Imagine that your job is to protect the valuables of your organization. Let’s say a single container holds these valuables. That sounds easy enough, right? Locks, keys, and cameras come to mind to prevent external bad-actors from swiping your prized possessions.
Now, let’s say times have changed for your organization. More people need access to these valuables to perform their job. So much so, that the valuables are moved outside of the container to allow for quick access – they can even be accessed on portable devices at the click of a button. This job starts to get complex, quickly.
If you’re familiar with cloud technology, this sounds a lot like the evolving role of information security. The role of information security has evolved from securing the valuable data of an organization from external attacks within system infrastructure and into securing more widely dispersed data in the cloud and on mobile devices. This change gives insiders including employees, third-party vendors, and contractors access to sensitive data. So how can organizations prevent data theft in the cloud?
Insider Threats Can Cause Irreparable Damage
The most significant threat to an organization’s data now lies with insiders who have easy access to sensitive information in the cloud, known as insider threats. With the increasing number of devices that have access to the cloud in conjunction with the availability of cybercrime-as- service, gives users the ability to do real damage without having to be tech-savvy or conspicuous.
With the proper tools and technology, organizations can secure their sensitive data to prevent data theft in the cloud and associated damages:
Below are three technological capabilities modern security professionals should have to protect sensitive information in their cloud environment and defend against the insider threat:
1. Privileged Access Management (PAM)
Elevated privileges are a major contributor to data breaches and heavily utilized by malicious actors both internally and externally. Privileged users hold the keys to your kingdom and may have the ability to bypass security protocols, access sensitive data across the entire organization, and even cover up their tracks. Often-times, privileged users aren’t audited at the depth that would allow employers to raise suspicion of activity. Organizations can use monitoring technology to spot anomalies in user behavior or escalation of privileges to ensure that the user’s you have entrusted most don’t abuse their access.
2. Data Loss Prevention (DLP) including Data Access Monitoring
It’s not just privileged users who have access to sensitive data. Due to the popularity of cloud applications, insiders usually have access to a wide variety of data to perform their job. As a result, insiders have the opportunity to export your data and take it to a competitor or sell it on the dark web. According to Accenture, 69% of enterprise security executives reported experiencing an attempted theft or corruption of data by insiders during the last 12 months. Organizations should implement technology to monitor user activity within cloud-based applications to spot exports, report viewing, and account access. This is one of the best ways to prevent data theft in the cloud.
3. Network Access Control (NAC)
Defending against insiders who use unsecured mobile devices pose an extreme risk to your network. Mobile devices that insiders connect to your network often -times have poor passwords, outdated software, and don’t limit internet connection. As a result, cybercriminals are targeting mobile devices to gain access to your cloud environment, with 16 million new incidents of mobile malware were detected in 2017. NAC allows you to govern which devices can access your network based on compliance. Devices that don’t pass are quarantined and brought up to compliance.
Securing Your Organization from the Inside Out and Prevent Data Theft in the Cloud
The landscape of security has changed dramatically in a rather short amount of time and will continue to evolve due to innovations in technology and cloud-based adoption. Securing your organization’s data means taking an inside-out approach. With FairWarning for Cloud Security, organizations can understand who is accessing what data inside their cloud-based applications to identify insider threats who may be misusing company data or exposing your organization to cybersecurity risk. This way, organizations can easily prevent data theft in the cloud without overextending their resources.