The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) reports that an estimated 70% of all businesses worldwide now operate, wholly or at least in part, on the Cloud. This exceptional adaption of the technology trickles down to the benefits of cloud computing for businesses, including higher flexibility, lower fixed costs, and increased collaborations. Besides, as the workplaces evolve to meet new demands, more businesses seek platforms that allow freedom to work from anywhere.
Still, the Cloud has its fair share of security concerns. A recent Cloud Security Spotlight Report indicated that up to 90% of the organizations utilizing the Cloud infrastructure are concerned over its security. These concerns range from the fear of hijacked accounts to massive-scale data breaches that could put an organization and its clients at significant risk.
Some of the major risks in the Cloud include:
APIs have enabled organizations to customize their cloud experience to fit their business needs. Unfortunately, this helpful tool threatens Cloud security, especially as it pertains to authentication, provision of access, and encryption.
Notably, as the APIs infrastructure grows, so do the security risks. Specifically, the more businesses rely on APIs, the greater their vulnerability, especially as it pertains to the communication between the different applications. These make for a suitable channel through which cybercriminals can gain access and exploit your system.
While it is possible to track and possibly mitigate external threats, internal threats can go undetected for more extended periods and stand to impact your systems significantly.
Internal threats can be as simple as employees within your organization using their authorized access to get into your cloud-based services and eventually misuse them. There have been reports of employees using their access to get financial forms and other sensitive information from employers’ Cloud-based platforms.
An additional insider threat is when employees unknowingly grant malware access to your systems. These internal threats require that a business continually controls access, implements technologies that guard against misuse of their cloud-based services, and creates business partnerships that make it easy to mitigate any threats.
A threat that continues to plague Cloud services is malware injections in which scripts or code are embedded into specific services. These act as valid instances and can run as SaaS to the cloud server, thus maintaining anonymity. They are often engineered to run within the Cloud servers themselves and can compromise the integrity of sensitive information. What is even more concerning is that attackers to said systems can work at the same time as legitimate users continuously eavesdropping on legit Cloud usage.
Abuse of Cloud Services
The growth of the Cloud infrastructure has meant that both small and large enterprises can integrate the services into their operations. Specifically, all organizations, despite their size can host vast amounts of data within the Cloud.
This unprecedented storage capacity has proven to be both advantageous and detrimental to businesses. Hackers are now able to host their malware and illegal software on the platform and ultimately spread it to unsuspecting users.
Besides, the platform is increasingly being used to pirate software, videos, and other material, all of which are in contravention with the U.S. Copyright Law. This problem sheds light on the inability to monitor usage and set guidelines for using Cloud services, which all stand to be detrimental for all users.
Denial of Service Attacks
While denial of service attacks do not attempt to get access to your system through the breach of your security parameters, they make your website or servers unavailable to legitimate users. Using the Cloud, attackers can successfully deny you vital services, which could threaten your profits or continuity of business.
It has been found that hackers and other cybercriminals might use the DoS as a smokescreen as they initiate more sophisticated attacks on your systems. As such, having a web application firewall taken down might indicate a more significant problem that could, at first, remain undiagnosed.
Cloud security remains a shared responsibility between you as the user and the service provider you work with. This partnership requires that both you as the client and the provider be proactive as it pertains to protecting your data. However, some partnerships require that you take control of key security protocols. Overall, the Cloud will often require shared responsibility as it pertains to your security. When a party within the partnership fails to honor their end of the deal, there is a greater likelihood of vulnerabilities.
Arguably, the Cloud has opened new frontiers regarding storage, flexibility, and physical access. It has equally spread new security concerns that require a robust Cloud security strategy if you are to keep your business and its data away from the prying eyes of cybercriminals. Overall, understanding the major security concerns should ensure that your organization has an adept incidence response mechanism that ensures your network infrastructure is protected with appropriate remediation actions.