Top Threats Against Cloud Environments
What you need to know, and how Novawatch solutions can protect your business.
The cloud is changing the way we do things. We rely on it for everything from storing documents to sending emails, and more and more businesses are moving their data to the cloud. However, with that increased use comes increased risk. For instance, over the past year and a half, over 79% of organizations have reported a cloud breach.
Further, managed cloud services can be a great way to add some much-needed security to your cloud applications. How can they help you prevent common cloud security threats? Let’s explore the benefits that managed services offer, the top cloud security threats in 2022, and how managed services can give you better protection from potential attacks.
As the number of cloud services increases, so does the number of threats against them.
The numbers don’t lie: Only one in five businesses assess their cloud security posture in real time. Unfortunately, this rapid growth doesn’t necessarily translate into improved security or better protection for your sensitive data.
When a cloud environment is designed with suitable security, it can be a great place to store your data. However, many businesses incorrectly use cloud environments for their data, which can put that data at risk.
Here are some of the most common ways people misuse cloud environments:
- Having more users than allowed by their licenses. This includes sharing an account with friends and family members or allowing employees to use personal accounts for work purposes (when they should be using company-issued accounts). It also includes companies who purchase subscriptions for more users than are necessary for their business needs (to avoid paying per user per month).
- Storing sensitive information that isn’t encrypted or password protected—such as social security numbers or credit card numbers—in unsecured locations on shared servers where anyone could access them if they had malicious intent and knew how you were storing the information.
There are many reasons why people might choose not to encrypt sensitive information before storing it in a public space like Dropbox or Google Drive instead of keeping that same information encrypted on a secure internal server: Some believe it’s too time-consuming; others may have heard rumors about “unbreakable” encryption schemes being broken; still others may not be aware of the risks involved with storing unencrypted files online even if they’re password protected because they don’t know what types of advanced hacking techniques hackers use today.
Configuration errors are the most prominent cloud threat today. They are usually unintentional and can result from human error or a lack of knowledge. In many cases, configuration errors can be easily avoided by following best practices for deploying your applications and using the right tools to manage your infrastructure.
However, if you’re not careful about how you write code and manage your applications, it’s easy for problems like these to slip through the cracks without anyone noticing until it’s too late. For example:
- An engineer might accidentally deploy an application incompatible with their virtual environment as part of their test suite because they didn’t realize that platform would fail when deployed there (no one else caught this before either).
- A developer may incorrectly set up a cluster which causes all sorts of performance issues once the cluster gets very large because they don’t understand how it works (and no one else did either).
Vulnerabilities and weak encryption
Encryption protects data and communications by using secret codes or keys to encode the information. When it comes to encryption, there are two main types: Symmetric and asymmetric. Symmetric encryption uses the same key for encrypting and decrypting the data, whereas asymmetric encryption uses different keys for each process.
The most common type of symmetric encryption used today is AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), created in 2001 by NIST as an alternative to DES (Data Encryption Standard). AES can be implemented in software or hardware. Nonetheless, hardware implementations tend to be faster than software implementations because they don’t have any software overhead associated with them. In addition, this makes them ideal for use in cloud environments where performance matters most—like when trying to decrypt large amounts of data at once.
Insufficient identity access management
Identity access management (IAM) is a process by which you secure and manage who has access to your cloud environment.
You can use IAM to:
- Control who has what level of access to specific resources, data, and applications.
- Restrict unauthorized users from accessing your network.
- Monitor users’ activity regularly so that you can detect any discrepancies in their behavior patterns or account status that may indicate an attack or breach attempt.
Benefits of this security practice include:
- Improved security and compliance with industry regulations.
- Reduced risk for data loss/unauthorized access.
- Streamlined customer onboarding procedures by providing them with the right level of access as soon as they joined your platform.
It’s no secret that insider threats are a significant concern for any company, but it’s also true that they are more likely to occur in cloud environments than on-premises.
So what can you do? First, you need an effective strategy for mitigating insider threats—but don’t forget about those users with privileged access. Many organizations overlook them because they assume their security infrastructure will protect them against malicious insiders; however, this isn’t always the case.
For example: If someone has administrator rights on your network, they won’t be able to breach your perimeter defenses without help from some other source, and where could that source be located? Right inside your own organization’s walls.
A managed service provider is an excellent resource for cloud-native security. In fact, there are four main ways that a managed service provider can help you with cloud security:
- Cloud compliance: You may be required to follow specific regulations when moving to the cloud or bringing your existing infrastructure into the cloud. A managed service provider can help you comply with these regulations and keep your data safe at every step.
- Cloud monitoring: Monitoring should be part of any IT strategy, especially when securing your company’s data in the cloud. Managed services providers have access to more resources than most small businesses; they can monitor your environment 24/7 to catch any threats before they become problems—and before they cause damage or loss of information.
- Cloud management and operations (M&O): M&O refers specifically here not only because it encompasses these two responsibilities but also because these two roles often fall under one person’s purview within an organization–in other words: Ff someone needs help managing their virtualization environment, that person might hire someone else from outside who specializes solely in this area instead of trying their luck at doing both tasks by themselves (and potentially failing miserably).
Data loss is one of the biggest threats to cloud environments. Data loss can be caused by human error, a lack of security, or a lack of monitoring and training.
Regarding human error, it’s not hard to imagine that people can accidentally delete files or wipe some data from storage devices. For example, if you’re a new employee who doesn’t know what you’re doing—and maybe even if you do—it’s easy for the accidental deletion or another form of inadvertent data loss to occur on an individual basis in your organization.
Data loss can also happen as part of a malicious attack against your organization’s systems and infrastructure by hackers looking for sensitive information that might be stored there (or any other valuable information). These kinds of attacks are often called “ransomware attacks” because they involve hackers locking up your system until you pay them money before they unlock it again so that you can regain access to all your files. In fact, ransomware is the number one threat to SMBs.
Malicious attacks are hazardous because they often come with ransomware built into them. Once someone has entered their password into the system after being attacked by such malware, they will almost certainly lose access unless they pay up first.
Security in the cloud is a shared responsibility.
Cloud security is a shared responsibility. In many situations, it’s not enough to assume that your cloud provider will keep you safe; you have to ensure the security of your data and resources daily.
The fundamental principle for ensuring the safety of your cloud resources is following the instructions provided by the cloud provider. If they tell you not to do something (e.g., store sensitive data in public folders or share access with third parties), then don’t do it. There are plenty of cases where people get tricked into putting their data at risk because they think “it’s okay” or “the system won’t let me,” when in fact, doing so would violate company policy or industry regulations about how data should be handled by its users.
Managed cloud services can offer you practical security solutions.
If you’re still confused about what managed services can do for you, let us clarify. Managed cloud services have a lot of practical security solutions up their sleeve, and we’re more than happy to share them. Here are some ways managed services can protect your business:
- Security best practices: Managed cloud service providers can help companies implement industry-standard cybersecurity policies and procedures. They’ll also ensure that these standards are followed by sending regular reports on compliance with these policies and procedures.
- Incident response: Managed cloud service providers offer 24/7 monitoring of your environment so that if there’s an incident, they’ll be notified immediately so the company can respond promptly. This includes helping companies mitigate risks from cyber-attacks via network intrusion detection systems (NIDS).
- Security monitoring: Companies may need assistance with managing security alerts through SIEM platforms and other tools and establishing incident response plans for various types of threats (i.e., ransomware or phishing scams). Novawatch offers end-to-end support when it comes to detecting malicious activity within your infrastructure — including email servers, databases systems, and more.
- Webapp firewall: A Web application firewall (WAF) is a software-based firewall that protects web applications from security attacks. It inspects, filters, and blocks traffic before it reaches the server. In cloud computing, various types of infrastructure available to users can be classified based on availability, scalability, and recoverability.
Managed services can offer you flexible licensing.
Did you know that managed services can provide flexible licensing options? This can be a great way to avoid overpaying for cloud security. Let’s say your company is looking for a new solution for your cloud-based environment, but the last thing you want to deal with is an unexpected bill. Well, managed service providers often offer flexible licensing models that allow clients to choose how much they pay each month based on their current needs rather than locking them into fixed pricing schemes.
This flexibility gives you more control over their IT budgets. It also allows you to scale up or down as needed, depending on your requirements at any given time – another benefit of going with a managed cloud services provider such as Novawatch.
The cloud is also a great place to store your data. It offers increased security and scalability, but you must be vigilant about handling your data to keep it safe. In 2022 and beyond, it’s crucial to implement strong policies around access controls and monitor their systems regularly to detect any threats before they become an issue. If you have any additional questions, ask our team about Novawatch solutions today!
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