The State Of Cloud Security In 2021
The cloud has rapidly become one of the most popular technologies for organizations and individuals today, thanks to its availability on multiple platforms, ease of use, and data storage, and on-demand computing capabilities.
The prevalence of the cloud is incredible, with more users and organizations making use of it each day. This is also cause for concern, regarding both data privacy and the security of cloud computing services. When you combine the popularity of the cloud with the general negligence concerning security, things look fairly grim:
- 92% of organizations currently use the cloud in one way or another.
- Since the start of 2020, 79% of companies have experienced at least one cloud data breach; and 43% have experienced 10 or more
- The most common reason for a cloud-based breach is misconfiguration (i.e. user error).
What Are The Most Common Challenges Organizations Face When It Comes To Cloud Security Today?
The biggest issue facing cloud-based business today are data breaches that result in loss or exposure of client personal and private information. These types of breaches can put an organization at great risk and face huge expenditures in remediation as well as a ruined reputation. After all, why would your clients continue to work with you after you’ve exposed their private data?
That’s why you need to make an effort now to properly protect their cloud-based data. To start, that means ensuring your staff knows how to use the cloud securely.
One of the primary causes of security breaches is employee negligence, resulting from a lack of cybersecurity training. As great as the cloud is, in order to work properly, the end-users have to know where and how to store files. If they’re saving their work to a local device, it won’t benefit from the built-in data continuity and security features offered by the cloud.
That’s a big risk. Consider the facts:
- 33% of file folders are entirely unprotected.
- 140,000 US-based hard drives fail every week.
- Anywhere from 40%-60% of businesses close their doors forever after significant data loss.
That’s why you need to make sure your staff has the right data cloud security knowledge. The fact is that what you (and your staff) don’t know could hurt you. If your staff isn’t up to date on the latest cybercrime scams, then they’re putting your data at risk, simple as that.
The key to truly comprehensive cybersecurity is simple, yet often overlooked: the user. The best cybersecurity technology and practices in the world can be undone by one staff member who doesn’t understand how to use them, or how to protect the data they work with.
Cybersecurity awareness training is by far the most effective way to defend your organization from phishing, ransomware, and other scams. This method recognizes how important the user is in your cybersecurity efforts.
A comprehensive cybersecurity training curriculum will train users to ask important questions about each and every email they receive:
- Do I know the sender of this email?
- Does it make sense that it was sent to me?
- Can I verify that the attached link or PDF is safe?
- Does the email threaten to close my accounts or cancel my cards if I don’t provide information?
- Is this email really from someone I trust or does it just look like someone I trust? What can I do to verify?
- Does anything seem “off” about this email, its contents, or the sender?
The right training services will offer exercises, interactive programs, and even simulated phishing attacks to test your staff on a number of key areas:
- How to identify and address suspicious emails, phishing attempts, social engineering tactics, and more.
- How to use business technology without exposing data and other assets to external threats by accident.
- How to respond when you suspect that an attack is occurring or has occurred.
What Lessons Should You Learn From The Biggest Cloud-Related Breaches Of 2020?
According to Gartner’s cloud security assessment, by the year 2025, 99% of failures in cloud security will be a result of security issues on the customer side, not the cloud provider side. More often than not, it will be user-error that results in a data breach and/or data loss.
Some of the most catastrophic security breaches in 2020 were the result of deficient cloud security. This trend will continue as long as the organizations do not improve their defenses. The issue is that so many business owners and managers assume they will not be hit by cybercrime.
The absolute biggest mistake companies make about cybersecurity insurance and cybersecurity, in general, is to assume that they don’t need it and that they are not a target. Or even worse, they think they are already protected, without taking any steps to ensure they are.
You may have less than a hundred employees, but does that really mean you’re secure?
In 2020, the rate of cyberattacks grew 400% compared to the previous year — the fact is that a rising tide lifts all ships. As cybercrime becomes more prevalent, your organization becomes a more likely target, no matter its size.
How Can You Improve Your Cloud Security In 2021?
As always, a primary challenge for businesses is ROI. How much do you need to invest, and what value can you derive from that investment? That’s why it’s important to understand what gets you the most bang for your buck.
Here are a few key recommendations as to how to spend your cybersecurity budget:
- Invest in foundational security solutions — firewall, antivirus, and anti-malware protection
- Arrange for periodic or even ongoing security scans in order to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities before they result in a breach.
- Invest in ongoing security training for employees to ensure they can spot and mitigate social engineering schemes and other cybercrime threats.
Remember, the biggest hacking risk to your business is poorly trained employees. According to security researchers at IBM and the Cyber Security Intelligence Index, 95 percent of successful hack attacks or incidents were because of some type of human error.
What’s The Future Of Cloud Security?
The future of cloud security will be equivalent to building bigger walls and deeper moats. The next generation of the cloud is going to need to be stronger and more resilient than anything before and fortified with defenses that will be able to keep up with threats in real-time.
These types of protections are going to have to be more automated, more discriminating, and based on sophisticated AI and technologies that will allow for high levels of security. At the same time, they have to deliver a convenient user experience that doesn’t encumber access to the information users require.
If you’re in need of expert assistance managing your cloud security, training your staff, and eliminating vulnerabilities, get in touch with the LI Tech Advisors team.
LI Tech Advisors is a Long Island, New York-based Managed IT service company. When you partner with LI Tech Advisors as your next IT services company, you’ll have a partner who has over 30 years of experience working with organizations across Long Island.