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Cloud Security – How to Protect Your Data and Apps in the Cloud

Collage showing man using cloud computing for cloud security on his smartphone
July 11, 2023

Technology deployed throughout your workforce is a normal part of business today. So it’s great that cloud security has emerged as a dependable solution for protecting your sensitive data and applications.

Nevertheless, responsibility for cloud data protection lies not only with the cloud service provider but also with you! So – it’s crucial everyone in your company

  • understands how to secure your data both on-premises and in the cloud,
  • appreciates the significance of cloud security for your organization, and
  • plays their part.

Otherwise operational lapses will happen! But first…

How Does Cloud Security Work?

Cloud security works by:

  • Safeguarding the server
  • Examining and filtering data properly
  • Having a disaster recovery plan
  • Assisting with legal compliance

Let’s briefly review.

Safeguarding the Server

Previously, traditional networks lacked adequate measures to ensure complete server security. Servers were left to defend themselves against potential threats. However, with cloud web security, traffic is redirected to the cloud before reaching the servers.

The cloud then thoroughly analyzes the traffic to ensure that only authorized users are granted access to the data. Unauthorized traffic is prevented from accessing the server.

Examining and Filtering Data Properly

Cloud can filter data better than former methods. For example, by using advanced threat detection, centralized management, and rapid updating after real-time examination of the threat landscape.

Disaster Recovery

Having a plan in place to recover lost data is essential. Cloud typically operates across multiple distributed data centers, with multiple backups. This gives you resilience, which is security. Nevertheless, you should still have

  • testing frameworks for backup validity and
  • detailed employee recovery instructions to ensure the plan is comprehensive.

Legal Compliance

Protecting user privacy, as defined by legislative bodies, is essential to your cloud security. A managed services provider will have established means for ensuring legal compliance. One approach is to use data masking, which obscures identity within data through encryption methods.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. As we said, cloud security is also your responsibility. Hackers don’t care who’s storing your apps and data, or where!

Cloud SecurityCan Be Hacked: Play Your Part in Protection!

Cloud service providers make significant efforts to safeguard your data, but no system is completely secure. There are always challenges.

And while your cloud service provider will provide many security features (as above) to help you fight off hackers, including a high level of encryption, it’s up to you to do your part to help avoid a malicious actor penetrating the security of your share of the cloud.

These are some routine techniques you should already have in place:

  • Configure your new cloud operation – default settings will certainly fall short.
  • Have strong passwords for everyone on your team – update them regularly and employ 2FA and Zero Trust for access to all resources, including apps and data banks.
  • Encrypt all your data both in and out of the system and limit where it can be moved to.
  • Keep your software updated and patched.
  • Install antivirus and anti-malware

Let’s now look at some detailed pointers on how to protect your data and its applications in the cloud.

How to Protect Your Data for the Best Cloud Security

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link – and the same applies to cloud security.

So how can you help protect your data even when you, your staff, or third parties are all accessing your cloud services?

Consider the following.

1 Limit Access

It’s important to establish restrictions on data access to ensure that only authorized personnel can view certain information. Establish clearance levels for access, and double-check ID using 2FA or Zero Trust (as mentioned above). This process helps safeguard sensitive data from malicious actors who may try to exploit employees’ access to gain unauthorized entry themselves.

2 Protect Yourself From Data Loss

As well as relying on your cloud provider’s backup services across their multiple servers, it’s good practice to make an immutable backup that – once written to – can’t be altered or deleted: Write Once Read Many (WORM). Or you could use versioning backups as a history that cannot be overwritten.

3 Train Your Employees About Cloud Security

To ensure everyone is on the same page, train your staff on how to navigate the cloud environment and follow security protocols when accessing data from any endpoint. Insider threats still cause some 58% of sensitive data incidents.

4 Keep Security Policies Updated

Having policies is crucial for your company. They serve as a guide for carrying out various processes and procedures, ranging from basic network security to sending sensitive information.

Your policies should establish clear guidelines and expectations for all users when accessing information and data through the company network.

In addition, you should regularly review and refine your policies to ensure they’re current and effective. Educate your team (see above) on properly implementing these policies to maximize security measures.

5 The Big Cloud Security Risk: Shadow AI and Insider Threats

Do you have a plan to reduce insider threatswhether malicious or not? Generative AI like ChatGPT is unavoidable now. But it can leave you wide open to sensitive data escaping from your cloud security setup – via staff or chatbot.

However, there’s no point in trying to stop AI! Instead of focusing only on what sensitive information your staff or chatbot might disclose while using AI, you should watch the data and apps themselves:

  • Keep every data source visible at all times. Your cloud provider does this, but alerts can be easily ignored! And include any shadow data stores too.
  • Document types of data and their importance to your business in terms of sensitivity. Decide what data can or cannot be accessed by whom.
  • Be aware of suspicious use of apps or data access. Don’t assume anything is OK until proven to be so.

All the points above, taken together will form a background security from your side of your business. Added to the cloud data security certification offered by your cloud provider, this will not only protect your business but stand you in good stead if you need to make a cybersecurity insurance claim at some point.

Get the Right Service Provider for Your Cloud Security

Uprite can provide you with robust security infrastructure, modern data encryption and access control tools, backup and recovery, and continuous monitoring to help detect and eliminate threats to both your on-premises and cloud security.

If you’re in the Dallas, Houston, or the greater San Antonio area, reach out today and speak with one of our IT experts. Let’s talk cloud security!

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Cloud Security – How to Protect Your Data and Apps in the Cloud
Learn how you can assure your cloud security in the Dallas, Houston, or greater San Antonio area via a trusted managed services provider.

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