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Network Security Risks Of Cloud Storage

Network security in the cloud has several inherent risks, but if handled correctly cloud storage can actually be more secure than on-premises servers. Cloud storage is quickly becoming standard in modern business as it offers lower costs and greater scalability compared to on-prem servers.

Cloud Storage Risks

Given this mass migration to cloud infrastructure, it is critical to understand the risks involved. They include:

  1. Privacy - When you store data onsite it is relatively easy to ensure that your data remains private. When your sensitive data is stored elsewhere, it can be difficult to know exactly how protected it is.
  2. Control - Trusting the management of your data to a third party means that if something goes wrong, you will have to wait for them to fix it.
  3. Shared Servers - Data saved to the cloud is still stored on servers, but they are owned and operated by a third party and those servers are typically shared between customers. This means that there is a potential risk from another customer unknowingly uploading malware to your shared servers.
  4. Manual Backups - There are exceptions, but most cloud storage providers do not provide the functionality to back up data automatically. You must regularly back up your data yourself in order to be able to bounce back quickly from a security event.
  5. API/Storage Gateways - APIs and storage gateways are used to migrate and manage data from the user to the storage provider. This can be incredibly useful, but an insecure gateway or API can cause massive data problems.
  6. Device Security - All of the devices that access your data in the cloud are potential threats. With many enterprises now allowing employees to bring their own devices, this risk has become more significant than ever.  

Network Security Measures

As we have discussed previously, network security in the cloud requires a few different measures and techniques from a traditional on-prem network. While many of these are also possible on-premises, the expense would be prohibitive for most organizations. Measures to mitigate risk include:

  1. Encryption - With on-prem storage, a physical device called a hardware security module can be used to store your data encryption keys behind a firewall. This is a bit more security than cloud storage can offer, so many cloud providers are now offering on-prem storage for your encryption keys. This means that all data is encrypted on site behind a firewall so that even if hackers manage to hijack your files, they won’t be able to de-encrypt them.

  2. User Access Management - Cloud storage infrastructure should be set up with multi-factor authentication, time-restricted access, and other advanced tools that can be configured easily by your IT team.

  3. Security Awareness Training And Phishing Testing - 95% of all data breaches involve human error. That means that your best defense is a good offense, in the form of training your employees to recognize and avoid dangerous behaviors.

  4. Policy Compliance Monitoring - Hand in hand with security awareness training comes compliance monitoring. It is critical to have policies in place and ensure that they are consistently adhered to because it only takes one lazy password or thoughtless click to endanger your entire network.

  5. Network Segmentation - A single flat network provides cybercriminals with an expansive attack surface. They only need to successfully breach your perimeter once, then they are able to move laterally through your entire network. When we segment a network, we partition a physical network into separate, logical sub-networks. We then distinguish the sub-networks and create unique security controls and services for each of them. Dividing your network into isolated sub-networks enables the isolation of an active attack before it can spread over the whole network.

  6. Managed Security Services - Managed services are available from RAVENii that provide continuous monitoring 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Automated management that constantly scans your cloud applications and network for threats and detects attacks before they happen can save your organization from the nightmare of a data breach. A managed security service provider, or MSSP, predicts threats proactively and responds quickly and effectively, greatly reducing the odds of a successful cyberattack.

For more information about network security and managed services available from RAVENii, click here or call (844) 317-0944.


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