While cloud technologies help businesses overcome many of the challenges and limitations of relying on in-house IT departments, they also present some new risks. Even with the many undeniable advantages of migrating to the cloud, it’s important to do so with caution. After all, most business leaders have witnessed the high-profile cyberattacks that target major cloud service providers. That’s why cybersecurity should always be central to your cloud migration strategy, as well as your overall technology plan.
The risk of losing control
When you move your data to the cloud, you’re putting it in someone else’s hands to a certain extent. That means it’s stored in a provider’s data centers and subject to their rules and regulations. Some providers even maintain the right to pass on certain data to advertising agencies and other third parties. This presents a huge shift from traditional computing environments, in which everything is held in-house.
To maintain control over your data, you must carefully review a cloud provider’s agreements and make sure you’re familiar with the costs and/or implications of moving your data to another provider or back in-house.
Insider threats continue to rise
In many organizations, particularly those with hundreds or even thousands of employees across multiple branches, insider threats remain one of the biggest problems. Add the cloud into the mix, and the number of attack opportunities escalates.
Some years ago, companies would protect their in-house systems from their own employees by, for example, stopping them from connecting external drives. Today, the accessibility of the cloud also makes it more susceptible to insider threats, in which an employee either maliciously or accidentally surrenders sensitive information. Multifactor authentication (MFA) and constant network monitoring are just some of the solutions you need to avoid insider threats.
Overcoming compliance hurdles
Complying with data protection regulations is one of the biggest legal and technical challenges that modern businesses face. Because of this, many companies decide to outsource their IT to a cloud service provider, but that doesn’t make their security practices compliant by itself. Rather than passing the buck, the law dictates that it’s your responsibility to choose your third-party technology vendors carefully.
You’ll need to carefully vet your service providers to ensure that they themselves are also compliant with any regulations facing your industry. Uploading all your confidential records to Google Drive without a second thought probably isn’t going to cut it.
Locking down compromised accounts
The cloud offers enormous convenience when it comes to making your business technology environment more scalable. For example, when a new employee starts work, all you need to do is set up a new account for them, and they’ll be able to access their own cloud-hosted apps, desktops, and any other resources they need for work.
This convenience comes with a caveat, however; you also risk losing visibility into your data, particularly with regards to who’s accessing it and where. To keep track of everything, you need a system for locking down accounts belonging to former employees, as well as those accessed using lost or stolen devices.
The challenges of scale
Migrating to the cloud can actually do wonders for your cybersecurity strategy if it’s handled well. After all, a dependable cloud provider has access to a level of expertise and technology that no small business can hope to obtain in-house. However, it can also mean that your confidential data ends up on multiple physical devices across many locations, so it’s always a good idea to proceed with caution.
If you have too many solutions, you lose visibility into your data and the security and privacy controls in place to protect it. To overcome the challenge of scale, you need a unified cloud security system that allows you to retain control over data governance, ownership and security.
ProSource Technology Solutions provides information security solutions that increase the resiliency of your business both inside and outside the cloud. Contact us today to get the support you need.