Cloud Security Trends to Consider

As organizations move their data, business processes, and devices to the cloud, cloud security continues to become a growing concern for senior management and leadership teams. Gartner predicts that by 2024, more than 45% of IT spending on infrastructure, software, and business processes will shift from traditional solutions to the cloud making security considerations a top priority.

Companies have already accelerated the integration of digital technology into all business areas, which means moving more systems to the cloud. Chances are that your company uses some service in the cloud such as Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, Workday, Google Docs, or some other system that keeps your company alive, collaborative, and growing.

And the transition of infrastructure, business processes, tech stacks and data to the cloud have sparked a following for cloud security trends like zero-trust network access, multifactor authentication, and cloud-based managed services. Don’t know what these trends entail? Here’s what to expect:

Zero-Trust Network Access 

Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA) provides users with access to specific applications based on defined access control policies and a “need to know” model. In other words, when a network is setup this way, no user, transaction, or network traffic is trusted unless examined through a ZTNA process. Unlike a traditional VPN that provides access to a network that hosts applications, setting up a Zero-Trust Network Access configuration uses permissions to provide access only to specific applications. And a ZTNA system may minimize and limit the amount of damage caused by security breaches compared to a VPN.

Multifactor Authentication

According to Microsoft’s studies, the likelihood that your system will be breached is only 0.1% if you use Multifactor Authentication. Most small businesses already have traditional authentication set up within their system, but it’s typically a single sign-on password. With multifactor authentication, users must provide two or more verification factors to gain access. It’s one of the most effective tools for preventing cyber attacks.

Authentication factors fall into three categories:

  1. Knowledge factors – passwords, PIN, answer to a security question
  2. Possession factors – smartphone, security token, smart card, PKI certificate
  3. Inherence factors – fingerprint, facial scan, voiceprint, retina/iris scan

For companies who are only using knowledge factors to secure their systems, it’s worth the investment to have your technology services provider protect your systems and data by adding a second tier for authentication.

Cloud-Based Services

Small and midsized businesses (SMBs) realize that transitioning to the cloud offers many benefits, including enhanced security and protection of information assets, rapid scalability to meet demand, faster implementation, and lower infrastructure, energy, and facility costs. However, planning and deploying cloud-based security configurations can be difficult. That’s why companies often turn to certified cloud service providers (CSP) such as Visual Edge IT to overcome these challenges. Common services and threats that a CSP can address and manage include:

Identity and access management (IAM)

Managing role-based identities, enforcing strong passwords, and using biometric technologies can help protect businesses against identity theft, unauthorized access, privilege escalation, insider threat, non-repudiation, excess privileges, delegation of authorizations, and fraud.

Intrusion detection and prevention

Utilizing advanced intrusion prevention and detection systems allows network traffic inspection, responses over manual or automated intrusions, and behavioral analyses of employees to protect against intrusion, malware, unauthorized access, and malicious insiders.

Email security 

Human error and bad email practices cause most data breaches in the United States. Cloud security services can provide and implement policies that protect against data loss, malware, phishing, virus attacks, spam, unknown intrusions, and address spoofing.

Security information and event management (SIEM)

Having a solution to detect and incidents by analyzing log entries helps protect against abuse and nefarious use of systems, insecure interfaces and APIs, malicious insiders, shared technology issues, and account or service hijacking.

Zero-Trust Network Access, Multifactor Authentication and Cloud-Based Services:  Small- and medium-sized businesses may not need to adopt all of these trends, but having a conversation with your technology provider can help to identify which of these trends can be of benefit to your business and improve your cloud security now and in the future.