cloud security

Key 5 cloud security risks to be aware of

The “cloud” is a modern-day term to indicate remote computing resources. It has become an inseparable part of modern-day business. Although the cloud is a fascinating technology, it comes with its own peril like cloud security based issues. Organizations everywhere use cloud-based services such as:-

  • Platform as Service
  • Software as Service
  • Infrastructure-as-a-service 

Moreover, these cloud services help an organization in lowering their capital expenditure and labor cost.

On the other hand, the organization employing cloud-based solutions may fail to balance the benefits of the cloud against cloud security threats. Hence, the organization should check the cloud for security threats before adopting it. Our article on essential tips for running the business on the cloud will help you further. Moreover, Gartner suggests that that cloud-computing will generate roughly $1.3 billion in IT spending by 2022. This will further make cloud security a burning concern.

Who’s Responsible for Security in the Cloud?

cloud security: Who is  responsible?
Picture source: Pixabay

There are several key components to security in any infrastructure whether it is cloud or on-prem. Furthermore, the complexity of cloud security lies in the fact that it is bifurcated between end-user and cloud providers.

Moreover, with the on-premises solution, it is the sole responsibility of the organizations to put security in place. But, cloud service providers may be responsible for certain components of the infrastructure. Below is the table showing the responsibility of the different cloud components under different service framework:-

IT Security ComponentIaaSSaaSPaaS
User Access
YOUYOUYOU
DataYOUYOUYOU
Applications
YOUYOUCSP
Operating SystemYOUCSPCSP
Network TrafficYOUCSPCSP
HypervisorCSPCSPCSP
InfrastructureCSPCSPCSP
PhysicalCSPCSPCSP

Moreover, it is very important to note that the above table only represents agreements before signing them ( Take help from your legal and IT security experts ).

Hence, as per the table, there is always some responsibility assigned to the cloud-users ”. Moreover, cloud service providers rarely assume responsibility for a data breach caused by user access issues or insecure storage, or the use of data.

Below is a list of 5 key security risks faced by cloud users.

5 Key cloud security risks

cloud security
Picture source: Pixabay

1. DDoS attacks

Cloud is a centralized compute infrastructure and hence it automatically becomes the target of malicious attacks, primarily DDoS. More so, Verisign reported IT services, cloud and SaaS were the most frequently targeted industry during the first quarter of 2015.

Basically, a DDoS attack is designed to overwhelm website servers so that it cannot respond to the request. Hence, if the DDoS attack is used, it will render the website unresponsive. The result can disastrous. For example, this can result in financial loss, customer trust loss, and brand authority loss.

Hence, integrating DDoS protection with the cloud-services has become a norm as websites and web-based applications are the core components of digital presence.

2. Data breaches

In the US, the known data breaches hit a record high of 738 in 2014. According to the Identity theft research center,  hacking was the number one cause.

More so, under the traditional model, IT professionals have greater control over the network infrastructure and physical hardware like firewalls, etc. But with cloud computing, the control is given to a trusted cloud vendor. Hence, it becomes imperative to choose the vendor with a good track record of providing data security.

3. Data loss

When business-critical information is moved to the cloud, it is understandable to be concerned with its security. More so, the loss of data could be of any reason as given below:-

  • Accidental deletion
  • Malicious tempering like DDoS
  • Act of nature 

Certainly, this could prove to be disastrous for the enterprise business. Sometimes, DDoS attacks act as just a diversion for an attempt to steal or delete the data.

Hence, it’s imperative to ensure there is a disaster recovery process in place, as well as an integrated system to mitigate malicious attacks. In addition, protecting every network layer, including the application layer (layer 7), should be built-in in a cloud security solution.

4. Insecure access points

One of the benefits of the cloud is that it can be accessed from anywhere and from any device. Thus, there can be cases where the interface and API’s are not secure. Hence, cyberattackers can exploit these vulnerabilities and exploit them.

In such scenarios, a behavioral web application firewall examines HTTP requests to a website to ensure it is valid traffic. This helps protect web applications from security breaches.

5. Some Cloud Platforms May Not Comply with Industry Regulations

Sometimes, organizations often have to meet special regulatory compliance requirements, such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, GDPR, or FISMA. Hence, it is imperative to meet these requirements otherwise as it may result in censures, fines, and penalties. Unfortunately, not all service providers have security measures that comply with every industry regulation.

Moreover, one should check if cloud providers meet industry-required standards. On the other hand, this could leave the business open to audits and penalties.

Hence, the simplest solution is to verify the cloud service providers which standard do they meet and then check with the appropriate agencies if they are listed as being compliant.

To Sum up

To sum up, it is of utmost importance that cloud security issues are properly dealt with. Otherwise, it may result in the degradation of business image and financial losses on the other hand.


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