60% of all company data is now stored in the cloud. This offers companies numerous advantages over on-premises software, including lower IT costs, improved agility, and improved scalability.
However, moving away from on-premises IT is no easy feat. In addition to the time and money associated with migrating data to the cloud, another important consideration when adopting cloud computing is the potential security risks you’re exposing your business to.
Here are some to know about and useful ways to combat them.
1. Having too many cloud tools
As the saying goes, sometimes less is more, and this is true for the number of cloud tools in a company’s arsenal – especially when it comes to SaaS. Having too many in operation is known as SaaS sprawl, which occurs when an organization’s SaaS stack consists of a large — and often unmanageable — number of applications.
The proliferation of SaaS not only increases the attack surface, but also makes it harder for IT and security teams to identify security risks or ensure regulatory compliance.
Some of the best ways to deal with SaaS sprawl are:
Streamline your application portfolio by evaluating each app in it so you can make informed decisions about which tools to keep or which to quit. Centralize the procurement process so potential purchases can be evaluated by people with visibility across the SaaS stack. Thorough staff training as this reduces the likelihood of them buying their own SaaS tools. 2. Cloud security settings misconfiguration
Another major cause of data breaches in the cloud is misconfiguration of cloud security settings. According to cyber risk management firm Vulcan, this “refers to any failure, disruption or gap in the cloud environment that could pose a risk to valuable information and assets.” It occurs when organizations improperly configure their cloud security systems, with common risks including overly permissive access, default system credentials, and unsecured backups.
The most effective means of overcoming cloud misconfigurations are:
3. External Data Exchange
The ability to easily share data externally, which many cloud tools allow for via a simple link, is undoubtedly a productivity benefit. But this also comes with a security risk. The shared link can be forwarded to the wrong person or stolen as part of a cyber attack, allowing unauthorized access to the resource in question.
To work around this issue, companies are advised to:
Introduce approved secure file sharing systems for users. Educate users on data exchange best practices, including what not to do. Implement multi-factor authentication for all files to prevent unauthorized people from accessing them.
By following our tips for countering cloud computing security risks, you can be assured of a secure cloud-based future.