Network security is crucial in today’s digital-first world. Technologies like cloud computing, IoT, and edge computing have eased operations and service delivery, but have also been co-opted by cybercriminals to steal your data or perform denial-of-service attacks. With cloud security gaining greater prominence, it’s important to understand the impact of threats and how best to combat them.   

Is your data exposed? 

Cyberattacks are more refined than ever with malicious actors constantly finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in systems. There are four types of data breaches that could set you back: Insider theft, unauthorized access, data on the move and accidental exposure. Organizations must be proactive in safeguarding their data from potential attacks, both from outside sources and insiders. Following are major vulnerabilities that enterprises must address immediately: 

Lack of control over the cloud: If a hacker or other cybercriminal gains access to your company’s servers through a phishing scam or another means, they can steal information from all users on that server. 

Lack of zero trust architecture: You never know who might try to sell information about customers or employees for personal gain. Outdated cloud security strategies work on the assumption that everything and everyone inside an organization’s network should be implicitly trusted. Zero trust architecture is a modern security practice which eliminates implicit trust and wherein all resources, communication and sources are secured with continuous authentication and validation at every step. Worryingly, about 79% of organizations that participated in the IBM report did not deploy a zero-trust architecture. 

Lack of backups: When an organization stores its information in one place and doesn’t maintain local backups, all of its data is vulnerable if something happens at the primary location where it was stored. 

How much can you lose to a data breach? 

Whether insiders are compromised, there’s an expert cybercriminal navigating around firewalls, PII being transmitted across open networks without proper encryption, or data has inadvertently been leaked — sensitive information can end up where it shouldn’t be. And this causes huge financial damages to organizations and their customers.  

Reports said put the average total cost of a single data breach at approximately $4.35 million. In addition, a report by IBM found that 60% of surveyed companies raised the prices of their products and services following a data breach.  

The IBM report also stated that about 45% of data breaches seen in 2022 were cloud-based. Cybercriminals can use ransomware that encrypt files stored on computers connected with infected networks so that users cannot access them anymore. Access is denied till the cybercriminal’s demands are met. In fact, the IBM report found that organizations which paid ransom didn’t see much of a dent in the average cost of a data breach compared to the companies that didn’t make ransom payments.  

How can you improve your company’s cloud security? 

Such data breaches can make some nostalgic for the era of pen-and-paper. However, cloud migration is a necessity to survive and thrive in today’s markets. On-premise resources like data centers can’t offer the scalability, flexibility and performance of the cloud. Most public cloud providers offer in-house tools and services to secure your resources, but it never hurts to be more proactive when it comes to cybersecurity. For instance, access control and identity management are simple methods of keeping unwanted users out.  

Studies showed that companies can save about $2.66 million with an incident response team and a well-maintained incident response plan. A fully deployed security strategy that leverages the power of AI and automation can help businesses save up to $3.05 million. Here’s what the experts suggest: 

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket: Businesses are turning to hybrid cloud and multicloud strategies as these allow businesses to distribute their workloads across different cloud environments, making it difficult for attackers to target a single point of failure and compromising the entire system. They allow organizations to design security controls that are specific to each workload and cloud environment, rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach.  

Build cloud security practices into your company culture: The task of ensuring strong cloud security can’t be assigned to just one team. Cloud security is a shared responsibility. Organizations need to focus on educating users on cyberthreats, how to identity them and also implement a clear protocol in case of incidents for improved defence.  Regular reskilling and upskilling are important for efficient cloud security.  

Back up regularly: Automated backup and disaster recovery tools are your best bet when it comes to recovering from a ransomware attack or a large data loss catastrophe. A comprehensive backup plan which ensures periodic restoration of databases and a well-defined disaster recovery plan can help stem costly downtimes and business losses in case of accidental deletion or corruption of data. 

A cloud partner to keep your assets safe 

A full-time cloud security team is not feasible for most businesses. This is where dedicated technology partners can help. Aspire leverages the latest cloud native services and security tools available on platforms like AWS and Azure to optimize your cloud environment. Our team has a deep understanding of popular security services like AWS Security Hub, Azure Security Center, AWS WAF, Azure Firewall, and AWS IAM, among others. Using this knowledge, they develop custom security strategies and roadmaps that align with your business objectives. 

Our cloud security optimization techniques are tailored to ensure that your cloud environment remains secure and efficient at all times. We perform cloud security assessments and architecture advisory services to identify potential security loopholes and develop customized solutions to address them. Our cloud security governance services help build and strategize policies and processes frameworks, and identify gaps that need to be addressed. 

Recently, our team helped a US nonprofit update their security practices, helping them improve performance with immediate resolution of vulnerabilities. The team helped the customer with scanning servers, implementing Pritunl VPN, managing the firewall and provisioning their account.