Most IT professionals would agree that due to the abundance of remote working possibilities, it has become harder to secure company devices and networks, with more avenues for compromise, be it because of said devices connecting to unsecure Wi-Fi networks, threats to major collaboration platforms or man-in-the-middle attacks. Added to that, the number of IoT devices within and outside the workplace keeps rising, and both data and company networks need to be properly managed and secured.
Cloud security is one of those measures that can save a business several headaches when it comes to remote data, program, or device security. But what does it do, and how can it protect your company?
What is cloud security?
Cloud security refers to the protection of software, data, and infrastructure in cloud computing environments. As enterprises keep adopting more and more cloud services, ensuring their security has become a key consideration.
Cloud services such as Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace offer varied ways to access the centrally managed cloud data depository of apps, documents, and data in general, with company devices sharing these capabilities for a better workflow.
Before COVID, the rise of large collaboration platforms, the global adoption of Cloud 1st and others, it was perhaps easier to manage on-premises security, however because of increased work effectivity and even lower costs, cloud adoption has accelerated in recent years, with some saying that we are still far away from “peak cloud”, signaling that cloud technologies remain the largest value enabler in business technology.
With such a large rise in connected devices, thanks to them making our lives easier and businesses more efficient (allowing for opportunities such as hybrid work), monitoring will need to become more robust and effective, but that is only one part of a working cloud security strategy, as there are many more considerations to be taken into account.
Cloud security is complex, but it doesn’t need to be
Whether we like it or not, businesses, especially IT admins of businesses, are now finding themselves often overwhelmed due to the sheer amount of tasks and IT commitment cloud management requires, with many professionals suffering burnout, with the latter being especially true in the cybersecurity business.
The reason why is obvious, but less so for those without the capacity to analyze such issues, with the day-to-day business often taking away time from these considerations. The truth is that for companies, even those not opting for hybrid work, data security will remain an issue, even on-premises. For businesses with understaffed departments, it is harder to rightly and on time detect and respond to problems that can arise, and even for those with enough staff, security environments can be so complex that delays to critical response can occur, costing firms precious capacity and/or impact business.
The movement to more modern avenues of work has created further incentives and access points for criminals to exploit, and with the sheer amount of apps companies can use to conduct their business, not to mention the abundance of IoT devices (projectors, smart walls, smartphones, laptops, etc.), it is no wonder that now whole supply chains can be targeted.
The complexity that is now a norm has given rise to terms such as alert/alarm fatigue, weariness from constant notifications leading to missed and ignored alerts, resulting in a delayed response. With this in mind, one needs to ask how cloud security could be made less complex, but also robust at the same time. Apart from having some form of endpoint security protection, enterprises also need to consider the fact that their endpoints can move, and can take their network access and files with them.
ESET has recognized this as an avenue that needs further protection, which is why it offers preventive protection for cloud-based applications such as email, collaboration, and storage. ESET Cloud Office Security (ECOS) provides advanced protection against malware, spam, or phishing attacks with ultimate zero-day threat defense and an easy-to-use cloud management console.
Cloud worries – some mitigation strategies
Starting from ground zero, businesses can have three basic worries when it comes to cloud security; among these, we can count:
1. Risk mitigation:
A company head might want to instill measures to lower cybersecurity risks and maintain business continuity.
2. Data stored in the cloud:
File transfers on company cloud storage can happen between internal and external parties.
3. Ransomware, questionable files:
Usually in the form of infected attachments, malware can have devastating effects on companies. These three basic worries create enough incentive for companies to pursue stricter security measures, and in essence, all of these underline one single issue, which is the complexity of the threat landscape and the consequences it can bring forward.
However, products like ECOS offer ways one can mitigate cloud threats, specifically those related to Microsoft 365 apps. If you are worried about malware entering your network through infected emails, ECOS automatically submits suspicious attachments to ESET LiveGuard Advanced, isolating it in a cloud sandbox environment, detecting and remediating incoming threats.
For any company to secure business continuity in the case of an attack, informing the employees about threats is almost as important as the protection suite, so cybersecurity awareness trainings are also something to be considered. These lower the chance of human error, both at work and home, in a two-for-one scheme.
But what about cloud storage? Surely, if a company already has file server security protection, it does not need an additional measure to protect cloud-based files. Understandably, server security coupled with endpoint security offers some peace of mind, but since file exchanges can also happen between internal and external parties, it can prove to be dangerous, as cloud storage can spread malware across multiple devices if in use. In turn, additional security for the cloud storage medium should be considered.
Why ESET Cloud Office Security makes sense for businesses
As discussed previously, cloud solutions can be quite powerful and enticing, but they do have their issues, largely thanks to the number of interactions that happen between devices on the cloud network.
To properly secure your online storage, apps, or email, solutions like ESET Cloud Office Security create another layer of defense, mitigating user error both inside the company premises and outside of them.
For a business that is trying to lower the attack surface it can be exposed to, ECOS makes perfect sense, as thanks to its cloud-powered machine learning technology, it offers reliable security for MS365 apps, which are often targeted by bad actors, most famously through infected email attachments, or even by infecting macros.
All in all, it is better to be safe than sorry, and being proactive in cyber defense measures is one way to mitigate the threats of the online working world.