Many business executives shift their operations to the cloud because it affords them opportunities to streamline their day-to-day processes and back up their data. But what many don’t realize is that they’re also paving the way for better protection against data breaches and hacking attempts. Cloud cybersecurity has powerful potential for safeguarding sensitive data and crucial information.
An age of attack
Understanding why cloud computing is more secure than traditional means of protecting data is evident when we consider common threats facing businesses today:
- Phishing schemes are common and range in sophistication. The premise involves getting someone to enter sensitive information (usernames, passwords, social security number, etc.) into a form designed to look legitimate. Attackers use captured data to log in and take control of a user’s account.
- Malware and ransomware are often downloaded onto a computer under the guise of being legitimate programs. Once downloaded, these programs infect the operating system directly. Sometimes they give bad actors control of a system; other times they simply mine data.
- Data mining attacks involve gleaning information about a person or system in order to leverage it elsewhere in a stealth attack. A basic example involves mining personal data to correctly guess security questions when hacking an account.
- Vulnerability exploitations usually occur when software isn’t updated. Hackers comb outdated software for exploitable gaps in security, then take advantage of them.
- Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks occur when a single malicious user coordinates many compromised computers to flood a system with traffic, crashing it.
- Network attacks involve looking for exploits across the entire network of a system as a means to gain control over that system. For example, it may include using a DDoS attack to bring down the network, then searching for exploits in software when firewall protections are down.
Each of these attacks — as well as other cyberattacks — could undermine a business’ integrity at best and compromise critical data at worst.
As a prime example, consider the 2017 Equifax data breach that compromised virtually every U.S. citizen. This vulnerability exploitation allowed hackers to extract data over 76 days without detection. It’s perhaps the most destructive data breach to ever occur in terms of information compromised, and it could have been avoided through a smarter, cloud-based cybersecurity system.
The cloud holds the key
Initially, cloud computing’s verification and authentication system set the stage for better security. Two-factor authentication and other redundant forms of verification add a first layer of protection that’s capable of thwarting many unsophisticated hacking attempts.
Cloud computing also separates data from processes, making them safer. User data determines permissions, which determines access. This layer of separation means that access to some information doesn’t afford access to all information. Tiered data in the cloud mitigates risk if a single person’s credentials are compromised.
Visibility is also much easier via the cloud. Cloud computing enables real-time monitoring of various IT systems, showing suspicious or malicious activity anywhere on the network. IT managers can quickly discern DDoS or network attacks, taking evasive action to protect against them or, at worst, mitigate their impact.
The future of cloud security is predictive in nature. As hacking attempts become more sophisticated, using more espionage tactics, cloud processing may provide businesses with much-needed foresight to an attack. As an example, an intelligent cloud is already able to detect a person’s whereabouts based on their device and prevent spoofing attacks from global saboteurs.
Take advantage of the cloud
Cloud-based cybersecurity won’t end hacking for good, but it has the power to reduce the collateral damage of a successful hack. Every business — especially those cognizant of hacking attempts — needs to consider implementing cloud security measures wherever possible.
The first step is working with a cloud security consultant to audit your infrastructure for gaps or vulnerabilities. Then, look at what cloud-based protocols support patching these weaknesses. Developing a cloud-based security strategy will put you in control when bad actors target your business.
Your business may be active in the cloud, but are you taking advantage of cloud security as well? If not, the experts at Value Global are ready to help! We offer industry-specific customized IT solutions for those within the eCommerce, software, and oil and gas industries. If you’re looking to partner with MSP professionals who view your successes as their own, contact us today.