The amount of people who haven’t heard about cloud computing are few and far between; the number of misconceptions surrounding cloud cyber security are increasingly common.
The on-demand, agile database provides companies with unparalleled flexibility in resource allocation, allowing them to maximise their assets to yield the greatest return on investment and operational functionality. But given the intangible nature of the platforms, cyber security remains a constant topic within many businesses.
Cyber risk doesn’t stem from cloud technology directly, but instead originates from the processes and policies governing it. Continuously evaluating your company’s security posture can mitigate a wide variety of those potential threats.
Where’s the risk in cloud computing?
There’s two common talking points focused on cloud computing, and they both run contradictory to each other:
1. How pivotal the platform is becoming to the modern business.
2. The security risks an off-premise database poses.
It’s expected that 83 percent of company workloads will live on a public or private cloud by 2020, according to a LogicMonitor survey. Yet 66 percent of respondents list cyber security as their chief concern with the platform, LogicMonitor reported.
But this idea that the security of the cloud should worry organisations is a misconception; if it held any merit, the solution wouldn’t garner the popularity it has.
The majority of that cyber risk has nothing to do with the technology itself. Roughly 83 percent of industry experts view cloud security at the same level, or even better than on-premise options, according to a joint survey from Oracle and KPMG. Instead, much of it is rooted in the way cloud migration strategies are handled, and the configuration of cloud-based platforms like Office 365.
Take a security-first approach to cloud computing
The popularity of the cloud has grown to the point where companies think that if they aren’t moving applications or workflows over to it, they’re becoming less competitive. This prevailing thought leads to quick decisions that can be made poorly, which can make the business more susceptible to cyber risk.
Because of this trend, it’s estimated that 95 percent of cloud security vulnerabilities will be at the fault of the customer, not the vendor, according to Gartner. Policies and processes surrounding cloud migration strategies have grown scattered, and it’s time to rein them in.
Cloud readiness assessments serve as an excellent foundation for any project involving the cloud. Experts can evaluate the current conditions of a company’s digital environment which includes the requirements of applications or workloads that are slated to be moved. This allows the organisation to:
- Identify any potential risks that could appear during the project.
- Assess the resources required.
- Allocate the appropriate funds, personnel and tools to achieve a successful result.
- Maintain compliance and business continuity throughout the process.
Being fully prepared before migrating workloads to the cloud can mitigate a variety of risks that appear simply as the result of neglect or oversight.
Continuously evaluate your cloud security posture
Successfully deploying a cloud-based platform is only the start; companies need to regularly review cyber risks associated with each platform and align their administrative configurations with industry best practices.
Consider Office 365, which is widely used for its OneDrive, SharePoint and Exchange cloud databases. This type of file sharing carries innate vulnerabilities because antivirus tools are usually positioned to monitor incoming traffic, and may not check internally shared documents for ransomware or other threats.
If a hacker infiltrates the network, he or she could abuse this policy and spread malicious files throughout the company. Regular Office 365 security assessments can help spot these vulnerabilities and remediate them before they can be used against the business.
Office 365 security assessments are carried out by cloud consultants with years of experience in managing and maintaining safe digital environments. The evaluation provides a comprehensive list of vulnerabilities found within the current administrative configuration, as well as recommended steps to align the settings with industry best practices.
The speed with which malicious threat actors are evolving their tactics requires companies that want to move to the cloud to be constantly on guard. Ensuring your cloud migration strategies and subsequent evaluations of the applications are aligned with respected industry standards can provide the data security necessary to maintain compliance and avoid unnecessary risk.