The Evolving Cyber Threat: Cloud and Data Security Resources to Consider

Posted by Dustin Smith, Chief Technologist
April 27, 2015

QuinStreet Enterprise recently released results of a survey on the current state of Cyber-Threats. The survey of 387 business and IT executives, 2015 Security Outlook: Meeting Today’s Evolving Cyber Threats, revealed more of what we’ve already blogged about regarding cyber threats and security breaches; namely that 2015 is shaping up to be an extremely active year.

Here are some survey highlights:

  • 76% of respondents say they’ve experienced a damaging security breach in the previous 12 months, with consequences ranging from corruption of servers, revenue loss, prolonged email system failure, and loss of employee data
  • 50% of respondents place cyber threat prevention in the top three IT issues within their organization
  • 54% of companies with 1,000 or more employees are increasing their IT security budgets for 2015

While these statistics are certainly alarming, there are some telling data points in the survey that suggest that organizational policy can prevent some of the breach scenarios. When asked about organizational security risks, three of the top five were (in order of risk): end user, password compromise and cloud vulnerability. Further down the list, BYOD makes an appearance.

In many of our previous blogs on network security, we provide some tips and tools for preventing many of these vulnerabilities from becoming big issues. It might be a good time to revisit some of these posts and incorporate some of these thoughts into your network security planning.

  • An Eight Step Network Security Assessment for a Secure 2015 – In this post we share the eight key steps we take in conducting network security assessments and audits for our clients:
    1. Recognize your organization’s current digital footprint
    2. Assess vulnerabilities of employees, partners, and other stakeholders (many of these can be deemed end users – number one of the risk list above)
    3. Assess the vulnerabilities of networks, applications, and other IT resources
    4. Conduct comprehensive scanning of ports, vectors, and protocols
    5. Understand how your network interacts with outside parties
    6. Probe your internal network weaknesses
    7. Review wireless nets, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RFID, and rogue devices (this includes BYOD device usage and policies)
    8. Assess and educate employees about social engineering attacks
  • 6 Things to Consider When Using the Cloud for Data Storage – This post covers how to plan for the unexpected, the legal implications of a data breach, establishing data usage policies, and how to think long term when it comes to data and the cloud.
  • Considerations for Storing Data in the Cloud – This post provides some additional insights and thoughts you need to keep in mind before mixing the public cloud with your corporate data.
  • Two Password Management Tips for Better Computer Network Security – This post shares some password faux pas along with two important tips:
    1. Use a password management system – there are many now on the market that are excellent and many are free to use
    2. Change your passwords often – seems obvious until you realize how infrequently it happens

These are just a few of the posts that speak to network and data security, BYOD tips, and ways to utilize cloud computing safely. Be sure to check them out! 2015 is off to a cyber-threat bang and we’ll be sure to keep you updated as the year unfolds.

About Dustin Smith Throughout his twenty-year career, Dustin Smith has specialized in designing enterprise architectural solutions. As the Chief Technologist, Dustin is responsible for the strategic direction of aligning the company’s growing consulting services with the client challenges he finds in the field, and he works closely with his regional architects to design new programs to address these issues.

Filed Under: Data & Storage

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