Cloud Security: The Lifeline for Your Business, Today and Tomorrow. Part 2.
In part one, we introduced the importance of cloud-based security for small and large businesses. Here, we dive into real-world examples of the outcome of COVID-19, and what lies ahead for the future.
Cloud Security and COVID
The effects of COVID-19 are far-reaching. Schools have been struggling with onboarding students to remote-based learning, with their IT departments nowhere near as well-equipped as corporations. Actions rushed, constrained budgets, security not at the forefront of to-do lists. Breaches of leaked student information because of misconfiguration are just one of the many examples of current issues facing the educational sector.
Business sectors are always targets for hacking, data breaches, and exposure of sensitive information (such as names, email addresses, identification numbers). The healthcare sector has seen many weaknesses in its legacy systems and apps being exploited, with patient data stolen.
With the massive influx of online shopping, commerce platforms needed to ramp up protecting data and payments, with phishing and hackers targeting both them and their customers. Lastly, hackers have been targeting the COVID-19 vaccine supply chain, which has affected the distribution of vaccines to different countries.
The IBM Security X-Force Incident Response (IR) team analyzed cases over the last year involving cloud breaches and identified the most commonly exploited vulnerabilities and misconfiguration.
Cloud providers offer increasingly robust security measures as part of cloud services, but customers are ultimately responsible for securing their workloads in the cloud. Here are some of the top cloud security challenges from the Cybersecurity Insiders 2020 Cloud Security Report:
When asked about what are the biggest security threats facing public clouds:
Some were lucky security compromises did not result in further consequences, while others were not as fortunate. Examples include additional funds allocated to fix security gaps, a drop in sales revenue, fines paid to comply with regulations, or lawsuits. Some businesses over the years have lost their competitive ability and increased customer turnover rate because of the effects of hackers stealing their data. The time to clean up the aftermath of a breach can range in days, weeks, months, or even years. It has become common that data theft requires months to clean up, alongside accidental data leakage. Organizations need to ensure they can promptly identify unauthorized data access or data sharing. They also need to develop effective response processes to minimize the damage, reduce the cost of data breaches, and find and fix the root cause to prevent similar incidents in the future.
Cybersecurity Budget: When we asked organizations how the pandemic changed their cybersecurity budgets,
Difficulties of Cloud Security
Too Many Users Have Access
Cloud security can be hard to handle. Data leaks, either accidental or intentional, occur when too many users have access to sensitive data. When you give too many people credentials to access a dataset, the chances of tampering and manipulation are higher. PAM (Privileged Access Management) Software will be crucial administrators. Zero-trust and “least privileged access” of PAM can help provide sufficient privileges to each user.
Prioritizing Speed over Security
Enterprises overlook the importance of security. Speed is crucial for efficiency and timing, but at the expense of security. Cloud architects and security professionals are encouraged to work together in deploying cloud environments quickly while ensuring that they securely configure their servers. Server misconfiguration can accidentally expose confidential information.
Hackers will always find new ways to break through existing security defenses and measures. Phishing tactics keep changing, and unknown zero-day threats emerge frequently. The work landscape also changes how attackers perpetrate threats. With more people working remotely than ever before, bad actors also have more entry points into an organization’s network. Companies are also using more SaaS applications to connect their employees, leading to more third-party vulnerabilities.
Future Security Hurdles
With real-life examples of the current state of cloud tech, how do we equip ourselves sufficiently for whatever comes our way? Despite the cloud environments’ myriad security benefits, researchers continue to discover new vulnerabilities that can help attackers break into the cloud. Improper or default configurations and inadequate enforced network controls are two concerns that result in unintentional exposure to the Internet. A failure to address access control mechanisms such as MFA (Multifactor Authentication) result in hackers being easily able to access an account without additional means of verification.
In reality, well-bolstered enterprise digital infrastructures can still fall to the best hackers. As a result, Puffin has the ideal solution through our proprietary Avatar technology. With our proprietary remote browser isolation technology, Puffin Cloud Isolation defends users against malware, ransomware, phishing, and the most severe of all; Zero-day attacks. Any threats are identified and isolated within our cloud systems, with only necessary content reaching end-users.
It is still a new, uncharted territory for monitoring and detecting cloud threats. Current security policies do not fully provide adequate coverage for defense and action when under attack. Enterprises are not as prepared nor as confident when setting up cloud systems. Part three will provide the steps your organization should take to prepare for the next attack.