In the current digital era, you can easily explore anything on the internet. It means a huge amount of data is stored to different locations such as servers, cloud etc. While you are storing data in locations like the cloud, the potential factors of cloud security risks are pretty much high. So, for everyone who is using cloud computing, it is required to be familiar with cloud security issues and solutions.
Cloud computing offers various services that are used to store and transfer data. As cloud storage provides both features at one platform. Also sharing a content with other users via the cloud is much easier than other available media. There are few disadvantages or risks which are considered as the major risks associated with cloud computing that we’ve listed below.
9 Cloud Security Risks Every Company Faces
- Data Breaches
- Contractual breaches with customers or business partners
- Data Loss
- Compliance Violation and regulatory actions
- Hacked Interfaces and Insecure APIs
- Malware infections that are responsible for attacks
- Identity Management and Weak Authentication
- Insufficient due diligence and shared vulnerabilities
- Abuse and nefarious use of cloud services
Keep reading this article for more information about cloud computing security issues and challenges.
1. Data Breaches
Data breaches are one of the major risks associated with cloud computing. A data breach is defined as the major expose to data like user information, enterprise secrets etc. It is the most crucial threat as it contains sensitive content and also it can cause major downfalls to enterprises as well as the whole industry. A report given by sky-high shares an information i.e. 21% of the data stored to Cloud contains sensitive data.
The most appropriate solution for the data breach is that the data is to be encrypted every time. Mostly when it is to be used by virtual machines. You can also use multi-factor authentication to provide more security features to confidential data stored in the cloud.
2. Contractual breaches with customers or business partners
This type of contract is defined as the contract which contains two different companies/customers/business partners. The two entities have agreed to work together and decided how they can use sensitive data along with the authorization of users to access the same data. When any of the user who is not authorized to change the location of data from local to cloud servers but he/she does the same. Then it results to the violation of the contract. Even the other party can take legal actions on the first party as well.
In the current era, there are a lot of third party companies which are only working to prevent companies from data breaches. Companies even sign a confidentiality agreement with their vendors as well.
3. Data Loss
Data Loss is also one of the most common cloud security risks. In the traditional era, data loss is represented as the theft of important papers or any other confidential data. But in the computerized era, if your hard disk is not working properly or your software are not updated, then it can result to data loss. Even cloud computing services face the same risk. But as compared to others, there are fewer chances to lose data in the cloud. But it is compulsory to save your data in different locations.
Also Read: Top 5 Cloud Security Certifications
4. Compliance violations and regulatory actions
To reduce data loss or prevent companies from a data breach, some private organization groups or government agencies have formed regulatory acts. All the companies must have to follow these acts as it’s compulsory for them. By following the regulatory acts, companies must have to acknowledge that their data is used by which users or how they are protecting their data. HIPAA and HITECH are the two major regulations in Europe. It is one of the security concerns for cloud-based services that can’t be ignored.
5. Hacked Interfaces and Insecure APIs
As Cloud computing is totally dependent on the Internet, it is compulsory to have secure interfaces. Also, APIs are used by external users so it’s compulsory to protect your APIs. If you are willing to communicate with most of the cloud services, then APIs are the easiest way to communicate. This represents the direct security concern for cloud-based services.
In the current cloud era, which is evolving day by day, it’s easy to use a few services which are also available for the public domain. It can be harmed easily by hacking the systems and forms one of the security concerns for cloud-based services. Sometimes data access to third parties causes an application to destroy their data in many ways. It can be deleted, lost or theft.
6. Malware infections that are responsible for attacks
Malware is also the direct security concern for cloud-based services. It is basically a virus which is responsible for the hijacking systems, hijacking accounts etc. It can also delete your account details, identity and hack your bank details easily. It is one of the most used media by the cyber criminals to breach into systems and hack the credentials. They use malware as a phishing attack.
It’s also one of the top cloud security threats for 2018. As billions of people are using the internet, Social media is changing life. So billions of data is being stored to cloud daily and the data is confidential. So the hackers are so active that they are constantly developing their technology to hack into the systems to get the data.
Malware infections are one of the top cloud security risks. The best way to protect the data is to use a multi-authentication system, paid software, daily virus scanning, unique passwords for accounts etc.
7. Identity Management and Weak Authentication
Cyber security is totally based on these two factors, Identity management, and weak authentication. Identity management is defined as the data stored in the cloud goes through daily security checks. Gaping holes present in the cyber security can cause poor identity management along with data breach. Identity management also refers to users who are responsible to access the data. It means before giving access to any user, check all the appropriate checklist.
Weak authentication is also one of the top cloud security threats for 2018. To prevent from this threat, one time passwords, face authentication, multi-factor authentication, and mobile authentication are the best ways.
8. Insufficient due diligence and shared vulnerabilities
Majorly there are some issues which are in technical form. Because enterprise companies don’t have a clear goal about their cloud services. They don’t have a clear plan for their resources. Even if we talk about policies, they are not good into them too. As a result, it can cause insufficient due diligence which leads to security issues. Also, it is responsible for customer dissatisfaction which is a major issue in cloud security risks. The services are not up to the mark which the user is expecting in reality.
Cloud computing has a key feature which is it acts like a shared source. So sometimes sharing data can cause a few security issues which can lead to data loss. Also, data transfer is not appropriate when a service is being shared with another user.
9. Abuse and nefarious use of cloud services
The cloud security alliance has identified it as the top threats in cloud computing. The cloud computing services can move according to the business needs i.e. upwards and downwards both. This advantage can also lead to security breaches.
Another misuse of cloud computing is that some providers are providing a free trial of services which eventually lead to cloud security risks. Pirated software is also the main cause of the security breach. DDoS attacks are usually launched to hack cloud computing systems. The use of low-cost infrastructure is also one of the top cloud security risks.
How to Avoid Cloud Security Risks?
Cloud computing is one of the latest technology adopted by various renowned enterprise companies. A lot of people are attracting towards it day by day. There are few cloud services which are mostly used in the current era. Google drive and One drive are the best examples for this. They both are the cloud platforms that offer free cloud storage.
That’s why the concerns mentioned above are the top cloud security threats in 2018 which should not be ignored by government officials, private organizations and others as well. To avoid cloud security issues, you can also check below key points which need to be checked before storing data in the cloud.
1. Data Encryption: Data encryption is one of the key aspects which needs to be followed every time. Also, one should promote the use of cloud services which provide encryption platform or using encryption itself.
2. Use of Anti-virus: By installing antivirus, you can secure your data from malware and phishing attacks. You can also plan daily or weekly scan of your system so that you can check if there is any risk or not.
3. Strong Authentication: You can also use different multi-level authentication to secure your passwords or sensitive data.
4. Check security measures: if you are choosing cloud services, then you must check the security features first. Then opt the cloud computing services.
5. Define policies before sharing data: If you are choosing third parties to store your data, then define your policies first. Only after that go for the third party services.
6. Avoid saving data which is crucial or sensitive: The best way to save your sensitive information is don’t store your data which is crucial or sensitive to the cloud.
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So, we have covered the most common cloud security risks i.e. data breaches, data loss, hacking concerns, malware attacks, weak authentication, poor identity management, etc. These are a few major cloud computing security issues and challenges that shouldn’t be ignored instead avoided as much as possible.
Cloud services have become a must-use service for organizations these days. So, organizations now prefer to appoint a security specialist to avoid and deal with cloud security concerns. If you are a security professional, AWS Certified Security Specialty (Vendor-specific) and Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) (Vendor-neutral) are among the top cloud security certifications that will help you validate and demonstrate your skills.
Whizlabs practice test series for AWS Security Specialty exam and Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) exam will prove a valuable resource in your exam preparation and help you to pass the exam in the first attempt. So, prepare with us and lay the foundation of a secure career.
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