Cloud computing is a fast, efficient way to access the applications and data you need, whenever and wherever you need them. But if your business relies on this technology, there's one thing you shouldn't overlook: cloud security.
Recent studies have shown that cloud security breaches are on the rise, and big cloud service providers like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are ramping up their efforts to boost the security of their cloud environments.
Why cloud security breaches are increasing
There are a few reasons for the uptick in cloud security breaches. First, there are now way more businesses that use the cloud. And as more industries adopt public cloud services, the number of potential targets also increases. This is why in the first half of 2022, nearly half of all businesses have experienced a cloud-based data breach, based on a 2022 Thales Cloud Security Report.
Second, as businesses move sensitive data and applications to the cloud, they often fail to properly secure them. This leaves them open to attack. Aside from poor security controls and policies, insufficient cloud training and lack of collaboration among teams also contribute to the rise in cloud breaches.
Finally, many businesses don't have adequate incident response tools and procedures to protect their data in the event of a breach. Nevertheless, the best security controls won’t do your business any good if your team doesn’t have proper incident response training.
Warning signs of a cloud security breach
There are several ways to tell if your business is at risk of a data breach, and it's important to know what measures to take if you think one has already taken place. Here are warning signs that you should watch out for.
Abnormal administrator activity
One of the first things you should do is monitor administrator activity within your environment for any suspicious behavior. This includes not only malicious activity, but also changes that could indicate a breach, such as new users being added or user permissions being changed.
When you notice anything unusual, investigate right away. This could be a sign that someone has gained unauthorized access to your environment and is trying to cover their tracks.
Lack of security controls
The lack of proper security controls is a cloud security breach waiting to happen. Security controls here pertain to both technical controls, such as firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention systems, and nontechnical controls, such as employee training and incident response plans.
If you don't have adequate security measures and procedures, your business is at a greater risk of suffering a breach. And if a breach does occur, the lack of such controls will make the breach that much harder to detect and recover from.
Inadequate access control measures
If you're not controlling who has access to data and applications, then it's only a matter of time before someone takes advantage of that.
One way to prevent this is to implement the principle of least privilege, which entails only giving users the permissions they need to do their job, no more and no less. Implementing this limits the damage that can be done in case of a breach and prevents unauthorized access to systems in the first place.
Unusual outbound network traffic
If you see sudden increases in outbound connections or data leaving your network during unexpected times, it's probable that your security has been breached. Such activity could indicate that hackers are exfiltrating precious data.
Slowed internet speed or reduced bandwidth
One final sign that something is amiss is if your internet speed or bandwidth has decreased significantly. When businesses are breached, it's not uncommon for attackers to use the victim's internet connection to conduct other illegal activities, such as sending spam emails or launching denial-of-service attacks. So if you notice a sudden drop in your internet speed or bandwidth, it's best to investigate further.
These are just a few of the warning signs that your business is at risk of a cloud security breach. If you suspect that your business has already been breached, it's crucial to act quickly.
Contact the professional cybersecurity experts at USWired to help you toughen your defenses against cloud security breaches.