Cloud Security for Remote Workforces: Protecting Data Beyond the Office

Providing a secure cloud environment for the remote workforce is a primary concern of companies today. Both cloud environments and the number of remote employees have been escalating. This fact forces companies to take further precautions to protect their data resources. On-premises physical security solutions can not meet the cloud security requirements. On the other hand, hardware-based methods do not apply to the remote workforce.

Cloud Security for Remote Workforces: Protecting Data Beyond the Office

This article will discuss data security solutions in cloud environments. 

The rise of cloud-based environments 

Cloud environments mean that applications, networks, resources, and databases are kept in the cloud (the Internet). People can run their businesses over the Internet thanks to cloud systems. From the remote workforce point of view, they can access shared databases and networks with ease. Cloud environments are a must for remote employees because they must access resources remotely. In this sense, cloud-based environments become preferable. Communication between branches and workers is vital in large-scale and multinational companies. Cloud computing offers a great range of communication and access opportunities.

Moreover, cloud solutions are cost-friendly. They are cheaper than the traditional solutions. On-premises solutions require physical infrastructure and hardware. On the other hand, cloud-based solutions do not need physical setups. 

Pandemic precautions and lockdowns are the other reason for the rise of cloud-based environments. You can consider remote work in the same way. Remote work increased the need for remote access and Internet-based solutions. The pandemic affected work models, and companies switched their work systems to remote or hybrid models. Due to this transformation, cloud systems become prevalent. 

Cloud security risks

We should implement that a cloud environment is riskier than a physical environment. Cybercriminals can capture sensitive data in cloud environments easier than on-premises ones. Companies should consider further threats when they decide to migrate to the cloud. 

Data breaches 

The main concern on the cloud is data security. More and more corporations now store their sensitive data in cloud-based environments. Although it is practical and simple, it brings security breaches simultaneously. Data breaches occur in cloud systems more often than the on-premises ones. This fact shows us that companies should change and develop their security solutions to protect themselves against brand-new threats. 

Loss of control over the network 

Migrating to the cloud can cause a loss of control over the network paradigm. Business owners and IT managers want to have control over users. Managers can monitor and audit employees on office premises. Moreover, devices and activities are auditable in the office. However, companies lose control when it comes to remote work. It is the same for the cloud environments because tracing the user activities in the cloud is a way of different from the physical ones. 

How to Protect Cloud Environments? 

Identity and Access Management 

Identity and Access Management (IAM) means managing digital identities over the network. Companies adopt IAM solutions to monitor, control, and audit user identities in their business infrastructure. As the name suggests, IAM regulates access authorizations to the resources and user identities. It is vital for companies to protect their data resources from unauthorized access. 

In IAM, users should verify their identities to reach specific resources. IAM offers role-specific privileges to the employees and avoids unnecessary access to the data stores. In this way, companies can mitigate the risk of data breaches. Furthermore, managers can monitor user behaviors toward resource access. They can determine some criteria to filter user activities as suspicious or reliable. 

If you have a remote workforce and use cloud-based environments often, consider an IAM solution to add an extra layer of protection to your network. Remote employees pose a risk in your remote access model because they are away from the office premises. The good news is, companies can eliminate remote work threats by implementing IAM solutions. A robust remote work system with happy employees and clients is one of the cloud security benefits in organizations. 

You can choose reliable identities and access control methods. Moreover, you can determine privileges according to job descriptions and employees’ requirements to run their work. You can diminish the attack surface in your company by following up on IAM fundamentals. 

Comply with regulations 

There are several regulations regarding data security. GDPR, HIPAA, and PI-DSS certification rules are one of them. Check this article to learn more about these regulations https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1361372317300520

These regulations have provisions that include recommendations about data protection and secure cloud-environment infrastructure. You can consider these regulations as a guide on your cloud security journey for the remote workforce. You must add compliance strategies to your cloud security plan. 

Data Encryption 

Companies can protect sensitive data from being accessed by malicious people. Encryption prevents your company from falling victim to data theft. Encryption methods simply encrypt data. Even if cybercriminals can capture company data, they can use it for malicious intents. For instance, they can not sell encrypted data on the dark web since it is encrypted. Organizations can mitigate damages by encrypting sensitive data.

Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides data encryption. As the name suggests, it creates a virtual tunnel between the resources and the end-point. VPN encrypts the data that travels across the tunnel. Securing a data transfer is a good way to secure private data in cloud environments. There is a cloud and remote VPN solutions available. You can prefer one of these specialized VPN solutions. 

Enlist the expertise of a managed IT service company to bolster your cloud security, ensuring remote workforces operate in a secure and protected cloud environment.

Findings on cloud security for remote workforces 

Remote workforces are more prone to data breaches. Cloud systems increase their vulnerabilities and make them more open to cyber attacks. On-premises data protection solutions are insufficient to protect cloud-based environments. Companies adopt developed cloud security solutions to prevent data breaches in their organizations. First of all, they try to control user identities and their access authorizations. IAM is an effective security solution in this sense. On the other hand, they use VPNs for data encryption and comply with regulations to avoid breaches and penalties. As a company manager or business owner, consider cloud security solutions to prevent data breaches which is the riskier part of your business today. 

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