The average small business now uses approximately 40-79 different cloud apps throughout their organisation.
Cloud tools often add up little by little, and some are used by employees without an organisation’s IT team even being aware (aka shadow IT).
Cloud solution adoption is nearly complete for many businesses in Thames Valley and the rest of the country. Any that may have been lagging behind, were certainly pushed to upgrade to keep their business running during the pandemic lockdowns.
The cloud offers multiple efficiency solutions and cost reductions, which is why using cloud technology for business processes has pretty much become the norm across the globe.
But now that so much business data is being stored in cloud applications, credential theft is on the rise. Hackers are looking for ways to compromise cloud accounts to access sensitive data, plant ransomware, take over account functions like email, and more.
Some of the latest statistics that illustrate the danger of not properly securing your company’s cloud account logins include:
- Credential theft has become the most popular goal of phishing scams
- 77% of cloud data breaches involve compromised login credentials
- Over 80% of all data breaches involve use of lost or stolen credentials or brute force
Protecting cloud accounts from being breached should be a top priority for any U.K. firm. Here are several tips for cloud account security to consider putting in place to ensure your data and accounts are protected.
Require Strong Passwords (Consider a Password Manager)
Weak passwords are often the first that are breached by hackers. Another problem is passwords being reused between different accounts. Employees adopt these poor password habits because they have too many passwords to remember.
Strong passwords should be required that have:
- At least 10 characters
- Both upper-case and lower-case letters
- At least one symbol
- At least one number
One way that you can ensure employees use strong passwords and don’t have trouble remembering unique passwords for every account is to use a business password manager.
A password management application stores all passwords securely, recommends strong passwords, and users only need to remember one password to access all the others.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication
One of the strongest protections you can have on your cloud accounts is multi-factor authentication.
Microsoft sees over 300 million fraudulent sign-in attempts on its services each day, and its recommendation for keeping your account safe is to enable multi-factor authentication (MFA).
MFA can block 99.9% of account takeover attempts.
To streamline your users’ experience between multiple cloud services that have MFA enabled, you can use a single sign-on (SSO) solution that allows employees to sign into all apps and enter the MFA code once.
Use a Cloud Assess Security Broker (CASB)
Cloud access security brokers, like Microsoft Cloud App Security, are becoming more popular as companies work to keep cloud accounts secure and regulate remote cloud access.
A CASB can enact multiple safeguards for all your cloud accounts, including:
- Identity & access management
- Cloud security posture management
- Data loss prevention
- Unified endpoint management
- Endpoint detection and response
- Discovery of shadow IT use
- Compliance evaluation of cloud apps
You can think of a CASB as a kind of firewall for all your cloud applications. It will monitor and manage all device access to cloud accounts, allow you to set cloud environment-wide security policies, and much more.
Implement Anti-Phishing Security
Phishing attacks designed to steal login credentials are prevalent and they’re only continuing to grow.
They will typically offer a link to a page that is designed to look just like a real login page for a cloud application. As soon as a user enters their login, the credentials are deployed in an automated attack on the account.
Phishing is responsible for most cyberattacks, so putting in anti-phishing safeguards can provide a layer of protection from cloud account compromise as well as many other types of attacks.
Some standard phishing best practices include:
- Having regular user awareness training on how to spot and avoid phishing scams
- Using an anti-spam and anti-phishing filter on your email server
- Putting DNS filtering in place to block malicious websites that phishing emails may direct users to
- Adding email authentication to detect and block email spoofing
Use the Right Cloud Security Account Settings
Misconfiguration of cloud account security settings is one of the factors that allows hackers to breach an account.
Settings in platforms like Microsoft 365 can be complicated for the typical user and administrators may not realise they’re leaving an important security setting at the wrong level.
It’s a good idea to work with a cloud IT professional, like NMX IT, that can help you ensure you have the proper security configuration in all your cloud accounts.
Get Help Securing Your Cloud Accounts & Data
NMX IT Solutions can ensure your Thames Valley area business has the proper safeguards in place to keep your cloud accounts and the data they hold secure.
Contact us today to schedule your consultation! Call 01628 232300 or reach out online.