The global cloud computing market reached a value of $405.65 billion in 2021.
Cloud computing has seen a lot of adoption in recent years, both for business and personal use. Many companies now use it to improve various business operations. Despite the many advantages that come with it, there are still several cloud security issues, and it’s important to be aware of what these are.
For a rundown of some of the key cloud security issues currently faced, keep reading.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is a technology that allows people to access data over the internet. Cloud-based infrastructure uses servers, databases, analytics, networking, software, and more to deliver this. Businesses can pay a vendor a monthly or annual fee to use these services.
It’s scalable, so your business only needs to pay for what you use. Cloud computing can help increase productivity, flexibility, and savings. There are various types available, so you can choose whatever best meets your business needs.
The Importance of Cloud Security
Security is crucial on cloud-based systems, as they’re always connected to the internet. Hackers and other malicious parties will sometimes try to gain access to cloud servers. If they’re successful, they may be able to steal sensitive information about a business and its customers.
Data breaches can lead to significant financial losses, as well as a loss of trust between customers and businesses. If the security of your cloud network is compromised, the repercussions could be very significant. As such, you want to always ensure proper measures are in place to keep things secure.
Cloud Security Issues
Despite your best efforts, there will always be a risk of security issues arising on your cloud network. Various problems can occur, so you should make every effort to protect against all of them.
Cloud infrastructure is a complicated thing, and misconfiguration is one of the main issues many businesses face. There’s a range of things that can lead to a misconfiguration on a network.
One of the main design elements of the infrastructure is its ease of use. This is to make sure authorized users can easily access the data they need. The trouble here is that this can also make it easier for unauthorized parties to access data.
Another problem can relate to visibility. Some organizations have limited visibility over their infrastructure. They, therefore, have to rely on the security protocols of their vendor.
Many companies have more than one cloud deployment. On top of this, companies often don’t have much experience in securing cloud infrastructure. This makes misconfiguration and other security oversights more common.
With on-site infrastructure, it’s easy for a business to restrict unauthorized access. Cloud networks, however, can be far more complicated. If your business has a cloud deployment, it exists outside of your private network perimeter and is connected to the public internet.
Public clouds are sometimes seen as advantageous as they make it easier for people to gain access, but in some cases, this isn’t ideal. If there’s sensitive data on a server, you want to be sure that only people with authorization can gain access.
Security precautions need to be in place to prevent this. Anyone with access also needs to make sure they’re responsible with their credentials. If an attacker manages to get someone’s login details, they may be able to access your network without anyone even realizing it.
Vendors often provide several APIs (application programming interfaces) as well as multiple customer interfaces. These interfaces can be quite detailed and are specifically designed to be easy to use. Issues can arise, however, based on how customers interact with them.
If someone uses an interface without properly securing it for their infrastructure, attackers may be able to access it. They might then be able to see documents that have been made for customers and use them to access sensitive data.
Hijacking of Accounts
Over the years, many IT systems have become compromised through users’ login details. If someone uses a cloud network and has a weak or re-used password, an attacker may be able to use it. Multi-factor authentication is a popular solution that can help with this.
Someone who gains access this way may be able to go unnoticed for some time. They’ll have access to everything that’s accessible to the account they’re using. This could include sensitive data, apps, functions, and even the credentials of other users.
In most cases, a company will own all on-site infrastructure but not its off-site infrastructure. This means that they don’t have 100% control and visibility over a cloud network.
Various tools can help improve network visibility, but these are only generally effective with private networks – not cloud networks. Without being able to properly monitor and manage cloud-based resources, it can be much more difficult for a company to keep them safe from attack.
External Data Sharing
One of the main advantages of cloud systems is that sharing is much easier. At times, however, this can become a problem.
Some providers give users the option to send emails or links, which can allow other individuals to collaborate with them using a shared resource. This can make work more efficient and productive, but it also makes it harder to control shared resources.
There are various ways that malicious parties can obtain these links:
- Forwarded emails
- Stolen in a cyberattack
- Guessed by a cybercriminal
Unauthorized individuals will then be able to access whatever resource was shared. On top of this, if a link has been shared with multiple people, it then makes it difficult to remove a single party if needed.
Just because someone is authorized to access your cloud server, that doesn’t mean they’ll conduct themselves responsibly. This can often be disastrous, as insiders can log in easily and know the system well. It’s easier for an insider to navigate and find whatever data they might be after.
Sometimes people will try to access data they don’t have authorization for. This is when it may be easier to identify them. Most companies, however, aren’t prepared for these situations, so they might struggle to detect them.
These malicious insiders are harder to find on cloud systems than they would be through on-site infrastructure. Traditional security solutions are less effective when it comes to this kind of protection. Misconfigurations can also make these situations worse.
Cyberattacks have long been one of the biggest threats to cloud security systems, as well as other IT systems. Cybercriminals are good at what they do, and they decide what businesses and individuals to attack based on the profit they stand to make.
Cloud servers often make suitable targets, as they’re easier to attack than private networks. Cloud-based infrastructure is connected to the public internet, generally has low levels of security, and often contains a lot of valuable data.
On top of that, a lot of companies use the cloud. This means an attacker may be able to use the same method to successfully attack multiple organizations.
Denial of Service Attacks
These are another common type of cybersecurity threat, although the purpose is slightly different from most other attacks. During a Denial of Service (DoS) attack, the attacker will use the cloud to store crucial data and run various applications. This can overload the server, making it difficult (or impossible) for a business to operate properly.
A DoS attack can affect multiple companies at once, causing major problems. The attacker will then demand a ransom in return for ending the attack.
Cloud Security Concerns
Most cloud security concerns are related to data being compromised. There are also data confidentiality concerns, as companies have a legal responsibility to keep certain data private. There are various regulations that relate to this, so you want to ensure your company doesn’t breach any of these.
How a company responds to incidents is vital. Internal cybersecurity threats can often be shut down and secured quite quickly, but that’s not always the case with cloud-based systems. As such, it’s good practice to only keep essential data on the cloud to minimize the severity of the damage done in a data breach.
Protecting Your Data
With so many potential cloud security issues, you must take steps to keep your business secure. EMPIST is a Chicago based IT solutions provider. We offer cloud services, cybersecurity services, web development, and more.
If you have any questions about our services or how we can help your business, click here to contact us today.