Cloud technology has been essential for businesses that want to scale their organization, introduce remote work, or increase their storage in a cost-effective way.

However, businesses that adopted cloud technology also know that this technology comes with its own vulnerabilities. They have been battling the issues such as cloud misconfiguration and loss of stored data.

If you’re one of those businesses, you already have all the ‌tools that protect your cloud, and many even have IT teams or cybersecurity experts on hand to manage security software that protect your cloud environments.

Do the tools that you have truly work, and can you truly protect your organization against hacking threats?

How can organizations properly manage cloud security and discover any vulnerabilities that could lead to incidents early?

Assess Your Cloud Security

To discover whether your cloud security has weaknesses that can be exploited, ‌you must verify your cloud security tools, people who manage your cloud security, physical infrastructures, and written protocols.

One way to test your cloud cybersecurity is with penetration testing (AKA pen testing). Pen testing is done once or twice a year, and it’s conducted by cybersecurity experts.

By attacking your cloud computing environment, experts attempt to reveal if the existing security would be sufficient in case of a real hacking attempt. That kind of hacking is also known as ethical hacking, and it’s legal in the pen testing context.

Another way to test your cloud security is by using artificial intelligence — tools such as Breach and Attack Simulation. Automated tools test your security 24/7 to discover any possible threats or flaws in the system as soon as they appear.

For the best results, most companies use a hybrid of the automated technologies that test and analyze the cybersecurity and IT teams/manual management.

How can you know that you have tested the cloud infrastructure against all possible threats?

Start with the common threats that affect the cloud, such as DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service Attack) and account hijacking.

These are the threats for which you already have the tools to protect your cloud computing technologies.

Cloud environments also have to be protected against new hacking techniques. The database that businesses and cyber experts have been using to update security and protect their clouds against new threats and hacking attempts is the MITRE ATT&CK Framework.

Identify High-Risk Flaws

Not all vulnerabilities that have been discovered in the evaluation of cloud security are equal. High-risk weaknesses are those that are likely to cause a cyber breach, and low-risk flaws are less time-sensitive.

In the cloud environment, high-risk vulnerabilities could be misconfigured settings, issues with external data sharing, or insecure cloud interfaces.

Nowadays, you don’t have to analyze the data after completing manual testing. Tools that evaluate your security also generate a report that highlights top security concerns as well as possible sets that your IT teams can make to improve your cloud security.

For IT teams, getting the list of the high-risk threats means ‌they will be less overwhelmed with work and continual alerts.

Namely, many of the alerts they get might prevent them from reacting to the viable threat early if they brush it off as a false positive.

Patch Up Flaws in the Cloud Security

Following the evaluation of the security, you have the mitigation of possible weaknesses in the system.

If the simulated attack on the cloud has been successful, this shows that you have a vulnerability within your cloud that has to be fixed sooner rather than later.

Some vulnerabilities are more likely to lead to a cyber breach and that makes them the top priority and high-risk threats and vulnerabilities have to be remedied right away.

Possible weaknesses that you might discover in your cloud security are misconfiguration, weak passwords, and improper usage of the cloud security tools.

Flaws that you uncover indicate whether your employees and IT teams need more training, or which part of the cloud computing technology has a flaw that can be exploited by hackers.

Managing Cloud Security of Scaling Companies with Extended Security Posture Management

Growing businesses have complex security that requires management. More tools, protocols, and people are involved. On a larger scale, it’s getting more difficult to have cloud security under control and be on top of things all the time.

Even though larger businesses have IT teams that manage their cybersecurity, with a multitude of the security points, protocols, and tools that they have to operate, security can become overwhelming.

Long working hours and pressure can lead to burnout – something that’s caused many professionals to leave this lucrative field.

So, how can you keep the best IT talent all to yourself?

Besides asking them what they need and employing more staff, use tools such as Extended Security Posture Management that includes multiple tools for security management in one.

Another thing that can make security even more complex is that the cloud is only one type of technology that businesses need to operate — just like cloud technology, everything that companies use has to be secured.

More vulnerabilities could be hiding away in other kinds of technology that organizations use to operate — including emails, applications, and different software that facilitate the work of your employees.

Evaluate Security, Fix Flaws, and Repeat

Assessment of the existing cloud security to scan for possible threats and reveal any weaknesses that can lead to damaging cyber breaches is the first step in cloud security management.

The second step is to patch up any flaws that have been discovered in the evaluation and testing of the security — starting from high-risk vulnerabilities and moving on to those that are less likely to cause a data breach soon.

The last step is to return to the evaluation of the security and repeat this cycle of assessment, analysis of the flaws in the system, and their mitigation in within the cloud environment.