4 cloud security challenges for business owners & employees

As spending on the cloud continues to hit the billions, cyber threat actors are watching the cloud space for opportunities to compromise enterprises for personal or financial gain. And to avoid having your cloud technology solutions successfully damaged by cyber threats, you ought to implement cloud security tools to protect your company’s cloud environment.

But there are many types of threat actors and security risks out there. To protect your cloud platform from them, you need to be aware of the cloud security challenges that exist within the modern business world. By knowing what these challenges are, you will be able to develop countermeasures to remediate or reduce them before they cause large-scale disruptions.

1. Unable to see the whole cloud environment

From hybrid clouds to on-premise clouds and more, cloud computing’s business benefits are undeniable, revolutionizing the way organizations work and allowing them to store their information in external data centers. However, a big challenge faced by cloud computing users is their lack of visibility into the entire cloud environment. As the cloud covers a wider scope than typical in-house IT networks, it can be more difficult for organizations to monitor for security threats and vulnerabilities.

In order to protect sensitive data, companies need to be able to see all the different components of the cloud environment, along with the security solutions that protect them from cyber threat actors. This can be achieved by investing in data security and access control measures, including analytics programs, identity and access management (IAM) tools, monitoring solutions, and more.

2. Sharing data with outside parties

For organizations large and small, data is a currency that threat actors are desperate to have. As a cloud environment makes it easier for authorized personnel to access information, it can do the same for unauthorized parties in the event of a successful data breach.

At the same time, if your business’s sensitive data does not have backup copies, a cyber-attack against your critical infrastructure could result in data loss—a major security headache and a hit to your business’s carefully developed reputation.

To avoid this security risk, businesses need to take steps to protect their data. These steps include encrypting the data, using secure storage options, and only sharing information with authorized parties. Data encryption effectively scrambles your data from peoples’ view, requiring recipients to use a special key—a decryption key—to read it. This makes it easier to safeguard information from prying eyes.

In terms of secure storage and information sharing, configuring the security controls around your cloud platforms, along with enforcing data-sharing policies, can give you more control over your cloud technology solutions and their usage purposes.

3. Employees using shadow IT

By definition, “shadow IT” encompasses all the unknown IT tools and solutions a staff member uses to complete their work. This can include software-as-a-service (SaaS) programs that were not given the green light by the company, unregistered laptops (normally for personal use), public cloud services outside of the business’s standard cloud environment, and more. While employees typically use shadow IT for convenience, it poses a serious security risk. 

Because your company’s IT staff is not aware of the tools being used, the cybersecurity measures your organization uses do not apply to shadow IT. For your cloud environment, this could mean that someone’s device is not adequately protected per your business’s standards, resulting in a heightened risk of cyber-attacks, compliance oversights, and other issues. 

The easiest way to rid your company of shadow IT is to provide your team with all the authorized equipment and computing resources they need while teaching them about the dangers of shadow IT. Another way for mitigating shadow IT is investing in activity and network monitoring solutions to stay updated on who and what is in your systems.  

4. Issues with maintaining compliance

Compliance and industry regulations are essential cybersecurity practices. Businesses cannot afford to have their compliance standards dip. For example, organizations that use protected health information (PHI) must comply with HIPAA regulations to protect data.

It’s vital that you follow the policies set out by your industry to guarantee compliance. It is common for businesses to deploy access control measures to restrict access to sensitive information and network areas to keep themselves in line with compliance. In situations where standards are broken or are not met, the organization’s reputation and data are put at risk. 

While cloud service providers offer companies a cloud environment and the means to secure it, they do not necessarily provide them with security and compliance. In this case, the responsibility of deploying cloud security solutions falls onto the business. 

Overcome cloud security challenges and innovate your business

Whether they are targeting your employees with social engineering attacks (i.e., phishing emails) or they take advantage of human error to gain access to your cloud technology solutions, cyber threat actors across nations and states will continue to uncover new ways of exploiting weaknesses in your cloud systems.

Cloud security offers you the best chance of mitigating these risks. But the field can be complicated, forcing business owners and their employees to give up time to develop comprehensive security plans—time that could be used to improve products and services.

The cloud security specialists at IT Gurus are experts in preventing cloud security challenges. If you want to safeguard your cloud environment with proactive security solutions for greater security and cost savings, contact IT Gurus today.

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