In the past few years, the demand for cloud computing has increased dramatically. However, the transition to the cloud has also put-up cybersecurity risks in cloud computing.
The advantageous factors pushing organizations to move to the cloud are lower costs, increased employee productivity, flexibility, and scalability. Because of the upsides of cloud computing, organizations are unlikely to slow down with their migration plans.
Meanwhile, according to market estimates, the market size of global cloud computing will likely reach USD 623.3 billion by 2023. On top of that, the pandemic situation has brought a further boom in the cloud industry. It is the case since companies have started to rely heavily on remote working.
Considering the disproportionate influence of cloud computing nowadays, we will discuss the top cybersecurity risks in cloud computing today. So, let’s get the ball rolling.
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One of the extreme cybersecurity risks of using cloud computing is the perennial threat of data breaches at any moment. Tragically, it can not only precipitate substantial financial damage, but it can also mutilate reputation to a great extent. It is because the loss of data breach can result in loss of intellectual property. In the happening of such an event, it can also put-up legal liabilities on the company.
For this reason, a business needs to set the value of its data and correspondingly determine the impact of its data loss. A cloud security framework should have a multi-layered methodology to check its entire user activity extent consistently. It may include multi-factor authentication, data-at-rest encryption, and perimeter firewall. Additionally, it should have a tested incident response plan readily available to execute in the face of the incident.
Reduced visibility and control
A business gets deprived of some proportion of visibility and control over its operations and assets, moving them to the cloud. The infrastructure and policies’ management goes to the Cloud Service Provider or CSP when using external cloud services.
The model of cloud service plays an essential role in the shifting of responsibility. As a result, it creates a paradigm shift for agencies concerning logging and security monitoring. Consequently, a business compels to perform monitoring and analysis of information without using network-based monitoring and logging. An analysis of information may range from applications and services to data and users. Unlike cloud computing, network-based monitoring and logging are readily available for on-premises IT.
DoS (Denial-of-Service) attack
DoS is a method of playing with the SLA (service-level agreement) between the organization and the client. This intercession brings about harming the integrity and credibility of the organization. During the attack, the framework resources get stretched thin, and the absence of resources triggers different speed and stability problems. In some cases, it implies an application does not load as expected.
DoS attacks can get avoided by ensuring exceptional intrusion detection system and firewall traffic-type inspection features, restricting source rate, and blocking IP addresses.
Account hijacking & malware
Another disturbing threat from the cloud is account hijacking. Because of increasingly growing attempts of phishing, the risks always revolve around that a cybercriminal can gain access to extremely privileged accounts. Nevertheless, it is essential to highlight that attackers can gain credentials not only from phishing. They also obtain them by undermining the cloud service itself.
Notably, the malware also makes its way into the cloud environment in several ways. It usually occurs through phishing emails. Still, it is not the only technique available there. The exploitation of poorly configured storage servers also becomes a reason for the arrival of malware. Malware has an increasing number of opportunities to attack because data is continuously traveling to and from the cloud.
Misconfigured cloud storage
Cloud misconfiguration is referred to as a setting for cloud servers, making them vulnerable to penetrates. The most well-known kinds of misconfiguration include default cloud security settings, mismatched access management, and mangled data access.
To avoid this, you must double-check cloud security configurations after scheduling a specific cloud server. Also, utilize particular tools, such as third-party CloudSploit and Dome9 tools, to inspect security configurations.
The staff of both the organization and CSP can cause massive damage because they can exfiltrate information by abusing authorized access.
When using IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), the impact is most likely worse. It is because of an insider’s ability to supply resources and perform wicked activities requiring detection and forensics. Possibly, the cloud resources may not possess forensic capabilities.
For companies, staying compliant with increasing government regulations about data protection such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act) and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is becoming more complex. Companies land in a lot of trouble in case of non-compliance with any of these bodies.
It is unduly challenging to keep track of who can access the information due to the large-scale accessibility of data in the cloud environment. For this reason, companies should always strive for authentication systems for all the sensitive data in the organization to mitigate this risk.
Unquestionably, transitioning to cloud computing is posing new cybersecurity risks. Conversely, organizations can meet the challenges by adopting a streamlined and mature governance model for the cloud. Security agility and response capabilities can get enhanced significantly through a perfectly designed model.
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