Organizations and businesses have had to turn to third-party cloud and managed security services to look for ways to bolster cybersecurity and shift from legacy to modern data platforms.
However, the sudden transition to the cloud has brought new security risks. This means that if your business or organization chooses to adopt cloud technologies and migrate your data over, you could be making a major mistake without being fully informed of the risks involved.
In this article, we will outline the six most significant cybersecurity threats for cloud networks that businesses face when migrating data or applications to the cloud. Take note that these cloud security threats are always evolving and the ones listed here are by no means exhaustive.
Top Cloud Security Threats
Data breaches occur when unauthorized individuals access cloud systems and interfere with the data stored in them. Whether attackers view, copy or transmit data, an organization’s safety is not guaranteed once such individuals gain access.
Significant data breaches that have been costly to businesses include the mid-2018 Tesla cloud crypto-jacking that exposed sensitive telemetry data. This occurred due to the company’s failure to encrypt one of its cloud accounts.
The primary cause of data breaches is human error. Lack of knowledge or not educating your staff on how to keep data safe and secure can easily expose your business to a hacker. This is why providing sufficient cybersecurity education on data protection to your employees is crucial, as nearly 90% of professionals agree that improved data protection skills can significantly reduce risks and data breaches happening within their respective organizations.
Sometimes, the biggest threats to an organization’s cybersecurity are internal. Insider threats are usually seen as more hazardous than outsider threats as they can take several months or years to identify.
The masterminds are usually individuals with legitimate access to an organization’s cloud systems. Whether they happen intentionally or maliciously, insider threats will cause a lot of harm to your cloud system. Therefore, it is essential to detect, investigate and respond to them as fast as possible.
The reason why these attacks can go undetected for long periods is that businesses lack the proper systems to identify these attacks and are unprepared to identify and resolve them. In addition, companies have little to no control over underlying cloud infrastructure. Traditional security solutions may not be effective as long as significant power remains with the vendors.
Monitoring user analytics and gaining visibility into behavioral anomalies can be a way to signal an active insider threat as well as putting employees and processes to the test with adversary simulation and control tuning.
Due to the rise of cyberattacks brought on by the global pandemic, an increasing number of companies are shifting their data control to the cloud. However, this leaves most applications and essential internal functions that are cloud-based exposed to denial-of-service attacks.
In a denial-of-service attack, a hacker floods a system with more web traffic than it can handle at its peak. This results in operations stalling entirely, with internal users and customers unable to access the system, making it unable to operate the business.
Subsequently, companies need to find ways to stop denial-of-service attacks before they occur and cause serious setbacks. One strategy is to rely on dynamic application security tools, which will scan your web applications for threats while they are running and can identify denial-of-service attacks in their early stages or before they happen.
Insecure Interfaces and APIs
Software user interfaces and APIs are usually responsible for the provision, monitoring and management of cloud services. Cloud service providers are working tirelessly to advance APIs and interfaces, but this growth has also increased security risks associated with them.
Cloud service providers use a specific framework to provide APIs to programmers, which leaves their systems more vulnerable to attackers. As such, organizations risk improper authorizations, previously used passwords and anonymous access. The best way to solve this is knowing how to properly design your cloud security with a multi-layer approach, which is required to help curb unauthorized access and ensure that the software you create is secure.
Hijacking of Accounts
The growing reliance on cloud-based infrastructure has also contributed to a high number of account hijacking cases. Depending on the attacker’s intent and how they will use the accessed information, cloud account hijacking can have devastating consequences for a business, such as information being falsified or leaked to other parties.
Account hijacking attacks can also damage a brand’s reputation and the relationships they have with their customers. The integrity and good reputation a company has built for years can be destroyed with one cyberattack. Legal implications could also follow if customers decide to sue the company for exposing their confidential data.
Having rock-solid facilities that utilize electronic surveillance and multifactor access systems is important to minimize the risk of hijacking and disruptions to operations. Having a provider that also offers features such as secure data transfer, encrypted data storage and security logs will provide detection of brute-force attacks.
Misconfiguration is one of the leading threats businesses face in their cloud-based systems. Most business owners are inexperienced in matters surrounding cloud-based infrastructure, which exposes them to various data breaches that can impact their operations.
Misconfiguration often results from the need to make cloud data accessible and shareable. Limiting access only to eligible people and, depending on the cloud service provider, can impact a company’s ability to control these systems dramatically. Basic cloud storage services often come with critical security measures such as client-side encryption, intrusion detection systems and internal firewalls. Being familiar with vendor-provided security settings is critical.
Understanding the most significant threats that face cloud systems and networks is a crucial step toward preventing and stopping them in their tracks. Knowing which resources are right for your business will help you prevent these cloud security threats and take action. With the right defenses and responses in place, your business can enjoy the many advantages cloud systems bring.