How Businesses Are Identifying and Responding to Cloud Threats

Business.com / Technology / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

If implemented properly, a cloud infrastructure can be cost-saving, efficient and sales-driving, but address the risks to avoid risks.

The cloud has many advantages businesses may or may not have a clear picture of.

If implemented right, a cloud infrastructure can be cost-saving, efficiency-boosting, and sales-driving.

Any business, however, that does not address the risks of threats can be doing themselves a big disfavor.

That’s why Enterprise Risk Management, so identified by the acronym ERM, is an important practice.

Enterprises often concentrate on specific risks. A focus on the strategic risks can be a better approach because it requires a plan to address risk in line with corporate goals.

Related Article: Finding Comfort in the Cloud: Resolving Security Fears Around Cloud Computing

Actual technology risks provide a higher level of focus. That’s in conjunction with trying to thwart individual hackers, which should never be ignored.

A popular survey found that nearly half of companies picked social media as a technology risk. Data mining/analytics, mobile apps, cloud computing, and cyber-attacks were other leading risks identified.

Many organizations admitted their risk management system did not support how their organization was developing and executing an overall strategy.

Addressing Cloud Threats Head On

It’s good to have a philosophy and business mission that supports risk management. There’s a lot more to it than having a clear picture of strategic risk.

Many companies are enlisting vendors to help with 24/7 monitoring and mitigation. Some vendors are going further by integrating multiple security tools from online sources.

The IBM Threat Protection System is one of them. It actually interfaces with more than 100 other vendors to use hundreds of security tools at once to maximize your organization’s cybersecurity posture.

Threat identification and response is also coming from changes in strategy. There are several principles emerging in this area.

Enterprises are implementing such principles as adaptive access control. It requires assessing the level of trust based on a risk analysis conducted during the time of access.

Current conditions reflect whether a user may be logged in or not, based on the device and where it is, and changing social risk profiles.

Other Methods Include

Sandboxing

Since many attackers are bypassing traditional security measures, newer security systems are looking at virtual machines to identify any signs of compromise.

Sandboxing can help correlate a suspected incident with data from other parts of the network and specific endpoints. A practice now called, content detonation is used to protect sensitive data.

Related Article: How to Watch for Potential Security Vulnerabilities In Cloud Computing

Endpoint Detection

Threats revealing themselves at desktops, laptops, tablets, and other endpoints can now be monitored for more reliability.

Events are recorded in a centralized database and assessed by analytical tools, which search databases so tasks for improving security can be found. This helps find attacks early and respond, while providing resources for investigation and remediation.

Machine-Readable Threat Intelligence

Relying primarily on third-party sources, reputation-based threat intelligence relies on a real time rating. User, device, and URL/IP address reputation can be assessed in real time. The resulting score is used to decide whether an end user has access.

Containment/Isolation

Any unknown interaction is treated as one that can’t be trusted. Containment is enhanced by virtualization, remote presentation, and other techniques, thereby separating the outside world from sensitive cyber resources.

Virtualization is a popular method and has been accepted by 20 percent of enterprises in 2016 compared to nearly none at all two years ago.

IoT Gateways/Firewalls

Automation systems in utility companies and manufacturing plants include many operational assets. Security gateways and firewalls help manage the software assets in these systems and identify and respond to threats involving interconnected devices, systems, and sensors.

Application Security Testing

Vulnerabilities in applications are analyzed to confirm whether or not they have been exploited. One can more successfully find points of origin by looking at the application code, and identify and disable any potential attack.

There are many new ways businesses are identifying and responding to the cloud threats of the day. Some may be familiar while others not.

The tools are currently shifting to working with enterprise strategy and separating data, virtual infrastructure, and software defined storage from networks where attackers can do serious damage.

Related Article: Head in the Clouds: Can Your Business Fully Operate in the Cloud?

The idea is to provide an additional line of defense. That makes it harder to infiltrate and gives businesses a battle zone to block, find, and respond to threats before it’s too late.

 

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