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How to Avoid Common Cloud Security Mistakes

Cloud computing is very important especially because of the increased volumes of data being produced every day. However, in today’s digital world, so many cases on data breach have surfaced leaving a lot of people with many questions on the best practices to secure their data. Hackers tend to come up with new tricks every day, and this makes people’s data more and more vulnerable. The truth is that cloud security issues are less dramatic as compared to other data storage and sharing platforms, and public cloud such as Google IBM or Microsoft are more secure than private ones.

However, both the customer and the provider has a responsibility to secure their cloud data, and here is a guideline on how to avoid common mistakes in regard to cloud security.

  1. Revealing Your Secrets

When your website or application is being developed your developer may leave your secrets in the application source code or configuration files, and this is like leaving a loophole for hackers to access these secrets. You must ensure that source codes are not attached to any secret and they use key management service to protect your secrets. Based on the cloud that you are using, you can utilize measures put in place to secure your secrets. For instance, Microsoft has a Key Vault that uses hardware security modules (HSMs), while Amazon Web Services (AWS) uses Secrets Service which is a managed service useful in securing secrets. You have a duty as a customer to ensure that your service provider has reliable measures to do all this.

  1. Exposing Your Root Account Details

Once your site or app is completed there is that highly privileged account that the first user uses to log in and thereon access all other interfaces as an administrator. One mistake that would expose your cloud data is by using the root account to carry out day-to-day administration duties or maintenance tasks. Sam Ovens says that such usage exposes you to the potential risk of being hacked. The main danger of your root account being hacked is that the perpetrator can use it to lock out other people, change their password, steal data, max out credit cards or destroy your resources. To avoid such issues, it is advisable that your highly-privileged accounts have limited access and they are closely monitored.

  1. Ignoring Multifactor Authentication (MFA)

After limiting access of administrative accounts to specific roles, you can now introduce the multifactor authentication which is an additional way of improving the security of your cloud data. When logging into your account as an administrator, you are usually required to input your username and password to gain access. MFA is now an additional security measure will require the user to input a random code that is usually sent or generated in something owned by the admin such as smartphone, USB security key or a virtual MFA device software. This means that even if a hacker accesses your login details, they will not have access to your data until they authenticate their logging in using information generated. Do not make a mistake of ignoring MFA for all users on your website or app development because it helps in controlling common cloud security issues.

  1. Poor Control Of Other Users

As an admin, you have the authority to allow other users to log in or to shut them out of your cloud system. However, if you do not effectively control the things that the least privileged users can do with the system, they might make a mistake that exposes your cloud platform to attacks. According to Sam Ovens, who is a successful digital marketing consultant, administrators need to control the permission given to every user. This is known as the principle of least privilege, and apart from improving security and reducing cloud system errors, it also becomes easy to trace every activity to the person who carried it out.

Cloud security issues can be reduced or avoided completely if only you can adhere to the best practices detailed above.

Author Bio: Douglas Pitassi is a small business blogger and freelance writer.


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