion detection systems, further enhances cloud security measures. MFA, specifically, adds an extra layer of protection to user accounts, requiring more than a password and username or email for access. MFA reduces the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches by requiring multiple verification forms to protect cloud data.   

Read more about the basics of MFA, its strengths and weaknesses, and top methods cybercriminals use to bypass MFA in MFA Bypass Attacks: How to Keep 2FA Secure. 

6. Regularly audit misconfigurations and stale accounts: 

Organizations should regularly audit and address misconfigurations in their cloud infrastructure. Misconfigurations can leave vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data or resources. Organizations can identify and rectify misconfigurations by conducting regular audits of their cloud environments before they are exploited. This can involve implementing automated tools to scan for misconfigurations, regularly reviewing and updating security policies, and ensuring that employees are properly trained on best practices for cloud security.  

Another important aspect of cloud security is managing and monitoring stale accounts. Stale accounts refer to user accounts that are no longer actively used or have not been accessed for a long time. These accounts can become a target for cybercriminals, as they may not be monitored or have proper security measures in place. Organizations should regularly review their user accounts, identifying stale accounts and either disabling or deleting them. 

Maximize Your Cloud Security with Extended Detection and Response 

The shift to the cloud offers organizations a competitive edge by providing cost savings, increased agility, improved collaboration, and enhanced security features. It is no surprise that more and more organizations are transitioning to cloud services due to their numerous benefits. 

For lean teams looking to enhance their cloud security and free up time for other operational tasks, Extended Detection and Response (XDR) is invaluable. By seamlessly integrating with cloud security measures, XDR solutions provide continuous monitoring, threat detection, and prompt remediation, allowing organizations to safeguard their assets in the cloud proactively. 

This proactive approach ensures real-time threat detection and incident response, ultimately strengthening the overall security posture. With XDR in place, IT teams can focus on other critical operational tasks without compromising security. XDR services are vital in effectively supporting lean teams securing their cloud environments.   

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