How to enhance data security in the cloud

In this digital age, companies need to constantly innovate to stay competitive. The cloud has become one of the most popular tools for companies to store data and access remote resources from anywhere at any time.

However, keeping data safe and secure is one of the greatest challenges for any company today. In a world where everything is online, storing sensitive information and keeping it private are vitally important. 

To keep your cloud data safe from accidental leaks or cybercriminal activity, you need to implement innovative solutions to enhance security within your business and protect your data from outside intruders. 

What is cloud security?

The cloud is an infrastructure which provides remote computing services or software. An organization’s data and applications can be accessed from anywhere at any time when required. 

The cloud comes with many business benefits, including cost savings, flexibility, scalability, and agility. However, with the rise of cybercrimes, there are certain risks businesses should be aware of and take steps to mitigate them. 

The most important aspect of cloud security is protecting your data. Data in the cloud is usually stored and transferred over the internet, which makes it potentially vulnerable to cyber-attacks. 

Cloud data risks

The most common risk associated with the cloud is data loss, or data leakage. The risk of losing data is very real; it’s estimated there were a global 22 billion records exposed through cloud data breaches in 2021, up by 5% from the previous year.

It’s vital to identify where your data is stored and who has access to it. This is especially important in a cloud environment, where data can be stored in one or many locations owned by other organizations or companies. If your data is stored in the cloud, you need to ensure that it is protected. 

The best way to do this is by using a cloud security solution. A good cloud security solution – like Microsoft Azure Information Protection – will help you identify where your data is stored and who has access to it. Azure Information Protection can help you manage user permissions, as well as monitor network activity to identify which users are accessing your data.

Use multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a popular tool when it comes to securing data in the cloud. 

With MFA, you are required to enter a secondary code or authentication factor whenever you log in to your account to verify you are the authorized user. For instance, this secondary factor can be a hardware key or a one-time pass code which needs to be entered when logging in.

This type of authentication is especially useful when it comes to protecting sensitive data, such as financial information or health records. 

Manage user access

Creating a role-based system will help you manage your user access. It will allow you to control who has access to what accounts and data. It also makes it easier for you to revoke any access that is no longer needed at any time.

A properly configured Identity and Access Management plan ensures each employee can see or edit only the applications or data necessary for performing their job duties.

Plus, access control will help protect against cybercriminals who have stolen an employee’s credentials, or accidental edits by employees who should not be accessing certain information.

Monitor user network activity

You can’t control absolutely everything with your users, but you can monitor their network activity to ensure they are accessing your resources securely. This is especially important in the cloud, as it is not always easy to tell if a malicious actor is using your network to steal data. 

It is important to monitor network traffic and ensure that only authorized users are accessing your data center or resources. This can be achieved with a network monitoring solution that allows you to view data, such as user activity, network traffic, and server performance. 

Encrypt data

Encrypting data before it is sent to the cloud is one of the most important steps you can take to safeguard your data. Without the encryption key, a cybercriminal won’t be able to access the information, as the key is needed to decrypt the data. 

The two types of encryption are encryption in transit, in which the data is only encrypted while being transferred, and encryption at rest, where the file is always encrypted and the user must supply the decryption key to unlock.

Train your users

It is estimated 90% of data breaches are caused by human error. Training your employees in security best practices, and how to recognize malware or phishing threats will go a long way towards enhancing your cloud security.

Employees do not have to be taught every technical detail of security measures, but they should be aware of the risks that may jeopardize your business. Security training should be held on a regular basis to keep employees up-to-date on security policies.

Secure your cloud data with the experts

Cloud computing is a great way to provide resources to users from anywhere, at any time. However, this comes with certain risks, such as data loss or access by cybercriminals. 

The security specialists at BCS365 can help you implement the right security solutions to enhance the protection of your data in the cloud, and manage your cloud environment for 24/7 risk mitigation.