Cyber Attacks Increase During Shift to Remote Work. Are Your Cloud Services At Risk?

Working remotely via cloud services

Shifting to working remotely was, for many companies, a necessary result of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. But after over a year of working remotely, most employers — a whopping 78% — agree that remote work is here to stay, at least in some capacity.

While there are many benefits to working remotely, from reduced overhead costs to improved office morale, there are also downsides.

One major downside is that cybersecurity for cloud services works differently than network cybersecurity services. Because of this, cloud-based cyber attacks are a major threat to companies who have shifted to working remotely.

So, how do you know if your company is at risk? And, more importantly, what should you do about it? Let’s take a look.

The Risks with Cloud-Based Cyber Attacks

A recent report showed that data stored in clouds is more vulnerable to cyber attacks than data stored in organizations. This is because cloud storage is more likely to have configuration mistakes than network storage.

The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) has developed a list of the 11 biggest cloud security risks. These risks are:

  • Data Breaches
  • Misconfiguration
  • Lack of Cloud Security Strategy
  • Poor Identity/Credential Management when Accessing Cloud Data
  • Account Hijacking
  • Insider Threats
  • Insecure Interfaces
  • Weak Cloud Framework
  • Metastructure and Applistructure Failures
  • Limited Cloud Usage Visibility
  • Abuse of Cloud Services

These cloud computing security risks can have a huge impact on your company. Leaking data to people who shouldn’t have access or having people with low-level access seeing high-level company secrets has the ability to ruin the trust you’ve built with your customers. It also carries heavy ethical implications.

Why Did the Shift to Working Remotely Increase Cloud-Based Cyber Attacks?

There are two reasons that shifting to working remotely has increased cloud-based cyber-attacks.

One reason is that the cloud migration was too often handled hastily. The pandemic forced companies into remote work, rather than companies choosing to work remotely and planning for it.

Because of this, many businesses sought out cloud vendors so their employees could work from home without ensuring they had the cybersecurity framework to support cloud-based computing.

Another reason shifting to working remotely increased cloud-based cyber-attacks is the simple fact that so many companies did shift to working remotely at the same time. Hackers could sense the opportunity and shifted their attention to attacking cloud systems as a result.

Network Security and Cloud Computing Security

It’s easy to feel as if your company cannot be at risk of cyberattacks if you have a cybersecurity framework in place. Unfortunately, there is a huge difference between network security and cloud computing security. 

If your cybersecurity team was established with network security in mind, they may not be equipped to handle the challenges of cloud-based cybersecurity attacks.

Network security is all about securing a location. Cybersecurity officers trained in network security are primed to look for outside threats attacking your location and trying to get your data. They also know how to prevent employees from accessing information within your network that they shouldn’t be accessing.

However, this location-based security doesn’t work with cloud-based services. Cloud computing takes information that was once only in company servers and makes it accessible to multiple homes and locations. 

Protecting against data breaches can be difficult when you don’t know where your employees are accessing data from or what security measures they have in place to protect the data. 

Add to that the differing policies of multiple cloud computing vendors, and it’s easy to see why network cybersecurity teams may struggle to meet new demands.

Know if You Are At Risk for Cloud-Based Cybersecurity Attacks

If you use cloud computing, you could be at risk for cloud-based cybersecurity attacks.

However, this does not mean that no one should use cloud-based computing. Remote work is here to stay, and cloud-based computing is an easy, efficient way to help employees work remotely. What it does mean is that your cybersecurity needs to change to match your current needs.

One option is to change how you do cybersecurity. Many companies make a decision early on about whether to outsource IT or keep it in-house, but a better option is to continue to assess this question over time. IT is a necessary department, but that doesn’t mean that your current IT solution is functioning at its maximum potential.

In fact, many companies are now making the decision to keep some IT roles in-house and outsource others to reputable vendors. If you currently have an in-house network security team that is meeting your network needs but isn’t meeting your cloud security needs, it may be time to outsource enterprise cloud solutions.

This allows you to let a specialist manage cloud-based issues while keeping your current team in-house to keep up with network security.

Does Your Cybersecurity Match Your Needs?

Your cybersecurity system, or team, should be designed for dealing with cloud-based cybersecurity attacks.

If you’re using cybersecurity software or a cybersecurity team outside your office, check the fine print and make sure you’re the cybersecurity you’re using is for cloud-based needs, not just network needs.

If you have a team in your office, it may be time to have a conversation about what they’re doing to prevent cloud-based attacks. Continued training in cloud-based cybersecurity is a worthwhile investment for your team, especially when you consider the high costs associated with cybersecurity attacks.

How to Prevent Cloud-Based Cybersecurity Attacks

Some of the steps you can take to prevent cloud-based cybersecurity attacks include:

  • Training your employees to be wary of phishing attempts
  • Increasing social media security
  • Investing in data protection services
  • Monitoring endpoint devices

Before you can determine where to focus your efforts on preventing cybersecurity attacks, however, you’ll first want to assess your current risk level. Run a vulnerability test to determine the weak points in your cybersecurity. 

Once you understand your company’s weaknesses, you can take steps to amp up your cybersecurity efforts and prevent cloud-based cybersecurity attacks from interfering with your business.

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