A significant number of Indian organizations are experiencing data breaches in their cloud environments, indicating the importance of securing cloud data well. According to the Thales Cloud Security Report 2023, India faces a grave threat to its cloud assets, with more than 35% of respondents reporting to have experienced cloud data breaches last year. Disturbingly, the primary cause of these breaches was attributed to human error by most respondents, with 52% in India and 55% globally pointing to this factor.
The rising need of securing cloud data
- Organizations are moving a growing volume of sensitive data to the cloud. Almost 68% of businesses in India and 75% globally say that over 40% of the data stored in the cloud is classified as sensitive. However, just 19% of Indian IT professionals (22% globally) reported encrypting over 60% of their sensitive cloud data.
- Only 41% of organizations around the world have implemented zero trust controls in their cloud infrastructure, while an even smaller percentage (38%) use these controls within their cloud networks.
- Multicloud adoption is on the rise worldwide, with more than 79% of organizations utilizing multiple cloud providers. However, despite the expansion of cloud usage, managing data in the cloud remains a significant challenge. 44% of Indian organizations expressed that cloud data management is more complex than traditional on-premises environments.
- The number of organizations employing 51-100 different Software as a Service (SaaS) applications increased to 22% in 2023. Over 38% of respondents globally ranked SaaS applications as the top target for hackers, closely followed by cloud-based storage (36%).
- Furthermore, concerns surrounding data sovereignty and compliance have heightened, with 83% of global respondents expressing worries about data sovereignty and 55% agreeing that data privacy and compliance in the cloud have become more challenging.
How to strengthen cloud security in organizations
Given the increasing cyber threats, both in India and worldwide, it is crucial to treat cloud environments as an extension of existing infrastructure. Organizations must prioritize maintaining exclusive control and ensure the safety of their data to enhance cloud security.
To enhance the security of cloud assets, organizations should consider the following strategies:
Robust Encryption: Prioritize the implementation of encryption measures to protect sensitive data stored in the cloud. Encrypt data both at rest and in transit to provide an additional layer of security against potential breaches.
Effective Key Management: Establish comprehensive key management systems to maintain control over encryption keys. This enables organizations to leverage the benefits of cloud such as scalability, cost efficiency, and accessibility while ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of their information.
Embrace Zero Trust Architecture: Adopt a zero trust approach to cloud security by implementing strict identity verification and access controls. This framework requires continuous verification of user identities and scrutinizes all access requests, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access.
Identity and Access Management (IAM): Implement robust IAM practices, including multi-factor authentication, to enhance access controls and prevent unauthorized access to cloud assets.
Regular Security Updates: Keep security measures up to date by promptly applying software patches and updates. Keep a check on vulnerabilities and carry out security audits and assessments to identify and address potential weaknesses.
Employee Training: Provide comprehensive training programs to educate employees about cloud security best practices, data handling procedures, and the risks associated with cloud environments. This will help mitigate human error and strengthen the overall security posture.
Data Governance and Compliance: Develop robust data governance policies and ensure compliance with relevant regulations and standards. Establish clear protocols for data handling, privacy, and compliance within the cloud environment.
By implementing these measures, organizations can bolster the security of their cloud assets, safeguard sensitive data, and effectively combat cyber threats in the cloud. It is crucial to prioritize cloud security and take proactive steps to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data in the face of evolving cyber risks.