Cloud Security Is A Shared Responsibility – How Can Employees Do Their Part?

Pallavi Varanasi Cloud Security Expert - CloudCodes Software
  • April 17th, 2020

When the matter of data security is concerned, an organization has many weak links and one among them is often a careless employee. They are the soft targets to get past an organization’s defense mechanism and their sheer numbers are often a cause for concern for any firm. So, no matter how strong or sophisticated software a firm has implemented, it still needs to look at the common threats and counteract the risky behavior with a shared responsibility of cloud security; thus enabling the enterprises to keep their data safe.

Vulnerable Password Practices

As per the reports of Verizon, 81% of the hacking-related breaches are caused by stolen or weak passwords. Thus, passwords have to be taken as the vulnerable means of these data security breaches by an organization, and there are certain things they can do to reduce the risk with shared responsibility. Implementing single sign-on (SSO), and not using default passwords are some of the best password practices an organization can implement so that the data is secure. Even though nothing much can be done to change employees’ behavior, the organization has to watch out for these three standard practices that most of the employees make, as follows:

  • Weak Passwords: Weak Passwords, even though easy to remember, are still easier to crack. New guidelines have come about propagating the use of passphrases. These are longer than passwords but simple and memorable. They are more secure, even without the addition of special characters. These necessarily do not make sense as a complete sentence, and it may be something that your mom used to tell you. They are unknown to the hacker and make sense only to you.

  • Password Re-Uses: Employees find it easy to re-use the same password across all applications, especially when your organization doesn’t have a single sign-on. It becomes a problem when the hacker gains access to the password. Here password managers can help the employees to choose multiple memorable passphrases and how to handle them effectively.

  • Password Sharing: It may seem harmless for employees to share their passwords with their colleagues so that they can handle the accounts in their absence, but it can pose a significant risk. The passwords can be stolen, guessed, or hacked quickly, making it harder to change it. Thus ways must be found to provide access to only authorized users and some auto-forwarding facility during an employee’s absence.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) or the two-step authentication is the best way to secure an account even if the password is compromised. This protection feature is employed in privileged accounts where data is very confidential and may also allow users to move throughout the network.

Common Cyber Attacks

It is the work of the employees that they are vigilant and informed, however harsh it may be because it is the first step in preventing what could be a significant data breach. Phishing among these is the most common of the enterprise security attacks that take place wherein a hacker tries to manipulate the recipient by tricking him into revealing confidential information or performing specific tasks that will compromise their account. 

Cloud Security is a shared responsibility, so the employees are trained to look out for suspicious emails, names, links, and emails that are incorrect and don’t match, spelling mistakes, or urgent messages. Sophisticated attacks can be tough to spot, but it does not harm keeping the employees informed and prepared.

Organizations need to be vigilant about the unsecured wireless connections and malware downloaded from unfamiliar sites. Organizations need to bolster their defense against such attacks by installing authorized applications on devices, use of secure wireless connections, and performing regular cloud security scans. The organization should encourage employees to report anything suspicious because a false alarm is still better than a neglected enterprise security breach.

Cloud Security Is A Shared Responsibility

Organizations need to implement the right data security solutions. It is a shared responsibility to stay up-to-date with software, monitor for cloud security breaches, and adequately train their employees if they are to keep themselves secure. But the onus also lies on the employees to do their part in securing data. The employees can indeed become the most reliable links in your defense against cyber threats when they understand and put in their efforts to follow a culture of enterprise security and vigilance in the organization.

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