5 Ways to Reduce Security Risk in the Cloud - TopRight Partners (2023)

Technology has paved the way for businesses to operate with higher levels of security and efficiency. One of the most significant innovations is "Cloud", which represents a set of digital technologies for remote collaboration, data storage, secure file sharing and much more. The term itself refers to servers that are accessible via the Internet along with their software and databases. And since the most valuable information about your business is stored in the cloud, it's crucial to make sure it's properly protected. With the right policies, processes and tools in place, you'll have greater confidence in your cloud computing security.

5 Ways to Reduce Security Risk in the Cloud - TopRight Partners (1)

What is cloud security?

Cloud security refers to a set of applications, practices, and policies created to protect your cloud infrastructure and all of your data. Today,Your company's cloud systems are more vulnerable to hacking and threats than ever, puttingvaluable informationstored within them at risk.

Unfortunately, there is no completely proven way to eliminate all cloud security risks, but you can mitigate them. Common examples of these risks include:

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  • Poor visibility of your network
  • Ineffective protection against malware
  • Inadequate compliance with security policy
  • Failure to Exercise Due Diligence to Third Parties
  • Insecure business application interfaces

Failing to mitigate and address the risks you find in your system can lead to serious consequences for your business. This may involve a loss of user trust – especially given that the data you store and process is likely to be their confidential and private information. Nothing will ruin a customer relationship faster than a data security breach or the loss of valuable data.

Here are 5 ways to mitigate cloud security risks and protect your most valuable data:

1. Assess the risks in your system

The first way to ensure the security of your cloud infrastructure is to consider a risk assessment specific to your system. Specifically, it means performing a cybersecurity risk assessment on your system. This allows you to identify and address potential threats in your organization and quantify the damage they could cause. The results of this assessment will reflect how prepared your business is and how vulnerable you are to potential cyber attacks, including ransomware and malware.

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To perform a cybersecurity assessment, consider the following steps:

  • Scope: Be sure to have the ability to assess the infrastructure of your entire organization to get a comprehensive view of the level of cybersecurity risk. Alternatively, you may also choose to prioritize the essential components of your organization first instead of scanning your entire system.
  • Identification: The second step is to identify all your assets, such as hardware and software systems, and note the possible threats to each of them. Not only will this give you an overview of the assets that may be at risk, but it will also give you an idea of ​​the problems you can prepare for.
  • Analyze: Third, you will need to determine how likely the incident or threat is to occur. Furthermore, it means understanding how it can affect your organization. This will help you understand which assets to prioritize for protection.
  • Evaluate: Fourth, you evaluate alternative solutions to avoid or mitigate cybersecurity risks and select the best options that fit your needs.
  • Document: Finally, it is important to document all the risks you have identified in the previous steps and your approaches to mitigating them. You can also look at how others deal with potential risks and compare them to the preventive measures you have taken. With a baseline in place, you can periodically update it based on the data and information you have now to ensure an up-to-date and effective mitigation plan.

2. Track third parties

Another effective way to mitigate cloud security risks is to monitor third parties who have access to your infrastructure, whether they have full or limited access. You may also refer to these third parties as suppliers, which your company may use to help you streamline your processes. In fact, this may include your cloud service providers.
It is essential to ensure that these third parties do not compromise your cloud infrastructure and the data stored there. Note that there are several ways you can ensure that service providers are safe and reliable, such as:

  • Shared Responsibility Model: This refers to shared responsibility for risk mitigation between clients and cloud service providers. In this arrangement, the service provider is responsible for the security of the cloud, while the client is responsible for that of the cloud. This, in turn, can help businesses work with reputable cloud providers to ensure the security of the cloud used in their organization. If you are interested in this, consider how it works in betweencompanies and cloud service providers.
  • Due Diligence: Another way to ensure that third parties do not compromise your company's cloud infrastructure, consider conducting thorough due diligence before working with them. Part of it is also knowing what their previous clients have to say about their services and performance.
    This lets you know if they are reliable. Moreover, it can help you come to a better assessment and make an informed decision about whether or not they are a good fit for your organization.
  • Validation or Certification: Similar to the previous point, it is also essential to ensure that your suppliers are always validated and have the necessary certification. This can help ensure that they have significant knowledge, skills and expertise to help you secure your cloud infrastructure. In addition, depending on your country or location, there may be legal regulations for the operation of cloud service providers and companies. You can check them to make sure they comply with these regulations.

3. Train your employees

The next way to mitigate cloud security risk in your organization is to train your employees, set policies to reduce security risks and enforce them. This approach ensures that your staff is well informed and aware of the various attacks that can infiltrate your cloud infrastructure. With this in mind, your internal staff can act as a line of defense in keeping your system safe from being hijacked by outside forces such as cybercriminals.

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In addition to conducting the necessary training or seminars to train your employees, you can also apply strict guidelines when it comes to passwords, which include those used by both managers and employees. Remember that it is essential that your employees and your organization know how to protect their passwords. That's because these passwords are one of the main ways to keep access to data available only to those within your organization. And to do this, train everyone in your company to use long, unique and strong passwords.

In addition, you can also setPOLITICALand agreementswho hold everyone responsible for any data breach they may cause. This can motivate them to be more vigilant about their online activities and to follow security protocols more diligently. Furthermore, you can also include restricting access to sites that are not related to your business or installing applications or software that do not help your business. This can prevent malware from being installed on your company's devices that could allow access to your cloud systems.

4. Set up a strong security system

Another surefire way to reduce cloud security risk would be to set up a strong security system. But instead of relying solely on a strong password system, consider a solid network monitoring system and backing up and encrypting your data:

(Video) How to build a practice on protecting and governing sensitive data

  • Monitoring System: A network monitoring system means monitoring the outgoing and incoming traffic towards your network systems. That way, you can see if there are any attempts to break into your system. From there, you can take immediate action before more damage is done. It will also help you identify any data leaks by rogue employees. To better achieve this, consider properly configured firewalls and intelligent threat systems as they can help protect your system from malware, botnets and more.
  • Encrypting your data: Consider always backing up and encrypting your data. This can help you mitigate the consequences of data loss caused by breaches. By encrypting them, if some data is stolen, cybercriminals may not be able to get the actual information from what they stole or intercepted. However, keep in mind that the encryption must be strong because they can only decrypt it.

5. Prepare for incidents and breaches

Finally, consider having an incident response plan to help you better and more effectively mitigate cloud security risks. There's no denying that breakouts aren't impossible, no matter how advanced your systems are. Therefore, it is worth considering having an incident response plan or IRP. IRP refers to your organization's protocols should any cyber incident occur. It is also a way for companies to meet the requirements set by regulatory organizations. It may also include notification requirements that your response team must provide to authorities. Although you can customize your own IRP, you must ensure that they comply with the requirements of the relevant authorities. Having an IRP will not only help you stay compliant, but it will also help you respond to any incidents immediately, which can help minimize huge losses.

Final words

As more companies implement new solutions into their operations to increase productivity and collaboration, it is also wise to understand the risks that come with these technologies. And let's assume that your company hopes to use cloud computing or is already using it. It is imperative to understand the potential security risks that come with this as it can expose your business data, cloud infrastructure, and user and customer data to risk of theft or loss. However, the importance of cloud security should not be neglected. We hope the above list of ways to mitigate cloud security risks has helped you learn how to better protect your cloud infrastructure and the data you store.

If you want to follow how data security and privacy are changing the business world as we know it, follow along@TopRightPartneron Twitter, connect with meyour LinkedIn,Subscribe to my blogand purchase a copy of my latest book published by the Harvard Business Review,Strategic analytics.

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Cloud security tools

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Organizations should look for partners who can deliver against the three C's of cloud transformation: convenience, cost transparency and control.

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