How to Mitigate the (App)licable Risks of the Cloud

Posted: November 6, 2018 / Author: Dror Liwer

How to Mitigate the (App)licable Risks of the Cloud

When it comes to cloud applications, such as Office 365, G-Suite, Dropbox, Slack and others, security is about the last thing on users’ minds. Despite these applications’ investing in security measures to harden their products, these companies can’t keep up with the increasing sophistication and frequency of threats targeting their vast user bases. As of 2017, Microsoft Office 365 has more than 120 million business users, and Dropbox has more than 500 million registered users. Bad actors know that with such a large user base, the odds of a successful attack are in their favor.

Many individuals and businesses believe that security is inherent with the cloud apps they use. And they’re not wrong – Office 365 has Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), while other cloud apps boast about their policies and commitment to protect consumers.

However, with the attack surface now being so extensive, today’s cloud app risks can be intentionally or unintentionally exploited by compromising users, devices and SaaS applications. This reality is especially troublesome for small businesses. A data breach at these organizations costs anywhere from $36,000-$86,000 per incident. With the costs of mitigation, remediation and business continuity escalating, it’s no wonder that according to the National Cyber Security Alliance, as many as 60% of small and medium-sized businesses go out of business after six months following a cyberattack.

 

Cloud App Risks Escalate with BYOD Policies

Business applications are designed for productivity: they aren’t designed to detect and respond to sophisticated cyber threats. Many businesses rely on cloud apps to store and organize their data – more than 50% of enterprises will adopt applications and services enabled by the cloud by the end of 2018, according to Forrester.

Most cloud apps are interconnected to some extent, designed that way for the convenience and productivity benefits that today’s increasingly remote workforce demands.

A lot of cloud-app risk for small and mid-sized business propagates from bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. While convenient, BYOD disables businesses and their security teams from controlling how devices are used, such as whether or not they connect to risky Wi-Fi networks or attempt to download malicious content.

One of the most common BYOD risk factors derives from employees using old operating systems or rooted devices. Unfortunately, many individuals are too slow or even unaware that a critical update is available, leaving vulnerabilities unpatched – such as those that protect against malware. Some individuals also “jailbreak” or modify restrictions imposed on the devices in order to install unauthorized software. Such actions can open up devices to threats that would normally be protected by manufacturers’ original settings. Other issues with BYOD policies include the loss of devices, the downloading of malicious apps and of course, rouge employees looking to remove data from the company.

 

CASBs, Costly Solutions and Complexity

Solving cloud app security is a complex task. Multiple companies offer multiple solutions, creating a patchwork of security tools that confuse rather than protect. This is because most security companies only offer solutions for one or two issues – not going far enough in terms of overall protection. Perhaps a company offers multi-factor authentication (MFA) but no behavior anomaly detection – which is what cloud apps need. Most unfortunately, security vendors that do offer solutions that can cover all cloud security needs are designed only for large enterprises – both in price and in scale.

Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs) provide some security benefits, but do not provide a true end-to-end security blanket. While CASBs can detect and monitor cloud app threats, they are blind to device and network threats that could impact the cloud app. Between cost and lack of total security control and response options, small and mid-sized businesses are left to continue to suffer the most from cloud app attacks.

 

Securing Cloud Apps with One Platform

How can small and mid-sized businesses continue to power their workdays with the use of cloud apps, but remain just as secure as the enterprise? Coronet’s platform automatically protects cloud apps by providing real-time visibility and control over who has access to apps and data, and by monitoring all activity inside of each cloud service. It provides enterprise-grade security within small business budgets.

The platform is also designed with user-friendly controls that that make securing small and mid-size businesses simple for the whole company, with no hardware to install. It can generally be implemented in less than an hour, which means no major down-time for operations. Driven by AI technology, Coronet can automatically identify and mitigate threats, ensuring that the integrity, confidentiality and availability of customers’ sensitive business data, networks and devices always remains intact.

The world of business is powered by the cloud and the applications that utilize the technology. But there are inherent risks with the use of cloud apps that need to be understood and protected against. At Coronet, we aim to democratize cybersecurity and bring “cyber to the people” and their cloud applications. Our platform can secure your cloud apps so you can continue to keep your mind on your business.

If you think your data needs to be better secured within cloud apps, signup for a free trial of Coronet’s platform today.

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