The 5 Toughest Challenges in Cloud Security
Security remains a major drawback in cloud services despite the cloud’s many benefits. One of the biggest issues with utilizing the cloud is that most businesses can’t tell where the cloud service provider’s (CSP) responsibilities end and where their own begins. This can leave them vulnerable to cloud-based threats.
The cloud’s continuous growth also increases the areas of vulnerability hackers can attack. To make matters even more complicated, traditional cybersecurity procedures sometimes fail to meet cloud security requirements. To help with this dilemma we’ve put together a list of the biggest challenges businesses face when securing the cloud, along with ways to mitigate them.
It’s natural to worry about the security of business-critical data when it’s stored in the cloud. Businesses can lose cloud data through criminal manipulation such as malware, human error, or natural disasters. Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks can also cause serious issues and may be used as a ruse to conceal a plot to steal or erase data.
To tackle this challenge, it’s critical for businesses to have a disaster recovery plan in place. A proactive IT security system is also needed to protect against hostile cyberattacks. This system should include cloud security and provide protection for every network layer, in addition to the application layer (layer 7).
DDoS (distributed denial of service) cyberattacks are more common than they have ever been. Since the first quarter of 2015, IT services, cloud platforms (PaaS), and SaaS have become the biggest target industries, according to Verisign.
A DDoS attack in the cloud is aimed at crippling the cloud service by overloading the servers with requests. If the DDoS assault is successful, it could result in cloud services being unusable or extremely slow for days at a stretch. This can lead to a massive reduction in productivity and ultimately a drop in revenue.
To guard against this it is an absolute necessity for businesses to complement their cloud security services with cloud DDoS protection. The cloud is now the cornerstone of modern-day business operations and needs state-of-the-art cybersecurity.
According to the Identity Theft Research Center, the number of reported data breaches in 2021 jumped up by 68% from the previous year, reaching a new high. This astonishing stat shows how hard it can be to protect sensitive data. The most commonly used tactics where phishing and ransomware.
IT workers have traditionally had extensive control over physical hardware (firewalls, etc.) and network infrastructure used to protect proprietary data. With the cloud, businesses have relinquished many of those security controls to the cloud services provider. This can result in an increase in exposure across private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud settings.
To handle this challenge, businesses need to make sure the cloud services vendor they use has a proven track record of adopting strong security measures to mitigate common data breach scenarios.
Cloud misconfigurations are errors in the setup of a cloud environment that can open it up to vulnerabilities. The Capital One data breach, for example, was traced back to a misconfigured web application firewall that exposed Amazon S3 buckets.
Misconfigurations in the cloud are said to be the top cloud security vulnerability according to the National Security Agency (NSA) in the United States. What’s worse, this is such a subtle problem that 99% of companies are not even aware that they have cloud misconfigurations.
Due to the multitude of settings and potential misconfigurations in cloud infrastructure, solving this vulnerability is no easy task. The first step is to understand what the cloud provider is responsible for, and what the business themselves are responsible for in the security of the cloud, to create the appropriate security policies. Next by performing frequent configuration checks in addition to cyber risk assessments, vulnerabilities can be caught before they are exploited.
Cloud Account Hijacking
The inadvertent leakage, exposure, or compromise of a cloud account that is vital to the operation, administration, or maintenance of a cloud environment is known as cloud account hijacking. If these privileged and sensitive accounts get hacked, the results could be disastrous.
In today’s cloud first business environment, workers are accessing company assets from a wide variety of networks. This adds an entirely new level of potential vulnerabilities. Public networks can be exploited to snoop on users and steal account information. Private home networks can be just as vulnerable as they lack the more sophisticated security that an enterprise network typically provides.
This makes it increasingly important to ensure employees understand the risks while also providing them with adequate resources to secure their credentials. Virtual private networks (VPNs) are a great solution for securing access. Additionally, taking advantage of IT security measures such as two-factor authentication is a must. Providing IT security training to employees to ensure that they don’t fall victim to potential scams or phishing attempts is paramount. All these actions can contribute significantly to ensuring both on-site and cloud resources remain safe and secure.
Complete Cloud Security
It goes without saying that every business wants complete cloud security. However, cloud security is a lot more complex than securing on-site hardware. Businesses need to coordinate with their cloud provider to ensure that the aspects of cloud security they are responsible for are covered. It’s also important for them to understand that cloud infrastructure is an ever-shifting landscape, and solutions need to be adaptable. Therefore, frequent cybersecurity risk and vulnerability assessments are necessary to maintain a fully secure environment.
For businesses looking to ensure they have a completely secure cloud, look no further than Outsource IT. With years of experience securing organizations of various sizes, and across different industries, you can rest assured that we can help you improve cloud security practices. Contact an Outsource IT account manager to learn more.