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October 3, 2023

Cloud Security Best Practices

Our data moves across numerous multi-cloud, hybrid cloud, or distributed public cloud services. As cloud adoption accelerates, the need to manage security risks in these dynamic environments grows.

With these architectures, organizations can be overwhelmed by the sheer number of services they need to protect, where a single configuration error can result in a serious data breach.

In fact, according to a Gartner study, “almost all successful attacks on cloud services are the result of customer error and misconfiguration.” If we look deeper, the figure rises to 99% of security breaches, which is a very worrying statistic.

Your data is your most valuable asset, so how do you detect misconfigurations and suspicious activity, how do you keep your data safe, and what strategy should your company adopt? We have compiled a list of top tips to help you protect your data in the cloud and have the right tools to ensure its privacy.

Use encrypted services and strong passwords

It may seem obvious, but approximately 90% of all passwords can be cracked in seconds. Passwords are the first line of defense in stopping access to your company’s information, so choosing a strong, unique password, changing it frequently, and not repeating it on other accounts makes it harder for cybercriminals to access your data.

Encryption, both at rest and in transit, is vital for cloud security. Encrypted data is transformed into a code that only someone with the correct key can decode. This method protects against unauthorized access to data and provides an additional layer of security.  

Identify your assets in the Cloud

It is not enough to protect a portion of our data hosted in the cloud; we must also pay attention to everything on the network, as they will help us against access by unauthorized persons, as well as prevent data breaches and protect sensitive information against access or theft.

Therefore, one of the first steps is to identify the systems, applications, services, and scripts running in your cloud environment to determine whether they are secure and compliant. Next, the assets hosted in the cloud, including accounts, VPCs, regions, buckets, S3, RDS, etc., must be mapped.

It is very important to understand where your sensitive data is stored and processed, as this will help you establish a baseline of your current operational state, as well as prioritize the services with the most critical threats and accelerate remediation.

It is also crucial to catalog and discover data assets. This will make it easier to track where they are stored, who is using them, and what they are used for. In fact, this classification helps ensure security and compliance.

Validate Compliance and Governance

Achieving and maintaining compliance with security frameworks will be key to keeping our data safe. That’s why enabling governance and enforcement of specific security controls in your organization will allow cloud teams to easily validate compliance for auditors and customers.

You should continuously track the progress of cloud compliance against benchmarks and standards through detailed reports and alerts. So you can accelerate the meantime to respond with guided remediation advice.  

Use a multifactor authenticator

Opting for multi-factor authentication, or MFA is a way to implement an additional layer of security when accessing data and applications. Each time someone logs into the account, they will need additional information in addition to the password.

This authentication method can include answering a secret question, giving a unique PIN, or entering a code the cloud provider sends by email or SMS.

This method can also be implemented before downloading attachments or related actions.  

Create and update protocols and software

Having a security protocol in place and constantly updating it is a key factor in laying the foundation for protecting your data. Taking a proactive approach to enforcing data procedures will clarify your business expectations and convey to your team the importance of cyber security.

In addition, firewalls anti-virus or anti-spyware software are very important tools to combat security breaches. However, it is essential to configure and automate them correctly so they do not become obsolete.  

Train your employees

Making your team aware of the potential dangers of their actions in an online environment is crucial for them to be vigilant and not fall into potential traps or phishing attacks.

Attacks can take many forms, whether through email, malware, or DoS attacks. Training them on identifying these attacks and acting when confronted with them to alert your IT team can make the difference in stopping a potential attack in time.  

Have a backup copy

Attacks by cyber criminals often result in malicious deletion of data. This is why the IT team must have an automated remote backup system in place to support the loss of important data so that it can be recovered and operations can continue as normal.

This backup encompasses cloud, local, and offline backup, which can preserve data on local storage (such as an external hard drive), data used on the internet, and offline data.  

Performs Pentesting tests

Penetration tests are simulated cyber-attacks that attack a company’s computer system to check for exploitable vulnerabilities. It helps augment the application firewall (WAF), adjust security policies, and patch vulnerabilities.

Why are they important? Hackers exploit vulnerabilities in company systems through automated tools that find these weaknesses.

Companies performing regular penetration tests and hacking simulations to find security gaps improve their systems’ security and prevent data breaches.  

Anticipate the risk of permissions in the cloud

Accounts and roles with too many permissions are some of the most common security issues in cloud configuration. Managing this excess can be complicated, as IAM policies can often combine resources, actions, and identities.

Implementing least privilege access is crucial to avoid data leakage risks and prevent privilege escalation or lateral movement.

These access reviews should include identifying active and inactive users and their associated permissions. With this overview in place, the right and necessary permissions can be applied to perform critical tasks on an ongoing basis to achieve firmer, out-of-the-box dashboards that summarise vital risks.  

Have a professional security provider

Implementing all these strategies properly is impossible without relying on a specialized technology partner who can study your case and design the best roadmap for your business.

Running a business is enough of a responsibility and time investment, so a security expert can help you stay protected against attacks and advise you on best practices. 


At Plain Concepts, we are very aware of the consequences of a business data breach; that’s why we have the best team of experts to help our clients face the new challenges of the digital age.

We propose a Zero Trust approach, a model that assumes potential data breaches and verifies each request as if it came from an uncontrolled network. With this model, every access request is strongly authenticated, authorized within policy constraints, and inspected for anomalies before access is granted. Everything from the user’s identity to the application’s hosting environment is used to prevent breaches.

In addition, AI and analytics help us identify what has happened, what has been compromised, and how to prevent it from happening again. If you want to protect one of the fundamental pillars of your organization and your employees, make an appointment with our experts, and we will study your case.  

Elena Canorea
Elena Canorea
Communications Lead