As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to shape working practices, organisations are increasingly looking to invest more in cloud technologies. Even as some offices are beginning to open, businesses are aware that they may have to quickly move to remote work again, and are keen to avoid the issues they faced doing so at the beginning of the year.
This certainly is a positive step that will allow many companies to become more agile and adaptive in their workflows and processes. However, these changes come with inherent risks of increased cyber attacks as hackers look to exploit vulnerabilities companies may not yet be aware of as they implement best practices and risk management strategies.
Cloud systems tend to hold a lot of valuable data – so the risks can be high as cyber criminals target these systems to cause maximum damage. Data breaches commonly begin with hackers remotely exploiting cloud applications, which can sit within a larger cloud environment without being discovered. As there is no public, comprehensive list of vulnerable applications, these can be difficult to detect, causing costly cyber attacks.
Additionally, cyber attackers can easily exploit initial cloud misconfigurations or security flaws such as employees using cloud applications outside of a company’s IT policy and strategy. Again, these issues can be difficult to detect and solve.
Consequently, there are several aspects to consider as an organisation invests in their cloud infrastructure and systems to heighten the overall cybersecurity posture.
Have an incident response strategy. Ensure that there is a proper management plan in place in case of a data breach or cyber attack. Regularly test your systems and your strategy (including whatever tools or applications you may use) to make sure it works.
Automate detection and responses. Use tools like CyDesk to constantly monitor your cybersecurity status and automatically perform mitigation or management actions. This will aid understanding of what the emerging risks are and speed up response and recovery times.
If there is a breach, learn from it. If your organisation’s cloud systems do suffer a cyber attack, don’t just bring the system offline and destroy it. Instead, allow time for an investigation to understand the vulnerability, the cause, and ultimately, to update your cybersecurity measures accordingly.
Cloud technologies offer a great deal to organisations and businesses. Therefore, as organisations increasingly invest in these technologies, it is imperative to understand and manage the risks inherent in cloud systems.