Today’s advancing technology has made it necessary and possible for businesses to store and share large amounts of data via the cloud, but the remote nature of cloud services makes it vulnerable to security threats.
Statistics say there are at least 23 cloud-related threats that compromise average enterprises every month. Recently, American corporation Tesla’s public cloud environment was hacked too, resulting in exposure of proprietary data.
Cloud security vulnerabilities are prevalent regardless of company size, which makes it crucial for your IT team to be aware and vigilant of these issues. The infographic below identifies common threats surrounding cloud technologies and preventive measures you could take to protect your business and customer data.
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1. Data Breaches
A data breach happens when unauthorised individuals gain access to sensitive or confidential data and expose them elsewhere on the web. Oftentimes, the breach involves personal or proprietary data, health information, financial information, trade secrets, and the like.
When customer information is compromised due to a data breach, the company’s accountability is on the line. To increase the security of your cloud environment, you could complement your cloud service’s usual security protocols with encryption and multifactor authentication.
2. Compromised Credentials
At the basic level, this type of threat to cloud technologies is about how unsecure passwords make it possible for malicious users to access your accounts online such as your email, social media, or web-based apps and services. It could also refer to more complex security threats such as snooping on data in transit or the release of malware, which is risky for the legitimate account holder.
This stresses the importance of creating secure credentials or passwords, plus the use of multifactor authentication systems to prevent someone else other than yourself from logging into your account.
3. System Vulnerabilities
These are bugs in your system that can be exploited by cyber-criminals so they could break into your program and steal data, gain control over it, or disrupt your services. This security issue is compounded by the fact that multiple organizations are availing cloud services, which may expose one particular system to other users of the cloud, opening up the possibility of a security breakdown.
Since vulnerabilities may differ across industries and IT infrastructure, IT outsourcing companies could help as they can tell you which control systems will work best for your organisation.
4. Insecure Interfaces and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
Cloud providers operate by using APIs to enable their customers to manage and interact with their cloud services. This could prove to be a sticky situation when cloud companies grant third parties access to the APIs, which could result in the loss of confidential data of their customers.
To prevent API and interface hacks, you need to establish with your IT outsourcing partner a threat modeling system into the development lifecycle and make sure your interface is secure against accidental or malicious attempts to bypass your security codes.
5. Account Hijacking / Service Hijacking
A hijacked account puts the user data at risk, as hackers could use this as an opportunity to redirect the user to illegitimate sites or give the user falsified information.
Cyber-criminals could also infiltrate critical areas of your cloud operations, which could damage the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your account on the cloud. You could implement device or protocol authentication to reduce the risk of account or service hijacking.
6. Insufficient Due Diligence
As you plan your business model and strategies, you should also plan which cloud technologies, service providers, or outsourcing services to get.
Don’t be in a rush to adopt cloud technologies without doing your due diligence since the value – or lack of value – of your cloud services will ultimately affect your company’s efficiency, security, and relationship with customers.
7. Shared Technology Vulnerabilities
Cloud computing as a system is comprised of three services: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS), each of which should be designed with multi-tenant architecture or multi-customer applications in mind. Otherwise, the hardware or software might be insufficient for the type of service it will be used for.
8. Denial of Service (DoS)
DoS attacks are attacks on your cloud service’s processing power, memory, disk space, or bandwidth, which tend to slow down your system and prevent users from accessing your service.
Although cloud service providers have systems in place to mitigate DoS attacks, you could share critical business resources with your IT administrators and have regular security audits to identify vulnerabilities in this area.
9. Loss of Data
Data loss can happen not only because of security attacks on data centers, but also due to accidental deletion of files, applications, or other similar elements. Natural calamities such as fire and earthquake can likewise lead to permanent loss of data.
Having a backup system off-site can ensure business continuity and help you recover lost data more easily.
10. Abuse and Nefarious Use of Cloud Services
It’s quite common for cloud companies to offer free trials to potential customers, which delinquent individuals can take advantage of by using cloud computing resources to send email spam, phishing campaigns, or malware into your computer systems.
The cloud is a piece of technology that may come with certain security threats, but there are ways to ensure your organisation’s safety in the digital world.
IT outsourcing companies are one of the best options out there. They can help prevent cloud attacks by assessing your IT resources and systems, and coming up with robust solutions to lessen, if not completely eliminate, your system’s vulnerabilities.