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Cloud Application Security: What It Means For Organizations

Cloud apps provide cloud storage and tools that are instrumental to connecting teams. With most people working remotely, more teams are beginning to rely on cloud apps to make work easier. This trust in cloud apps poses an attractive opportunity for hackers and information thieves, who are already taking undue advantage. A survey of cybersecurity experts revealed that 94% of them have recently become more concerned about cloud security.

In this article, we will examine the security provided by the traditional cloud apps including Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, major cloud app security challenges and how to reduce the threats of a cloud app security breach in your organization.

How Secure Are Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace?

Over time, we’ve seen that hackers and data thieves are rapidly exploiting Google Drive (by Google) and One Drive (by Microsoft 365) to host and deliver malicious content. Netskope’s cloud and threat report states that so far, Google is the most breached cloud app platform followed by OneDrive, Sharepoint and, interestingly, AWS. Why is this even happening? The fact that right now more people are working from home shows us how easily malicious content can be created and distributed. For example, remote teams need to exchange documents frequently to collaborate on tasks and projects. This mode of sharing documents is easily the most predominant mode of dispersing malware. It’s little wonder that up to 40% of malware downloads in 2021 were from Office Documents according to the same cloud and threat report.

Major Cloud Security Challenges in 2022

Currently, most companies already use a multi-cloud deployment. The reason for this trend is that it enables them to benefit from the different cloud environments optimized for particular use cases.

The complexity of multi-cloud environments poses several challenges, including:

● Data protection and Privacy: Companies find the different security controls in multi-cloud environments a challenge to making consistent protection of data achievable. Especially in accordance with corporate policy and regulations.

● Low expertise level: Managing consistent security in multi-cloud environments requires a high level of scarce expertise in each environment. This task becomes even more difficult with a growing number of environments.

● Solution Integration: Half of organizations find it hard to understand how security solutions work together especially with the multiple vendors with different security solutions.

● Low visibility and control: The vendor-controlled infrastructure makes visibility and control difficult. The shared responsibility model and dependence on the vendor-controlled infrastructure is a major challenge for many organizations.

● Cloud vulnerability: The multi-cloud infrastructure increases the risk of attack, by expanding the digital attack surface. Cloud app services monitoring plays an important role in preventing attacks.

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How to reduce the risk of a cloud app attack

A more secure cloud environment is not difficult to accomplish. It is good to note that most cloud security breaches are caused by avoidable circumstances, including using unsecured resources or users relaxing security permissions. You can take a few simple steps to better defend your cloud environment and even become adept at discovering misconfigurations faster.

Hackers will often scan the internet, looking for vulnerabilities to exploit. We know that a good percentage of security breaches occur because users manually relax security cloud resources or typing the wrong IP address when connecting to a network resource.

In the light of this information, maintaining the integrity of your cloud security can be as simple as leaving the default security settings unchanged. Also, desisting from deploying unencrypted instances on the cloud will go a long way in ensuring cloud security for your organization.

Further ways to reduce the risk of a cloud security attack include:

● Enforcing systems and controls to discourage the relaxing of security mechanisms

● Human capital training. The more trained and exposed cloud app users in recognizing misconfigurations the lesser the risk of security attack

● Using external cloud security solutions. These external independent cloud security do a more thorough work of ensuring the cloud apps like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace are safer for the end user. They do this by analyzing every link, email, payload, code moving within and out of these apps. They trap any malware found and report it, thus ensuring the safety of the end user.

● Conducting reviews of identified resources for appropriate configurations

Final thoughts

We might not be able to prevent every cloud app security breach. But we can prevent up to 85% by scanning for misconfigurations and maintaining industry-standard best practices for cloud security. By putting these measures in place, you can prevent the next cloud app security breach aimed at your organization. Being unaware of these cloud app security tips is one sure way to ensure you’re breached consistently. Or you can choose to stay many steps ahead of hackers by learning more about why cybersecurity is more important than ever in 2022.