Cloud computing is gradually becoming the preferred choice of businesses to streamline different business processes. As per industry reports around 68% of the businesses use cloud technology while 19% are planning to integrate cloud computing into their business operations. There are also many reasons for companies switching from the traditional business approach to cloud computing. It has been seen that companies that invest in cloud, big data, security, and mobility have witnessed revenue growth of up to 52 percent and these are compelling figures to state why implementing cloud computing helps in the efficient running of the organization and better assist the customers.
Besides just helping businesses with better revenue figures the cloud computing services provide numerous benefits such as:
Savings on equipment
Speed to market
But with the widespread use of cloud computing, many security threats have also evolved over the past few years because the approach of cloud computing has gone through some transformation. Though the cloud environment is more secure than the on-premise environment still there are security concerns that need to be addressed. So let’s look at the security threats to cloud computing and what measures can be taken to assure the full-proof cloud environment.
1. Breach of Data
The biggest threat to any cloud environment is a breach of data. The main reason behind data breach is when an unauthorized person or program gets access to the data. It becomes a serious concern for organizations because data breach puts all or partial data at risk because the intruder can view, copy and transmit the confidential data for whatever reason possible.
2. Loss of Data
Data loss is the opposite of data breach because it can occur either due to natural factors or human errors. Physical destruction of the servers due to natural calamities or human targeted attacks can lead to data loss. This is a great setback for businesses because there are few chances of recovering the data.
3. DoS or Denial of Service
This is an advanced form of attack done primarily to flood the system with immense traffic and take advantage of the situation when the system cannot buffer or crashed through bugs and vulnerabilities. This is one of the most used media to shut down the cloud services and making them temporarily unavailable for the customers.
This security risk is related to take advantage of the growing cryptocurrency frenzy. The hackers install crypto-mining script on the servers which increases CPU load and slows down the overall system. The user’s computing resources are exploited to process numerous transactions of cryptocurrency.
5. Account Hijacking
This is the most common hijacking in the cloud environment where the hackers take advantage of insecure passwords and gain access to the cloud through a staff’s account. The hacker can manipulate the data and can interfere with the different processes of the business.
6. Insecure APIs
This isn’t the hijacking of the server itself but is more related to the third-party services. Internet of Things or IoT solutions is responsible for a data breach to a certain extent. IoT devices like home appliances, connected cars, health monitors tend to collect and send a huge amount of data in real-time. This real-time data is vulnerable and hackers can hijack it by hacking the APIs.
7. Insider Threats
Not every system is full-proof because even if external security threats are nullified then also internal risks like an employee exploiting the privacy and initiating data breach are very feasible. Besides this, unintentional human errors can also put the cloud environment open to malware and cyber-attacks.
How to Secure Cloud Security Threats
As per phishprotection.com conducting regular security, assessments are the best way to safeguard the cloud infrastructure. An up-to-date cloud system and third-party tools from reliable service providers are very vital to protect the data from going into unauthorized hands.
The cloud security monitoring using Artificial Intelligence can help in identify and counter-attack the potential danger and helps in safeguarding the cloud infrastructure.
Encrypting the data before uploading to the cloud system to ensure data privacy.
Making employees aware of potential security threats is a great way to eliminate human errors.
Having a data recovery plan helps to minimize the impact of data loss. Backing up data to a centralized server regularly also helps in protecting the data.
Hiring cloud security professionals makes sure that a business stays away from cloud-related threats.
As per proofpoint.com the access management policies should be very strict. It has been stated by CISA that only the most trusted or the person who needs access should be grant access to. Considering biometric authentication and multi-factor methods is a good move.
Securing the cloud infrastructure is not as easy as securing your PC with antivirus like avast.com or following 10 steps for ransomware protection. The scale at which cloud computing operates and the importance of data flowing through different cloud servers is so huge that even a slight technical glitch can cost the company millions of dollars. But like every other technology the risk factors are always there and the only thing required is attentiveness to deal with all sorts of security threats.