Cloud misconfiguration dangers and how to protect your data
As the number of companies migrating to the cloud increases, so does the occurrence of cloud data breaches. In fact, a 2021 survey reported that 98% of respondents experienced a cloud data breach incident, a marked rise from last year’s 78%. And the issue, it seems, isn’t that the cloud isn’t secure enough, but that users are not configuring their cloud infrastructures properly.
What is cloud misconfiguration?
It refers to lapses in how users set up their cloud environment, resulting in errors, glitches, and other vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit to access or steal cloud data. Cloud misconfiguration comes in many forms. Common examples include:
● Keeping your company’s sensitive data unencrypted in public storage buckets ● Storing cloud login credentials in non-airtight repositories ● Failing to implement more secure access controls like zero trust security, enabling all company personnel to view or modify any file
Even with misconfigurations, your cloud environment can seemingly function without issues, making these lapses difficult to detect. It’s even possible to discover misconfigurations only after your company suffers a cyberattack.
How can you avoid cloud misconfiguration?
Working with experts like SimplyClouds, who have years of experience in setting up cloud environments, is one of the most reliable ways to avoid misconfigurations. A specialist can help uncover potential weaknesses in your cloud environment and recommend best practices that can fortify your cloud data’s protection from various cyberthreats.
Another way to avoid misconfiguration is by automating cloud tasks as much as possible. Automation reduces the need for input by personnel, decreasing the risk of misconfigurations resulting from human error.
For instance, it’s possible for your IT staff to forget or neglect backing up your data, increasing your risk of losing access to crucial files following a natural disaster or cyberattack. By automating the backup process, you are assured that your files are duplicated without fail at a specified time and frequency.
How can you avoid cloud data breaches?
As misconfigurations aren’t always apparent, you need to cover your bases by being proactive in preventing data breaches. Make sure to follow these best practices:
Encrypt your data
Encryption scrambles your data into an incomprehensible code. The only way to read and use encrypted data is by using a decryption key, making encryption effective for protecting critical information from being accessed by unauthorized users. Make sure your cloud data is encrypted at all times, especially if you’re using the public cloud.
Restrict access to files
If everyone in your organization had access to any of your company’s files, infiltrating a single employee’s account is all it would take for cybercriminals to jeopardize all of your data. Restricting employees’ access to just the files they need to perform their tasks limits the amount of data that criminals can access and steal from you.
Find and disable unutilized cloud resources
Running too many cloud resources at the same time not only hikes up your cloud costs, but it also increases the entry points that cybercriminals can use to infiltrate your cloud environment. Make an inventory of all cloud resources in your company and terminate those that are redundant, unnecessary, or not being used.
Implement multifactor authentication (MFA)
MFA requires users to submit one or more proofs of their identity on top of the traditional username-password combination. As these additional proofs are usually traits, information, or objects in the user’s possession, MFA prevents cybercriminals from penetrating your cloud environment even with stolen login credentials.
Limit shadow IT
Shadow IT pertains to any technology that was unvetted by your IT department but is being used by your employees to handle company data or perform tasks. Everything from personal devices to unsanctioned cloud-based apps falls under shadow IT. As these solutions did not go through your IT team’s scrutiny, it’s likely that they possess vulnerabilities that can endanger your cloud environment.
Cloud misconfiguration is a serious issue that must be addressed if you want to keep your data and company safe from cyberthreats. Let SimplyClouds help you maximize your cloud environment’s security by consulting with our experts today.