In today’s digital landscape, businesses are increasingly adopting cloud computing to store and process their valuable data. While it’s true that cloud offers significant benefits, it also introduces new security challenges if not managed properly.
In this short article, we’ll explore the key reasons why security should be of the utmost importance if you’re considering migrating any of your systems or data to the cloud.
Implementing the most secure technology and processes is fundamental, but if the people responsible for the architecture are not well trained and managed then it can leave huge security holes. Here’s some things to consider and ask of the team that will be managing your data:
Cyber Essentials Plus Certification:
One of the first steps towards a robust security plan is achieving the Cyber Essentials Plus certification. This certification demonstrates a commitment to implementing fundamental security measures, such as secure configuration, access control, and malware protection. Working with a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) that holds this certification ensures that your data will be stored in an environment with a strong security foundation.
Limit Access to Remote Systems:
Controlling access to remote systems is crucial for safeguarding any data, but especially when that data is held in the cloud. By implementing strict access controls, such as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and strong password policies, you can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access. Ensure that your chosen CSP enforces these security measures to prevent potential breaches.
Granular Access Controls:
Implementing granular access controls is essential to restrict users’ permissions based on their specific roles and responsibilities. This principle of least privilege ensures that users only have access to the resources necessary to carry out their job functions. By adopting such access control mechanisms, you can minimise the potential impact of a security incident or insider threat.
When considering a cloud service provider, it is vital to ensure that staff are trained in ISO (International Organization for Standardization) security practices. ISO certifications, such as ISO 27001, validate that the provider adheres to internationally recognized best practices for information security management. Trained staff members will help ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your data in the cloud.
Having great, well-trained people is the most important aspect in securing your cloud infrastructure, but process follows closely behind. Ensuring that everyone adheres to the same processes means that common mistakes are practically eliminated.
Partnering with a CSP that complies with SOC1 and SOC2 standards is crucial for maintaining a robust security framework. SOC1 focuses on the internal controls related to financial reporting, while SOC2 examines the provider’s security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. SOC compliance ensures that your data is handled in a controlled and secure manner.
Secure Hardware Disposal:
Securely disposing of hardware is often overlooked when discussing cloud security. However, it is a critical aspect to consider. Ensure that your CSP has proper procedures in place for decommissioning and disposing of hardware securely. This prevents potential data leakage through physical media, ensuring your sensitive information remains protected.
Incident Monitoring and Response:
Effective incident monitoring and response mechanisms are essential in mitigating the impact of security breaches. A proactive approach, such as implementing Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions, enables real-time monitoring of cloud environments. This allows for quick detection and response to potential security incidents, reducing the potential for data loss or unauthorized access.
With well-trained people following established processes, any CSP should be on a road to success, but this all needs to be backed up with the professional use and understanding of class-leading technology.
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA):
2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide two pieces of evidence to verify their identity. This authentication method significantly reduces the risk of compromised credentials and unauthorized access to your cloud resources. Choose a CSP that offers robust 2FA mechanisms to protect your sensitive data.
Complex Password Policies:
Enforcing strong and complex password policies is vital to prevent unauthorized access. Cloud service providers should encourage the use of unique and lengthy passwords that combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Regular password updates should also be encouraged to enhance security further.
If your organization predominantly relies on Windows-based systems, ensure that your CSP follows stringent Windows hardening guidelines. By implementing best practices like disabling unnecessary services, enabling security features, and applying regular patches and updates, your cloud infrastructure becomes more resistant to attacks targeting Windows-specific vulnerabilities.
Firewalls and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS):
Deploying firewalls and intrusion prevention systems within your cloud environment acts as a barrier against malicious activities. These technologies monitor and control network traffic, preventing unauthorized access and protecting your data from external threats. Partner with a CSP that offers robust firewall and IPS solutions to safeguard your cloud infrastructure.
Prioritising security measures across people, process, and technology can significantly minimise the risk of data breaches, unauthorised access, and potential damage to your reputation. When considering a Cloud Service Provider (CSP), ensure they align with these key security practices to ensure the safety and confidentiality of your valuable data.
Remember, a strong security stance in the cloud is the foundation for a successful and trusted cloud migration strategy!
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