Posts Tagged Cloud Security

Best Practices For Cloud Security

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Different Areas Of Cyber Security

Cyber security strategies aim at protecting any user or organization’s inter-connected systems, hardware, software, and data from cyber attacks. Absence of stringent cyber security strategies can offer an opportunity for hackers to access the computer system and network and misuse organization’s data such as trade secrets, customer data, etc.

In order to formulate an efficient cyber security strategy, it is imperative to pay heed to all areas of cyber security.

Following are different areas of cyber security:

  • Critical Infrastructure Security: This area of critical infrastructure security consists of cyber-physical systems that modern societies rely on. Some examples of such systems include electricity grid, water purification, traffic lights, shopping centers, hospitals, etc. Hackers can attack the vulnerable infrastructure systems to gain access to connected devices. Organizations which are responsible for managing the infrastructure systems should perform due diligence to understand the vulnerabilities for society’s safety. Other organizations which are not responsible for the systems but rely on them for some part of their business operations should develop contingency plans to be prepared for any cyber attack or network breach that can be launched via an infrastructure system.
  • Application Security: It is one of the most important areas of cyber security strategies of an organization. The branch of application security uses both software and hardware methods to tackle external threats that can arise in development or implementation stage of an application. As applications are majorly accessible over network, they are highly vulnerable. Thus, it becomes highly important to include application security in cyber security strategy of an organization. Types of application security include antivirus programs, firewalls, and encryption programs. Application security techniques ensure that unauthorized access to applications is prevented. Also, these techniques can help organizations in detecting sensitive data sets and implementing relevant measures to protect these data sets.
  • Network Security: This area of cyber security guards an organization against unauthorized intrusion of internal networks due to malicious intent. Network security protocols inhibit access to internal networks by protecting the infrastructure. For better management of network security monitoring, network security teams use machine learning to flag abnormal traffic and issue threat alerts in real time. Common examples of network security protocols include multi-level logins, password security, etc.
  • Cloud Security: Cloud security is a software-based security tool that monitors and protects organizational or personal data stored in cloud resources. Increasing use of cloud services has made way for stringent cloud security strategies.
  • IoT Security: IoT devices can be highly vulnerable and open to cyber security attacks for numerous reasons including unawareness of users. Threat actors target IoT’s data centers, analytics, consumer devices, networks, legacy embedded systems and connectors. So, organizations have to implement stringent IoT security protocols.

For more information on different areas of cyber security, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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Common Malware Entry Points

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The Risks Of Cloud-Hosted Data

With the increasing need of improving efficiency and reducing latency, most organizations are opting for cloud-based services. However, there are some risks associated with using third party cloud hosting services. These risks may have an impact on various aspects of business which could have financial, legal and technical implications.

Some of the common risks associated with cloud-hosted data are:

  • Consumer Visibility & Control: As the operations of an organization are transitioned to the cloud, it results in shifting of some responsibilities to CSP (Content Security Policy), which may lead to organization losing visibility or control over certain operations and assets. For example, network based monitoring and logging, limits an organization from accessing the details about its own application or data which should otherwise be easily accessible to the IT department. Thus, it is important to thoroughly ask the cloud service provider about various cloud hosting models and the level of control available before transitioning the operations.
  • Unauthorized Use: In order to inculcate user-friendly approach, some cloud hosting service providers may allow self-service to the users. This gives end users the authority to add more services without seeking necessary permission from the IT department of the organization. The lack of extra security increases the chances of addition of malicious links or code in the application and use of unsupported software, which can lead to enormous security breaches. This makes it important to understand access levels and service specifications provided by cloud hosting company.
  • Cloud Data May Be Compromised: Most of the business applications use APIs (Application Programming Interface) to manage and interact with the cloud services. If there are any vulnerabilities in API security, hackers may access and attack cloud resources and data of an organization. Compromised organization assets can be further used to perpetrate attack against other linked customers.
  • Exploitation Of Software Vulnerabilities: A shared cloud hosting service is simultaneously used by different organizations. Thus, it is important for the service provider to maintain clear separation between the resources of different cloud hosting users. If the infrastructure fails to maintain this separation, it leads to the risk of cloud data leakage. This loophole provides the hackers a chance to access the cloud resources and assets of an organization to launch a successful data breach.
  • Stolen Credentials: If organization’s credentials are compromised, hackers can easily take over the entire application which could result in Identity Theft attacks, deleted information, defamation of application interface, etc.

The risks associated with cloud-hosted data may lead to financial losses. Also, the cyber-attacks resulting from these risks mark a blow to the reputation of an organization. Thus, it is important to choose a cloud-hosting model and service provider after thorough diligence.

For more information on managing the risks of cloud-hosted data, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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Reasons To Integrate DLP With Cloud Access Security Broker

Cloud based services play an important role in providing greater flexibility and access to core business applications. However, a major drawback of cloud computing is that the information stored and shared through these systems is highly vulnerable.  To tackle this vulnerability, cloud access security broker (CASB) solutions are being adopted by organizations for protecting data stored in both sanctioned and unsanctioned cloud applications. CASB can be installed on-premises or a cloud-based version of the software can be used as a security layer between the cloud application and service users to monitor the activity & enforce security measures. Another set of tools that is widely used by organizations to prevent data loss is DLP. Data Loss Prevention (DLP) tools classify the regular and critical data & identify security violations.

Cybersecurity firms are integrating CASB and DLP solutions to monitor & control sensitive data. This integration acts as a control point between users, accessible cloud services and the data stored in the cloud. Integrating DLP with Cloud Access Security Broker offers advantages like real time data protection and access management.

Following are other reasons to be considered for integrating DLP with CASB:

  • A rising number of businesses are falling victim to cyber-attacks and data breaches. Cyber criminals are targeting enterprises with malware attacks designed specifically for cloud platforms. They take advantage of loopholes like poor configurations, unauthorized devices and ill-defined access management because IT departments are not able to provide DLP coverage to these blindspots of cloud storage. However, integrating DLP with CASB solutions will help in providing comprehensive DLP coverage to protect sensitive data stored in the cloud.
  • >With the changing cyberattack scenario, it is essential to continually evolve industry’s response to these attacks. Standard network to endpoint workflow should no longer be assumed enough for protection against new and sophisticated malware attacks. Both DLP and CASB may have overlapping features but they fall short on cloud coverage and comprehensive coverage respectively. Thus, it is impossible to get complete cyber security coverage with just one solution. Integrating both solutions provides enhanced coverage to the cloud service users.
  • Integrating DLP and CASB is simple and easy. To integrate with a DLP solution, CASB uses ICAP protocol that sends the content to DLP for review. The DLP inspects files against its existing policies. Once a violation is identified, it sends the violation to the CASB cloud platform via the connector software. The CASB cloud platform enforces remediation action with the cloud service via API.

Most organizations are integrating DLP with CASB as a security standard to protect their data from impending threats.

For more information about IT and security risks, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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