Blog iconHow to Prepare for Cloud Security (Post-COVID)

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How to Prepare for Cloud Security (Post-COVID)

You might not be able to see it, but it’s here. Lingering in the virtual cyber sphere lay containerized packets of information from sensitive data to music and photos. More and more organizations are migrating to the cloud if they haven’t done so already. The pandemic put a hold on many organizations’ plans to make the switch, but the continuance of remote work begs the need for cloud more than ever.

Flashback to the height of the pandemic in early 2020. Organizations, whether prepared or not, were quickly forced to switch their operations from in-person to remote. While digital transformation has long been a buzzword in our society the past five years, the pandemic was a reality check for many who believed they were digitally inclined.

Though this reality check is responsible for more than a years’ worth of headaches and fifty-hour workweeks (maybe more) for IT teams across the world, some see this event as a good thing. Why? Take Microsoft’s CEO who stated that after a few months into the pandemic, the company saw two years of digital transformation in as little as two months as its customers began adopting cloud solutions. That’s remarkable, especially given the environment companies were forced to operate in.

Unfortunately, after adoption, companies haven’t found the cloud experience to be as smooth sailing as expected. In fact, many organizations are already struggling with security concerns after migrating to the cloud. There are two main reasons why organizations are having a hard time securing their cloud environment – misconfiguration and limited visibility. Cloud misconfigurations are risky because they can jeopardize the security of data stored in the cloud and allow hackers to leverage software vulnerabilities to access other parts of the system. And given these can be difficult to spot, it may be likely that an organization has limited visibility into its network challenges. In this instance, as in many others, organizations can be blind to digital threats, allowing hackers to move around unnoticed.

Garter predicts the worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services to grow 18.4 percent in 2021 to total $304.9 billion. With the increase in cloud adoption and security challenges, it’s important that organizations are equipped to update their security programs for new risk factors that may have previously been out of scope. Here’s a look at how to operate a sound public cloud security strategy:

  • Understand your shared responsibility model: When collaborating with a cloud service provider, you’re responsible for upholding a shared security implementation. It’s your job to make sure you know what stays with you and what will be handled by your provider. Responsibility models vary depending on the services models — SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS.
  • Control user access: The public cloud offers resource sharing and scalability that otherwise isn’t possible for a single organization. However, with that each organization must implement tight controls of user access through architectures such as zero trust or point solutions like workload microsegmentation and CASB. Only give users (which may include non-human entities) access to systems and data required to do their job.
  • Maintain visibility of cloud services: Back to our previous point on visibility – it’s important that your organization knows the ins and outs of its hardware and software. Some organizations have adopted a multi-cloud strategy, using more than one cloud service from different providers, which can create blind spots that leave security lacking. Also, recent surveys show more than 80% of current security tools for visibility don’t translate to the cloud.

The pandemic aside, the public cloud is more important to businesses in today’s environment as we work towards business resiliency and truly digital workplaces. If you’re interested in discussing your options for a cloud security solution, contact us today.