Cloud computing has become something of a phenomenon amongst small to medium businesses looking for easy access on the go and unlimited storage – but could cloud computing leave your company’s sensitive data at risk? Business security blogger Brittany Thorley explores whether the cloud can be secure and how businesses of all sizes can protect their assets and ensure their data and devices are fully protected whilst using cloud computing.
Unfortunately hacker attack is no longer reserved for larger corporations with huge profit margins, in fact more and more small to medium enterprises are falling victim to security breaches year-on-year. Using cloud computing to handle daily business and store important data may seem like a risky move for those who have already be subjected to web threats or for companies who simply don’t know enough about this platform but being clued up on the cloud environment and how hackers could gain access is an important step in defending data and devices.
Points of entry for hackers
Whether using the cloud or traditional perimeters, there are numerous methods of access that can be used by a hacker to gain access to your all important business information. Utilising an insecure device is just the start of things, if someone on your network uses a compromised web application or an administrator shares a password with another user this can leave your cloud network vulnerable. The increasing use of the mobile to access company data is also enough to make security personnel wince, whilst traditionally firewalls and anti-virus software has been used to keep those unscrupulous characters at bay you may need to take additional measures to ensure cloud security.
Define user privileges
Keeping your cloud secure could be simpler than you think; keeping a closer eye on who’s using your cloud and defining levels of access for each user, you can ensure data is handled securely and doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Monitor those who have access to valuable data such as administrators and other privileged users, and alternate access for those with lower privileges to your company’s intellectual property. Also, limit access based on the device each user is using, mobile phone access should trigger additional sign up steps to gain access to data.
Network protection devices can also be incorporated to bolster cloud security. This intelligence can provide key insights into user privileges and highlights what data each is accessing. Ethical hacking services can also be enlisted to manage your defence when using cloud computing, these information security experts can analyse and audit your system and devices via hybrid penetration testing to highlight the security risks that could leave your cloud infrastructure vulnerable.
Secure your database and devices
It’s not just user security that you should pay attention to when utilising cloud computing in your organisation, databases containing sensitive information must also be handled with care. Full disk encryption should be carried out on all databases, this will ensure all the valuable data it contains is unreadable to any server other than your own. The same applies when adding extra security to the devices you use to access data during the working day and outside of the office.
Corporate information should always been kept separate from personal material, whilst patching your device via patch management is also recommended to ensure you obtain the highest level of security on your device. Anti-virus software should also be installed on any mobile devices used to access valuable data on your network, this will scan your phone and its applications for any vulnerabilities, resolving them to close any loopholes hackers may exploit.