Most companies are now at 100% cloud adoption, using the cloud for most business activities through SaaS (Software as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) tools. Data has also largely migrated to being stored online in cloud services. This migration has caused a shift in the types of cyberattacks that are most prevalent.
In the most recent Cost of a Data Breach report by IBM Security, the number one cause of data breaches is now credential compromise. Hackers have a difficult time getting past the security safeguards of companies providing cloud services like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. Instead, they’ve found the easiest way to breach company accounts is through legitimate user credentials, and often it’s all too easy to guess or hack a weak password.
In 2021, 44% of companies in the supply chain were impacted by credentials compromise. And 48% of phishing victims saw their accounts compromised by stolen or hacked passwords. Cloud account security has become a vital part of any cybersecurity strategy because one outage of a cloud platform or one ransomware infection of cloud storage can be costly. Between 2020 and 2021, the average cost of remediating a ransomware attack has more than quadrupled for Singapore businesses, from SGD$1.15 million to SGD$4.69 million. One insider attack from a hacked account can cause:
- Stolen sensitive data
- Ransomware or another malware attack
- Data privacy compliance penalties
- Business email addresses being used to send phishing attacks
- Internal company data and communications being released publicly
- Data being destroyed
- Stealth attacks where emails and other data are quietly gathered for years
Safeguard Your Cloud Environment to Reduce Risk
Here are four important areas of cloud protection that your small business needs to have in place to ensure your cloud accounts aren’t at risk of being compromised.
Secure Endpoint Devices
Mobile malware is often deployed as an attractive free app. Employees will download these, not thinking to properly verify where they came from. Once malware infects a mobile device, it can enable a hacker to gain access to all the data on the device. This includes being able to access any business apps, many of which won’t even require the password to get in because they keep the user logged in persistently. Additionally, if employees are storing passwords in things like spreadsheets on their computer or their contacts app. If that PC is breached, the attacker can easily find any files named “password.” To reduce the risk of a cloud breach due to a device breach, it’s important to put endpoint security in place. The easiest way to do this is through managed IT services, which provide several protections:
- Ongoing patch & update management
- Monitoring for threats
- Managed Antivirus/anti-malware
- DNS filtering
- Email and anti-phishing protections
- And more
Implement Access Security
Seventy-seven percent of all cloud breaches are caused by compromised login credentials. It makes sense that protecting those credentials and improving cloud access security will thwart a significant number of potential breaches. You can’t just tell users to create strong passwords and expect that to be enough. With so much reliance on cloud applications, which are only one hacked password away from being compromised, you need more robust access security in place. This includes using tactics like:
- Configuring apps to reject weak passwords
- Implementing a business password manager to help users securely store passwords
- Enabling multi-factor authentication for all accounts
- Using a cloud access security broker to monitor all cloud access and identify anomalous behavior
Secure All Network Connections
Another way that cloud data can be compromised is through a weak network connection. For example, if a remote employee’s home Wi-Fi does not have a strong password protecting it, a hacker can easily get in and spy on all the user’s traffic to and from business cloud apps. Likewise, we’ve long known the dangers of having your data breached when connected to free public Wi-Fi networks. One good overall protection to use to improve network security is a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN app can be installed on any device and will encrypt the connection for security. Additionally, networks should have a firewall that can identify and shut down dangerous intruders.
Configure Cloud Platforms Correctly
Misconfiguring cloud security is one of the main causes of cloud account breaches, right behind credential compromise. Small business owners often don’t know that they need to do anything with security configuration when signing up for cloud services. So, security settings are left at weak configurations that allow hackers easy access through phishing and other means. It’s important to have a cloud security expert, like Managed IT Asia, help you with the proper configuration of the security settings of all SaaS or PaaS services that your business uses.
Request a Cloud Security Checkup Today!
Managed IT Asia can help your Singapore business with a cloud security checkup so you can see where you stand and ensure your business isn’t at risk. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. Call +65 6748 8776 or reach us online.
MANAGED IT ASIA, we are an IT Support, IT Solutioning and Managed IT Service Provider specializing in serving Small Businesses across Asia. Call us at +65 6748 8776 and let us manage your Small Business IT today!