The Great Resignation of 2021 has put tremendous pressure on employers, and the challenges aren’t over yet. Great Resignation statistics show that U.S. workers continue to resign from their jobs voluntarily — in fact, over 4 million workers quit in February 2023.
Companies must get more done with fewer resources and do everything to attract high-quality employees. Many turned to cloud applications to build a mobile, remote workforce and tap into a larger talent pool while meeting fast-evolving customer and employee expectations.
Even though this approach offers many advantages, it poses various cloud security risks. The Great Resignation exacerbated these cloud data security issues as organizations overlook the importance of security in the cloud as they scramble to fill roles and stay productive.
There are many opportunities for MSPs and MSSPs to step in and help their clients enhance their cloud computing security to keep benefiting from advanced technologies while minimizing the risks. Here’s what you need to know.
What is Cloud Security?
Cloud security is a common topic, but it isn’t just about turning on two-factor authentication (2FA) or assigning access privileges.
Cloud computing security is a broad set of processes, policies, technologies, applications, and controls. They work together to protect virtualized IP, data, applications, services, and cloud computing infrastructure from threats. These include distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, malware, unauthorized user access, etc.
What Are the Security Risks of Cloud Computing?
The Great Resignation has exacerbated many cloud computing security risks as companies rush to migrate to the cloud, onboard new employees, and stitch together multiple applications to solve the “problems du jour” without a holistic strategy.
These top cloud security risks include misconfigured security settings, compromised credentials, insecure APIs, lack of network visibility, the proliferation of endpoints and devices, shadow IT, unauthorized data sharing, data loss, non-compliance with data privacy laws, and inadequate due diligence.
Using cloud-based applications without the appropriate security measures can vastly increase a company’s attack surface. MSPs and MSSPs should educate their clients about these cloud computing security risks and provide guidance to mitigate them.
The good news is that it’s not too late for your clients to take the right actions and strengthen their security posture.
How to help your clients mitigate Cloud Security risks
Here’s how MSPs and MSSPs can help their clients navigate cloud security risks made more challenging by the Great Resignation:
1. Conduct a Cloud Security Risk Assessment
The first step in cloud security risk management is to gain a 50,000′ view with a cloud security risk assessment to uncover potential vulnerabilities in a cloud-based system. It helps you understand where a client’s sensitive data is, how it’s shared, existing cloud security configurations, and security controls in all cloud-based applications.
The process helps you identify all assets stored in the cloud, classify the data, understand the potential threats, evaluate the risks, and create a plan to implement necessary controls. These may include performing a pen test, updating patch configurations and firewalls, reviewing access control, and auditing traffic logs.
2. Achieve Cloud Network Security
Most companies use a mix of public and private cloud services, increasing the complexity of their IT infrastructure. Moreover, cloud environments are dynamic and fast-changing — tools and techniques that work for an on-premise architecture aren’t enough to keep up with the new technologies and compliance requirements.
You can’t protect what you can’t see, so achieving complete visibility into cloud networks and user activities is paramount. Help your clients combine on-premise and cloud security to eliminate silos and blindspots, making it less likely that threat actors can move between networks undetected.
Use a risk-based vulnerability management solution that covers cloud applications, on-premises networks, containers, and remote endpoints to detect misconfigured cloud assets. Also, implement an advanced security information and event management (SIEM) system to aggregate data to inform real-time decisions.
3. Implement Cloud Security Monitoring
Ongoing monitoring ensures that a cloud-based infrastructure stays secure and compliant at all times. Use the latest technologies to collect, aggregate, and parse data from every SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS app to detect potential breaches or malicious activities (e.g., unauthorized access and suspicious login attempts) in almost real time.
For example, inSOC’s cloud security monitoring solution helps MSPs and MSSPs monitor front and back door access to their clients’ cloud-based applications. Using single sign-on (SSO) technology, you can see everything in Microsoft Azure, M365, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Workspace, and PSA software all in one place.
4. Provide Employee Education
Human errors are often the weakest link in the cloud security chain. Bad actors can use social engineering techniques (e.g. phishing) to trick employees into giving up their login credentials to various cloud platforms their company uses to handle sensitive business and customer data.
MSPs and MSSPs should help their clients implement ongoing employee training to fight against social engineering schemes. Support employees with the right tools, such as password managers and SSO capabilities, to minimize the risks of password fatigue as companies use a growing number of cloud applications.
Additionally, help your clients prevent shadow IT by ensuring employees get the software they need to do their job. Shadow IT prevents you from gaining complete visibility into your client’s data infrastructure — remember, you can’t protect what you can’t see — employees using unsanctioned apps will impact your ability to protect a client’s data.
Mitigating data security risks in Cloud Computing
As MSPs help their clients move their data and IT infrastructure to the cloud, they must also provide the protection customers need to keep sensitive information safe and comply with various data privacy regulations.
But building a security operations center (SOC) with all the technologies and capabilities isn’t a stroll in the park. Plus, many MSPs are also struggling with the staff shortages caused by the Great Resignation!
The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone. inSOC’s SOC-as-a-Service solution gives you access to all the tools, processes, and expertise you need to help your clients secure their cloud environments. Get in touch to see how we can help you deliver top-notch cloud security services while increasing profitability.
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