Security

One in five data breaches caused by misconfigured clouds

10th May 2021
Alex Lynn

To accommodate remote work and improve efficiency, 85% of IT organisations are considering or already using the public cloud. However, with some of their most crucial data still located within the corporate perimeter, NetOps must come up with new ways to achieve seamless integration. While the transition to the cloud itself is tricky, protecting the assets inside it is a different problem.

A study by Ponemon and IBM indicates that misconfigured cloud servers are responsible for 19% of data breaches and increased their average cost by half a million dollars. Despite relying on multi-cloud infrastructure, 52% of the organisations find it challenging to secure data stored in the public cloud.

Companies accept these shortcomings, as cloud computing increases effectiveness and visibility over complex networks. Particularly when most employees are working remotely and accessing resources from dispersed locations. Cloud computing also takes the workload from on-premise networks which often have limited capabilities to support mobile workforces.

“Disperse edge computing is an opportunity for small and medium IT companies because robust corporate infrastructure is no longer needed for effective and secure collaboration. Enterprises also reduce additional costs by following Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policies, but that requires thorough risk mitigation strategy based on authentication,” said Juta Gurinaviciute, the Chief Technology Officer at NordVPN Teams.

Software and IT companies secure their remote workers’ end-point devices, cloud apps, servers, and on-premise data centers by implementing Zero Trust frameworks.

Instead of focusing on user-to-network connectivity, it secures user-to-application gateways. A software developer doesn’t need to enter the network to access cloud resources from their home office, allowing admins to limit the actions each employee can perform within the system.

IP whitelisting limits access and increases visibility

IP whitelisting (also known as allow list) is another step to reduce potential cyberattack surface area. It is an approved list of trusted IP addresses that can enter the network or reach resources within it. Usually, administrators assign static and dedicated IP addresses to all employee devices to control access to high-risk software development environments.

“The Software and IT industry is particularly vulnerable to cyberthreats, as most of their operations are digital. Applications that are still in development rarely have proper security measures. Malicious users can access wider networks through them, compromising data, stealing assets and affecting operations,” added NordVPN Teams’ expert.

Organisations can minimise the surface area by whitelisting particular IPs, but manually setting this up can outprice the benefits for smaller companies. They can stay resilient by implementing easily scalable third-party solutions which come with a centralised control panel. Admins can add new devices with ease, providing access to contractors or freelancers working with particular projects.

Another important consideration is the compatibility of cloud infrastructure and IP whitelisting tools. As 89% of organisations are planning to move their security operations to the cloud, they are looking for coherent and compliant cybersecurity tools.

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