Cybersecurity 101-A Concise Best Practice Guide
Cybersecurity 101-A Concise Best Practice Guide
As of January 2021, there are more than 4.66 billion active internet users globally according to Statista.
This number is great for businesses, especially those that are powered by the digital economy. This has led to more businesses embracing the tech age as well as the opportunities that come with it, but with great adoption of the internet also comes the increasing presence of cybercriminals. The activities of these criminals cannot be ignored, as they are capable of crashing any business. Business leaders who wish to remain in business must pay better attention to cybersecurity.
A cyberattack can occur when an innocent employee clicks a malicious link from a device belonging to the business. The drill has to affect the least person associated with the business. There is a real threat out there, your business and your assets are at stake. Everyone in your business needs to understand this as much as you do. Therefore, you might want to deploy your systems to the cloud, and you will realize that many security processes and best practices remain the same. However, you will encounter a new set of challenges that you will be required to overcome in order to maintain the security of your cloud-based systems and data.
To help you overcome some of these challenges, we’ve compiled a series of security best practices for cloud-based deployments.
1. Train Your Users
Your users are the first line of defense in secure cloud computing. Their knowledge and application of security practices can be the difference between protecting your system or opening a door for cyber attacks.
As a best practice, make sure you train all your users – staff and stakeholders – who access your systems in secure cloud practices. Make them aware of how to spot malware, identify phishing emails, and the risks of insecure practices.
For more advanced users – such as administrators – directly involved in implementing cloud security, consider industry-specific training and certification. You’ll find a series of recommended cloud security certifications and training later in the guide.
2. Secure Your User Endpoints
Another element of cloud security best practice is to secure your user endpoints. The majority of users will access your cloud services through web browsers. It’s therefore critical you introduce advanced client-side security to keep your users’ browsers up-to-date and protected from exploits.
You should also consider implementing an endpoint security solution like Sophos Intercept X to protect your end-user devices. Vital with the explosion of mobile devices and remote working, where users are increasingly accessing cloud services through devices not owned by the company.
Look for a solution that includes firewalls, antivirus, and internet security tools, mobile device security, and intrusion detection tools.
3. Implement a Strong Password Security Policy
A strong password security policy is best practice regardless of the service you are accessing. Implementing the strongest policy possible is an important element in preventing unauthorized access.
As a minimum requirement, all passwords should require one upper-case letter, one lower-case letter, one number, one symbol, and a minimum of 14 characters. Enforce that users update their password every 90 days and set it so the system remembers the last 24 passwords.
A password policy like this will stop users from creating simple passwords, across multiple devices, and defend against most brute force attacks.
As an additional layer of security best practice and protection, you should also implement multi-factor authentication. Requiring the user to add two – or more – pieces of evidence to authenticate their identity.
4. Control User Access
Implementing tight control of user access through policies is another cloud security best practice. Helping you to manage the users that are attempting to access your cloud services.
You should start from a place of zero trust, only affording users access to the systems and data they require, nothing more. To avoid complexity when implementing policies, create well-defined groups with assigned roles to only grant access to chosen resources. You can then add users directly to groups, rather than customizing access for each individual user.
5. Choose a Trusted Provider
The foundation of cloud security best practice is built on selecting a trusted service provider. You want to partner with a cloud provider who delivers the best in-built security protocols and conforms to the highest levels of industry best practice.
A service provider who extends a marketplace of partners and solutions to you in order to further enhance the security of your deployment.
The mark of a trusted provider is reflected in the range of security compliance and certifications they hold. Something any good provider will make publicly available. For example, all leading providers like Azure and offer transparent access where you can confirm their security compliance and certifications.