How to Combat Security Threats in Cloud Services

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Cloud services have increased in being used by business from all environments, especially those who rely on technology. This being said, cloud services should be well protected from security threats.

As the service has expanded over the years, the providers of these services have been encouraged to expand them. But there’s also the issue of security threats.

A lot of important data such as personal information, intellectual property and more are stored in the cloud services and companies report at least 23 cloud security threats in a month, increasing since 2016 with 18.4%. Cloud has become risky to data leaks too.

Shadow IT

Some employees go ahead and use cloud services which are not approved by the organization. There’s a PDF converter for example which in its TOU grants the provider rights to any uploaded file or data to become their property. The issue is that employees rarely read terms of use and end up risking security threats.

How to Avoid Risks

In order to avoid such risks organizations should adopt strategies regarding cloud-governance in order to benefit from the cloud services and also keep their data safe.

Practices to Ensure Cloud Security

  1. Transparency

Employees should state what cloud application will use in order to plan its security. The IT security will have to check if the cloud service respects the following: information on data encryption, will the user data be deleted after the account has been terminated, does the service provide multifactor authentication. These details will give you an idea if the cloud service helps improve productivity while also protecting corporate data.

  1. Preventing any Threats

A company will create billions of events in the daily cloud. These events can be either some employee sharing a file or downloading it to accessing an account. Imagine that someone logs into an account from a US state and then a few minutes later he logs into it from France. This will mean that an account has been compromised. Considering it an anomalous event, it should be flagged and investigated. But this means the threats have to be fed to a machine learning which can analyze a lot of data. Enterprises must detect and prevent cloud security risks, whether they’re breaches from inside or from the outside. By sending them to the security and operations center, enterprises will avoid and prevent any threat.

  1. Secure the Data

You can secure data through different methods. Two of the common ones are encryption or tokenization. Both come with advantages and disadvantages. Data encryption will protect any data, as long as decryption keys are kept safe. Tokenization will generate a random token value for simple text and will store mapping into a database. Token vault is safe as information will not be leaked outside the organization but it can also be hacked into. Data will be detokenized and breached.

Both methods are good for certain data. Tokenization is good at securing information like data regarding payment-card, while encryption will be useful regarding intellectual data stored inside word documents.

Encryption is tricky as cloud services have the key to decrypting the data, so enterprises should encrypt their data only when they are the single owners of the decryption key.

  1. Cloud Services Must Comply With Several Regulations

Enterprises must get cloud services which comply with federal, international and regional regulations. Organizations must follow a few steps such as:

  1. a) Define cloud-specific policies and inventory the existing ones.
  2. b) Take into consideration what sensitive data they upload to the cloud (Social Security numbers, account numbers, credit-card numbers and more)
  3. c) Must know who is collaborating in the cloud and also has access to important data
  4. d) Must not share sensitive data with third parties which are not authorized
  5. e) High-value data should not be uploaded the cloud and should not be or stored in the cloud.
  6. f) All cloud services should be enforced to provide consistent DLP policies.

Tools that Help you Secure Cloud Data

Here’s a list with tools which will help you secure your data in cloud services: Cloud firewall, Cloud data encryption, User access control, CASBs, Platform providers.

Considering companies must sore their huge amount of data somewhere, cloud services are very important and a must have. Follow a few of these preventive methods and keep your business productive while also securing your sensitive data.

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