The Changing State of Cloud Security
Reactive decisions have impacted businesses’ operations over the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One common decision made by many organizations was the haphazard hop to the cloud in an effort to support remote or hybrid work. Companies were granting data access to an array of people, even third-party vendors, which led to a startling statistic. 68% of companies said their most significant contributor to cloud security risks was user-caused misconfigurations of assets. Although the shift to cloud was and remains necessary, there are more secure ways to do so moving forward.
There’s no denying remote and hybrid work are here to stay. Businesses are experiencing the ease of the cloud daily. It allows for around-the-clock access from any device, anywhere in the world, enabling unprecedented flexibility for employees. Benefits such as high data volume retention, a plethora of providers, and the shared responsibility model (cloud providers protect the cloud platform and users protect their cloud content), show us we are only going to continue with this migration. Users are supported by the best security talent, ensuring they experience the latest technology and updates.
Therefore, the scope of the cloud’s usage and power have both expanded greatly. Depending on businesses’ needs and workload, they may use any combination of:
- on-premises storage
- in-cloud storage—whether they’re public, private, or industry-specific—or,
- data centers.
Protecting Your Cloud Data
While spreading this volume of data throughout varied solutions makes it more difficult for a malicious act to access all sensitive data, it also makes it much more difficult to protect it all too.
Cloud security threats will continue to grow. Adversaries are shifting their targets and techniques to exploit the identities and data stored in cloud environments. As we navigate this current terrain, one thing is clear: you can’t protect assets on the cloud the same way you protect those on-premises. Practices must be put in place to provide visibility on all fronts and the ability to control all traffic. Strategic, proactive cloud security measures will ensure sustainability, efficiency, longevity, and the retainment of employees seeking flexibility. One prominent way to do so is through Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA).
The Rundown on Zero Trust Architecture
ZTA is a cybersecurity buzzword for good reason. This framework and methodology shift the focus away from static perimeters and toward a focus on users, assets, and resources. The traditional castle-moat analogy is no longer sufficient because it wrongly assumes any user with the correct access can move freely throughout the castle. Users on the network—including malicious actors or insiders—are given excessive, implicit trust. They are free to move laterally and access or exfiltrate sensitive data. It is outdated to assume everyone and everything inside the network should be completely trusted. ZTA addresses this risk by viewing access from a more intentional, controlled perspective.
ZTA eliminates borders, requiring every user to be granted permission to the network, applications, and/or data. This explicit, identity-based trust is dependent on context:
- The endpoint’s security posture
- The assets or resources being requested, and/or
- Their reasoning for requiring access.
This way, users, applications, and infrastructure are continuously validated for access on a need-to-know basis. Additionally, access can be granted for a designated amount of time. To be clear, this isn’t about distrust in your employees. Rather, when no users are trusted by default, it makes it that much more difficult for malicious actors to access the network. Therefore, ZTA is a key element in fending off attacks.
Protect Your Six with 24/7 Managed Security
There are many insecurities to consider when migrating partial or entire business operations to the cloud. To summarize, here are some of the many considerations:
- End users, whether that be on your team or one of your clients, are often a significant source of human errors, malicious software, and phishing attacks
- Internal sources with malicious intent can get past security protocols
- Legacy vendors often operate with outdated cloud security practices
- Security vulnerabilities within a cloud platform are often widely known, increasing the chance of quick exploitation and large-scale attacks
- The cloud is extremely powerful and complex, and its functionality changes quickly. If users don’t fully grasp it, it can be difficult to properly secure it.
This is where Blackpoint Cloud Response comes in. We’ve built a solution that tends to our partners’ prominent need: cloud security against fast, advanced cyberthreats targeting your third-party cloud platforms. Cloud Response extends our patented managed detection and response (MDR) technology and 24/7 security operations center (SOC) to support your cloud and hybrid environments. Currently, Cloud Response supports Microsoft’s 365 service including Azure Active Directory (AD), Exchange, and SharePoint. Depend on Blackpoint for expert security monitoring and rapid, active response to your company network, cloud workflows, and compliance posture. Don’t let what has become your greatest asset become your greatest liability. Learn more here.
As larger amounts of data move to the cloud and businesses migrate to whichever solution(s) fits their needs, proactive cloud security becomes increasingly important. Operating from a Zero Trust Approach ensures that all users must prove accessibility rights on a need-to-know basis. This controlled security practice keeps malicious actors from accessing the network, applications, or data, even if they have successfully hidden behind a trustworthy source’s identity or location. When paired with Blackpoint’s latest MDR add-on solution, Cloud Response, you will be protected from threats on-premises and in the cloud, around the clock.
If you are interested in learning more about Blackpoint’s streamlined ecosystem powered by our patented technology, SNAP-Defense, let’s connect. Trust cybersecurity experts with real-world cyber experience and deep knowledge of hacker tradecraft to protect your network with excellence 24/7/365. Talk to a Blackpoint rep today to start the conversation about robust cybersecurity.