Cloud technology is one of the greatest innovations of our time. Its popularity and usage has grown far and wide. 93% of the respondents surveyed in the Flexera’s 2020 State of the Cloud Report all indicated that they had or were planning to have multi strategies. With its popularity, it has also faced a number of threats.
The subject of cyber insecurities that relates to cloud computing is not a new one. The environment has, in the past, been faced with issues of phishing as well other data breaches. Companies have always been on the move to put in place measures to fight against such threats. The risks are serious and the consequences are devastating. Individuals, businesses and organisations around the world do not wish to incur the costs which, in most occasions, are so huge. In 2019 alone, all the data breaches that were caused by threats cost companies and businesses over $3.18 trillion.
As if that is not enough, the COVID-19 pandemic came. It brought with it new ways of doing things. Many staff is working from home. These new norms have posed a threat to security. There has risen a need to put in place a resilient infrastructure that can help mitigate emerging threats. This article has explained some of the emerging risks and how to avoid them.
1. Data Leaks and Data Breaches
Cloud computing involve a lot of data transfers between employees and the systems. Usually, the data transfer process can be intercepted by hackers and the information files stolen or changed. A perfect example of such an instance is the Equifax cyber breach that happened in 2017. It so happened that the hackers took advantage in the digital certificates which had expired and stole personal data that belonged to more than 148 million Americans.
- How to deal with this threat
The only way to protect your system from this kind of threat is by securing all your data. There exists in-transit security tools that can help with this task. You can use an SSL certificate or a TLS to protect your cloud computing system against this threat. You can acquire any type of SSL certificate from SSL2BUY, which is the cheapest SSL provider in the globe. You also should ensure that all your employees are maintaining secure connections guidelines.
One more measure which is very essential to the security of your data is the Virtual Private Network. It is vital in encrypting all the data in transit between the Wi-Fi access points and the network of you company.
2. Data Loss
Data loss is now one of the most common threats that exist today. It is an issue that has hit and paralysed many cloud systems. After the transition process of moving all your company’s processes to the clouds, the data that remains stored remotely to your systems can grow into levels that makes it hard to manage. When this happens, it becomes costly and hard to carry out data backups. According to a RedLock CSI Team research Report, 51% of organisation end up exposing their cloud storage system to vulnerabilities that can easily lead to data breaches.
The rise in cases of ransomware attacks has made it almost a basic necessity to carry out regular backups to your storage systems. Not carrying out the regular backups can lead to some serious loss of money in form of ransom payments.
- How to deal with this issue
The measure you ought to take here is quite obvious, carry out regular data backups. Do not sit back and wait until it is too late. You should have a complete backup system. You can have an automatic backup system that will carry out automatic backups within specific time intervals. One perfect practice which I am going to recommend is the use of a distributed system of data backup. It is where you create back up files in different locations and storages. Storing your backup files in a single location or an individual Storage Area Network means that you lose everything when a security breach happens to the system. This might completely cripple your business.
3. Access Management threat
Problems do not always come from within the system itself but also from external forces. As a matter of fact, some of the biggest threats are as a result of how companies interact with the cloud computing system itself.
With the increase in the number of cloud providers with lucrative free plans has driven down costs and encouraged even the smallest of businesses to adopt cloud computing. Usually, this is done without thinking through the access policies that need to be laid down by the company. Freedom of access to all employees is a big threat to the data stored in the cloud system. Driven by ignorance, they can easily distort the information. They also might fail to take into consideration the basic security measures and such act as loopholes with which hackers can get into the system. Similarly, the malicious one can steal the data files and use them for their own reasons.
How to deal with this issue
The first very key step to take when dealing with the threats related to access management is to put in place rigorous access policies. Only those employees whose work relates with the need to access the system should be allowed to access the system. The rest should keep off, or made to keep off. You have to conduct audits on the access levels that employees should be granted. You should remove the unnecessary privileges to those that have no business with the computing system.
Employees should be denied from access that has already left the company. Several instances of data breaches that have occurred in the past have been as a result of employees who realise that they still can access their corporate accounts even after they left the job. The Human Resource department should always report to the IT team about any departure so that immediate and appropriate action of deleting accesses is taken.
Apart from putting in place sound access policies, you also have to make use of identity verification and authentication tools. A multiple-step authentication is an ideal option that can help in identity authentication. Such a tool can make access to your storage a more secure one.
I also recommend for the use of separation of duties model. The model allows an individual to perform a task up to a specific level so that no one individual is allowed to do everything. Tasks that can be damaging to the organisation will require more than individual to be performed. Such measures will help to mitigate issues related to access management threats.
4. Cloud Storage Misconfiguration
This is another common emerging trend in the technology that was recently highlighted by DivvyCloud. Cloud misconfiguration can result in data insecurities. Failing to change the default setting and having data stored in confusing structures that can easily lead to some files becoming vulnerable are some of the misconfigurations that can be risky.
How to deal with this threat
Ensuring that cloud storage is properly configured can be a great solution. You should ensure that you choose a reliable vendor who should ensure that the cloud system is properly configured. The vendor should provide a legal and reasonable assurance that it is properly configured. A good vendor will constantly monitor your storage system and advise you properly.
5. Insecure Application User Interfaces
Application User Interfaces play a very key role in your cloud storage systems. They are the most essential tools that necessitate interaction with systems.
Most Application Interfaces have security loopholes that can pose a huge threat to the cloud storage system. As it emerged recently, Google and Facebook store passwords of their users in plain texts. Employees who work in such organisations can hence easily get hold of them. This can pose a big threat to the cloud storage of the users.
How to deal with this threat
The only way to remain safe from cloud computing threats is to choose a quality vendor. Such a vendor will adhere to the laid down security guidelines and make sure that your storage system is safe from any kind of vulnerabilities.
Cloud computing is gaining popularity day after day. It is now being used by many companies and other organisation across the world. With an increase in its popularity, there has also risen huge threats that affect it. This article has explained five of the emerging threats and how one can solve them.