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The Danger of Cloud Malware & What You Can Do About It

April 23, 2024
Reading Time: 5 mins
Author: Katherine Spanner

A popular reason why many businesses migrate to the cloud is enhanced security. While there is some merit to this belief, it’s important not to become too complacent. Cloud malware and other cloud computing attacks may become new risks after you’ve made the switch.

Some types of attacks are equally possible whether you’re in the cloud or on-premise. Others are eliminated by cloud computing, and then others are only possible in the cloud. This observation isn’t to say that the cloud’s security benefits are false, only that it’s important to familiarise yourself with the possible risks your cloud infrastructure may face.

 

“Hackers are a bit too good at exploiting vulnerabilities, so the key is to set yourself up in a way that keeps vulnerabilities to the absolute minimum.” - Ray Sweeney, Chief Commercial Officer, Sensible Business Solutions

 

We won’t get too into the weeds about how cloud systems or malicious software works. However, this article will show you some best practices and top tips on how you can protect your business from attacks in cloud computing.

 

 

Understanding Cloud Security Risks

Moving your business operations to the cloud changes how you must think about security. Unlike the onsite setup where your focus might be on physical security, cloud data could become vulnerable to security risks in the online spaces where data moves and is stored.

This new risk emphasises the importance of working with a solid cloud provider. You’ll need to divide security responsibilities between you and your cloud service provider. The provider takes responsibility for the cloud infrastructure's security, while you need to protect your data through proper management practices.

Understanding this shared responsibility helps you make informed decisions about your cloud security measures, although some protections are wholly up to the provider. Here’s what you should look for in a cloud provider to prevent the possibility of exposing yourself to vulnerabilities that you can’t fix.

 

What to Ask  Why it Matters
Does your service include data encryption? Encryption ensures that your data remains secure and unreadable to anyone without the correct keys, protecting sensitive information during cloud storage and data transmission.
How do you manage Identity and Access Management (IAM)? IAM systems allow precise management of user account access, reducing the risk of unauthorised access and enabling the enforcement of strict security policies.
How often do you update your security measures? Regular updates to security systems protect against the latest threats by fixing vulnerabilities, keeping your data safer.
What are your data recovery and backup procedures? Reliable recovery and backup solutions ensure quick data restoration in case of loss, minimising downtime and protecting against data breaches.
Can you detect advanced threats promptly? Advanced threat detection provides continuous monitoring for suspicious activities, allowing for timely responses to potential security incidents.
Do you adhere to compliance standards? Depending on your industry, you may have specific compliance regulations that you need to follow. It should go without saying that any cloud service you choose should be able to follow suit.

 

In all these cases, don’t worry if they have a technical answer that you don’t fully understand. The bigger watch is for whether or not they can answer the question at all. You want to make sure that they have the ability to perform their side of your cloud protection.

Remember that no matter how good your provider is, security is still a shared responsibility. Choosing a trusted provider is step one, but all your other steps involve implementing best practices.

 

Best Practices to Protect Your Business From Cloud Malware

Regularly Update Your Cloud Software

If you’re expecting your cloud provider to stay up-to-date, you should do the same. This doesn’t mean following the latest trends or becoming a cloud expert, it’s as simple as updating all cloud-based software applications when you get a notification to do so.

Software providers release updates that fix security vulnerabilities and add new security features. By keeping your software current, you reduce the risk of cyber attackers exploiting outdated software to inject malware.

Just to drive the point home, you should be aware that 75% of cyber attacks are enacted by exploiting vulnerabilities in outdated technology.

 

Employ Strong Authentication Measures

Implement strong password policies and two-factor authentication (2FA) for all cloud services. Strong passwords are your first line of defence against unauthorised access, while 2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification. This level of access control makes it more difficult for someone to break in.

 

More Guidance on How You Can Save Yourself From Cloud Attacks

 

Conduct Regular Security Audits

Schedule regular security audits of your cloud environments. These audits help identify potential vulnerabilities and ensure compliance with best security practices. You can use automated tools or hire specialists for this task. The goal is to spot issues before they can be exploited by malware.

 

Educate Your Team on Security Best Practices

Educate your employees about the importance of cyber security and how to recognise potential threats. Since human error is the leading cause of security breaches, informing your team about phishing attacks and suspicious links plays a key role in preventing malware infections. This practice is needed whether you’re in the cloud or not.

 

Back Up Your Data Regularly

Ensure you have an established data backup strategy. Regular backups protect your business by ensuring that, in the event of a malware attack, you can restore lost or compromised data without significant downtime. Opt for automatic backup solutions that regularly save your data to a secure, off-site location.

 

Monitor Cloud Activity

Keep an eye on who gains access to your cloud services and when. Monitoring tools can alert you to unusual activity, which could indicate a malware threat. Quick detection allows for timely response.

 

Top IT Services From Sensible Business Solutions

Managed IT IT Support Consulting Outsourcing Help Desk Network Management Cybersecurity

 

…Or You Could Hire Experts to Take Your Share of That Responsibility

Although maintaining cloud security is easier than it may sound, we also understand that you simply may not have the time to dedicate to these practices. The good news is that you don’t have to.

Sensible Business Solutions can take on your share of cloud security responsibilities. We also offer a secure public cloud solution. That means we can take on both sides of it—you won’t have to worry about anything at all.

Contact us today to ask us our own recommended questions.

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