Ransomware Can Attack Cloud Storage. Here Is How To Protect Your Business

Ransomware Can Attack Cloud Storage. Here Is How To Protect Your Business

Over the last few years, ransomware has taken the criminal underworld by storm. It is fast becoming the most popular method of nefarious extortion, causing disruption and financial losses in hundreds and thousands of businesses.

Ransomware works by encrypting your company data so that it is inaccessible. In order to regain access, you will need to pay a hefty ransom. Even if you pay, though, there’s no guarantee you’ll get your files back! 

With the rise of ransomware-as-a-service, the ransomware threat is more prevalent than ever. In line with this, research indicates that 37% of businesses globally were hit by ransomware in 2021. Moreover, the Australian Cyber Security Agency found that ransomware attacks increased by 15% in 2021. 

At the same time, the threat of cloud security breaches is also increasing. IDC found that 9 in 10 companies suffered a cloud data breach in the last year and a half. 

How do these two connect? Well, imagine if ransomware managed to get into your cloud environment. The fallout could be huge. This isn’t a theoretical issue either. The complexity and opacity of today’s distributed cloud environments means that it’s difficult for organisations to keep track of users, permissions, data and security controls. 

Just one wrong configuration could enable a hacker to get into your cloud storage. From there, they could launch a ransomware attack that paralyses your systems. 

Why is the Cloud Vulnerable to Ransomware?

There are several reasons the cloud is vulnerable to ransomware attacks. Firstly, we must remember that the cloud works on a shared responsibility model. While cloud providers are responsible for securing the underlying infrastructure of their services, it’s up to you to make sure that access controls and permissions are configured correctly.

This is often where things go awry. Cloud controls can be complex to configure, leaving data accidentally exposed to the wider internet, where hackers can get their hands on it. It’s also common for organisations to have lax privilege controls, where employees can access and edit much more data than they’re meant to. If their credentials fall into the wrong hands, it’s all too easy for a hacker to get into your cloud and launch ransomware. 

How to Prevent the Cloud From Becoming Infected with Ransomware

Despite the risks, there are some simple steps you can take to improve the security of your cloud environment and reduce the likelihood of a successful ransomware attack. This includes: 

  • Use the principle of least privilege: The principle of least privilege means that users should only be able to access the data and resources they need to do their jobs – and nothing more. Make sure that your cloud accounts are configured with this privilege in mind. This is an easy, straightforward way to reduce the likelihood of a hacker getting into your cloud environment and reconfigure them to deploy ransomware. That’s because, to do this, hackers will need administrator privileges. As well as this, ensure your administrators use multi-factor authentication on their cloud accounts. 
  • Perform security admin regularly: If an employee leaves your company, their cloud accounts should be disabled as soon as they are out the door. Ensure you keep track of privileges and people moves dynamically, so that your cloud controls are always up-to-date. 
  • Utilise logging and monitoring tools: There are a range of native cloud tools that cloud service providers offer to help you spot malicious actors in action. This can help you spot and hinder a ransomware attack before it takes hold of your cloud systems. 
  • Replicate buckets that hold sensitive data: For cloud instances with sensitive content, configure these buckets so that they backup each day. That way, should one of your buckets become locked in a ransomware attack, you will still be able to recover your sensitive data without having to pay the ransom. Make sure to securely configure your backup buckets, so that they aren’t impacted by the same malware if one of your main buckets becomes compromised. 

Ultimately, the ransomware threat will continue to loom over businesses in the coming months. To prevent a ransomware attack from impacting your cloud storage, make sure you take a forward-thinking, proactive approach to cloud security. 

Many of the above practices will also help to bolster your overarching security posture, making data breaches less likely. 

Schedule a Cloud Security Review Today!

Don’t be in the dark about your cloud cyber security defences. GKM2 can assist your Sydney area business by reviewing your cloud security strategy and letting you know of any weaknesses that could leave your company at risk. We can even implement and manage your cloud security strategy for you.

Contact us today to learn more. Call +61 2 9161 7171 or reach out online.