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Shield Your Cloud from Misconfiguration Mishaps: 6 Strategies to Try

Don Johnson
Don Johnson

When developing a cybersecurity framework, the misconfiguration of cloud tools is frequently disregarded. These applications are usually quick and effortless to register for; thus, users may assume that they don't need to be concerned about security since it's been taken care of.

Commonly, there is a mistaken belief that cloud security rests upon the service provider alone. Though they handle securing the backend infrastructure, users are responsible for configuring their account settings appropriately for adequate protection.

The dangers of misconfiguration are immense, as it is the primary source of cloud data breaches. What makes matters worse is that these perilous incidents occur due to a company's mistake; they have not secured their cloud application properly, leading to security issues.

It's possible that too many personnel were provided administrative rights, or the security feature which would have blocked any unauthorized downloads from cloud files was left off.

Misconfiguration covers a wide range of negligent behavior. It all has to do with cloud security settings and practices. A finding in The State of Cloud Security 2021 report sheds light on this issue's prevalence. 45% of organizations experience between 1 and 50 cloud misconfigurations per day.

Some of the main causes of misconfiguration are:

·        Inadequate oversight and regulation

·        A team with a gap in security knowledge

·        Managing an overwhelming amount of cloud APIs can be a tedious task.

·        Lack of proper cloud environment monitoring

·        Careless insider actions

·     Inadequate cloud security knowledge.

Use the tips below to reduce your risk of a cloud data breach and improve cloud security.

Enhance Your Insight into Cloud Infrastructure

A comprehensive view of your cloud environment is critical to ensure full control over its use. An effective way to achieve this is through a cloud access security application, which offers detailed insights into usage patterns across all platforms.

Not only does it provide an overview of the applications being used within the organization, but with recommendations on how to properly secure any vulnerabilities found, companies can be sure that their data remains safe and secure.

Keeping track of cloud application usage can be tricky, with many employees using unauthorized applications that are left out of the purview of IT teams. Businesses can be exposed to data breaches and other cyber threats without adequate oversight and regulation of these apps' configuration settings.

It provides an overview of all the apps in use, making it easy for even those without technical knowledge to audit and secures their data. With detailed recommendations on securing any vulnerabilities found, your business can feel confident that it is protected against potential threats.

Limit The Number of Privileged Accounts

Businesses that operate with cloud-based services should restrict the number of privileged accounts (also known as administrative accounts) to ensure increased security of sensitive data. Privileged accounts often access many systems and features, including modifying settings, deleting data, and viewing confidential information. By limiting the number of privileged accounts, businesses can reduce their risk of unauthorized access to confidential data or malicious activities on their network.

When determining the appropriate number of privileged accounts for a business, consider the following:

  • Analyze what type of administrative tasks need to be done to run the organization effectively
  • Establish roles for each account and make sure that only those who need access to them get it
  • Ensure that all privileged accounts use strong passwords - ideally, a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols
  • Regularly audit privileged account access logs
  • Utilize multi-factor authentication when available
  • Monitor the network closely for any suspicious activity.

Businesses can protect themselves from threats and enhance security by taking these steps. 

Implement Automated Security Measures

Automating security policies is a surefire way to reduce the likelihood of cloud-related cyber breaches. Automating your security policies reduces the likelihood of human mistakes, and your cloud environment remains safe from malicious actors.

For example, by utilizing a feature like Microsoft 365's sensitivity labels, you can create a "do not copy" policy that will remain in effect across all supported cloud applications. As soon as this policy is implemented by you, users do not need to take any other action - it's automatic!

The automated policies in this tool can configure virtually unlimited security policies to any group or type of data created within the Microsoft 365 environment. Security in this environment can be almost virtually assured.

Enhance Your Security with a Cloud Audit Tool (Such as Microsoft Secure Score)

Identifying and fixing misconfigurations within your cloud environment is vital to minimize potential risks. So, how secure is your cloud system? How many errors have you encountered thus far? Knowing this data can help protect the safety of your company.

Microsoft Secure Score is a great auditing tool, as it can scan your cloud environment and direct you to any existing flaws while providing useful remediation instructions. Use this reliable resource to identify potential security issues and take the right steps toward efficiently rectifying them.

Get Notified When Configuration Changes Occur with Alerts

Even after ensuring your cloud security settings are precisely where you want them, these values can change without warning. Be cognizant of the following issues which can cause adjustments in settings:

·        An employee with special rights changed those settings by mistake.

·        A 3rd party plug-in can cause a change in something.

·        Software updates

·        A malicious hacker that has gained access to a privileged user's credentials

Take the necessary steps to avoid any potential security risks by setting up alerts. With an alert in place, your team can be notified as soon as a significant change takes place within your cloud environment - like disabling multi-factor authentication. This way, you will always have peace of mind knowing they are one step ahead and can respond quickly if needed.

Keep Your Cloud Settings Secure with the Assistance of an Expert

Business professionals, executives, and administrators likely lack the technical knowledge to configure cybersecurity properly in their organization. There's no need for them to be expected to understand how best to protect your business from threats online.

To ensure that your data is safe and secure, it's best to consult a cloud security specialist from a reputable IT company. With their assistance, you can know that your settings are properly configured without hindering your team's productivity.

Take Steps to Beef Up Your Cloud Security & Reduce Your Risk of a Data Breach

Many organizations conduct their work in the cloud and entrust it with sensitive data. Neglecting to configure Cloud settings properly can leave your business vulnerable - don't let that happen! Call us today if you need help setting up a cloud security assessment, or invite your Cloud specialist into the office this week so they can take care of it. We're ready when you are.

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