By F.O.O.,

Need for Cloud Secure Environment

The last few years have seen an increase in cloud adoption. This trend is expected to hold as businesses seek to capitalize on the advantages of cloud services (over more traditional on-premise architectures), such as flexibility, infinite scalability and cost reductions.  Consequently, cloud-based technologies have quickly emerged and are increasingly being accepted by enterprises as being important for forward-thinking organisations that desire to increase their agility. On the downside, the fast adoption of cloud-based services may be predisposing organisations to more risk than they realize. Recent surveys have found that majority of respondents have the feeling that cloud-based business initiatives are developing faster than security teams are able to safeguard them.

This interesting trend, coupled with the huge amount of data stored in the cloud, renders these new environments likely advantage-taking targets for cyber criminals. As such, businesses need to ensure that they put in place effective strategies to protect their critical cloud assets and thus provide a cloud secure cloud environment. For many businesses, a question that begs an answer is: What is the best way the business can achieve a cloud secure environment immediately and position itself for success?

New Strategy for a New Environment

Different form on-premises resources is the cloud, and so it’s natural that securing cloud assets demands a different approach. While in an on-premise environment, the entire business infrastructure is set up and hosted by the business, in a cloud environment, the third-party vendor hosts everything.

The cloud environment thus presents a situation where security becomes a responsibility shared between the provider and the business. This makes it important for internal security teams to work together with cloud providers towards ensuring that even simple things such as configuration changes by either party does not leave the business vulnerable to attacks from outside.

In addition to robust collaboration between teams, businesses making a shift to the cloud should adopt an aggressive approach in applying data security measures and deploying environment wide defenses to ensure a potential mistake doesn’t lead to the compromise of valuable enterprise information.

Comprehensive and Regular Training

When it comes to cloud security, a “set it and forget it” mentality is far from feasible especially given that the general infrastructure keeps being updated. Consequently, it’s necessary that employees are kept up-to-date on changes in technology and other things they should know to be able to perform their duties without subjecting the organisation to risk.  This calls for businesses to conduct regular security trainings that cover at least the basics and relevant best practices that prevent exposure across departments. Every time the security strategy is changed, employees should be updated on the changes and the adjustments they need to make henceforth.

Deploy multiple defenses

Today, data breaches can happen any time.  Hackers are consistently seeking new ways to outsmart their targets, with data breaches seemingly making news headlines every few hours. A holistic strategy that provides protection to the organisation in case of a cyber intrusion has become a necessity, especially considering that some sensitive information may be stored in cloud environments.

In such an environment, technologies that provide detection, network monitoring, intelligence and such other technologies are necessary possessions in an effort to keep bad actors at bay. However, it’s equally important to protect enterprise data from within just in case offensive technologies and the security team managing them miss something. This can partly be done by encrypting all data (both at rest and in motion) so that in case bad actors intrude the organisation’s infrastructure, valuable enterprise data will be of no use to them as a result of the precautions that were instituted. A blend of more offensive and defensive security technologies and practices constitute a balanced security defense strategy.

Careful Cloud Security Strategy Mix

A good cloud security strategy goes beyond simply checking the box on cloud security to include diligent collaboration between cloud providers and internal security teams, frequent company-wide training, and the correct blend of technologies.

Although businesses continue to go the cloud way to get cost and other benefits, it is not until executives fully dedicate to securing them, they might as well leave doors open for hackers to walk in after they leave for the night.

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