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In the past, security was one of the most significant risks associated with the cloud, as its liabilities were severe concerns for IT leaders in the early days of its development. Many feared that vulnerabilities in cloud-based software could be exploited to bypass its protection and that a third party could easily access sensitive information, such as financial or medical records. Nevertheless, these software vulnerabilities have not stopped enterprises from successfully deploying cloud solutions, as it has been repeatedly shown that breaches can be identified and stopped beforehand.
As organizations have become more comfortable with cloud security, they have become more willing to use cloud consulting services and the tools required to keep them safe. Nowadays, almost every organization faces many security risks, from unmanaged attack surfaces to simple human error. It is not necessarily dangerous to use cloud computing, but some security risks must be acknowledged to be avoided.
Why you should safeguard your cloud systems
As remote work becomes more prevalent and companies increasingly use cloud-based technology, it’s crucial to ensure that systems are secure and confidential data is protected. Cloud computing enables businesses to access their essential, virtually-stored data from anywhere, without having to maintain servers. It can also improve collaboration, accessibility, mobility, and storage capacity. Unfortunately, the security risks in cloud computing are plentiful.
With remote access to sensitive and business-critical data, sound risk management is critical to prevent security threats such as hackers from breaching cloud applications. Mitigate risks by choosing a provider that offers around-the-clock customer service and 24/7 technical support for any issues you might face with your cloud computing software.
The importance of understanding the risks
To protect your business against cyber criminals, your organization needs to understand cloud services better, along with the risks involved. Cyber security solutions, such as cloud penetration testing, can provide greater peace of mind for companies concerned about cloud security risks. Many cloud service providers can identify and manage threats through testing and give businesses detailed threat assessments.
If you plan to use a cloud provider, make sure they offer the cloud security standards your business requires. As you research, you’ll be able to determine which companies offer the best features and protection for your needs and which have a proven confidentiality track record.
Identifying the most common security threats
Eliminating risk completely is impossible, but it impossible to manage it. Preparing ahead of time can help an organization deal with the most common security risks:
Data loss – During a natural disaster, the hardware that stores your data can be compromised, resulting in data loss. Fires, floods, earthquakes, or other natural disasters can destroy servers. Storms can also cause temporary electrical outages or surges that corrupt data. Data loss is a risk if businesses store their files with an organization that does not offer reliable backups.
Misconfigurations – Misconfigurations are huge issues in cloud computing. Employees who fail to install the necessary security measures can unintentionally compromise a cloud platform.
Data leakage – A good cloud service provider will often provide publicly-accessible URLs for uploading and downloading files due to inadequate security controls. By encrypting links and restricting access, businesses can mitigate this risk.
Data breaches – Breaches are among the top security risks of cloud computing today. Online storage providers should guarantee complete protection against leakage and unauthorized access to sensitive data.
Account theft – In brute force attacks, cybercriminals exploit vulnerabilities in network infrastructures to access sensitive cloud services. The best practice is to use strong passwords that are frequently changed.
Threats from within – The security risks of cloud computing come in all shapes and sizes. One of the most prominent of these risks are insider threats. Administrators, developers, and other trusted employees may abuse access to sensitive data. Cloud software training is essential for your staff to avoid a large cloud computing risk.
APIs with insecure access – Using cloud services with insecure APIs puts your data and systems at risk of exposure. Attacks on APIs generally fall into three types: brute force, denial-of-service, and man-in-the-middle.
Uncontrollable repositories – Due to the limited control you have over where your data is stored, you may need to be made aware of a breach. Administrators can mitigate this risk by understanding the security measures at each location and encrypting data.
Cloud security risks must be mitigated
Cloud computing solutions have spread widely, but many organizations rarely use full-fledged risk management methodologies. Instead, cloud providers handle security and activate controls that are widely considered best practices for cloud computing. However, entities need to be made aware that there are acceptable risks.
For one thing, adverse events are more likely to disrupt cloud operations. But don’t despair; this situation is avoidable. Cloud computing poses risks that organizations can address. First, reviewing the risk categories most relevant to cloud computing technologies is a good idea. After that, IT managers can take actionable risk management steps.
Ways to manage cloud computing security risks
As mentioned above, organizations must continue to prioritize and implement security controls to mitigate,document and revisit risks as time passes. Managing cloud requires regular risk assessments. Your organization must also:
Test for cloud vulnerabilities – As part of your risk management strategy, regularly testing your system for cloud computing security risks is a good idea. Just as a real-world hacker would, your specialists should probe the cloud for vulnerabilities.
Plan for contingencies – In a severe emergency, e.g. natural disaster or terrorist attack, ensure your online storage provider has a business continuity plan outlining how to protect your information. Regularly test this plan to en sure it is working correctly.
Audit your data security – Suppose your service provider needs to routinely audit their security controls to protect sensitive data and files across their networks. In that case, find a cloud computing partner who can provide full transparency about their cloud security measures.
Provide cloud security training – Find out if your cloud storage provider offers staff training on cyber threats and cloud security risk. Employees must understand how their company’s data management system works to avoid social engineering attacks.
Best practices in cloud security
Organizations must understand their cloud usage and risks to protect their cloud systems from malicious security issues. Identify sensitive or regulated data first.
Critical settings in cloud environments can create exploitable weaknesses if misconfigured. However, data classification engines can help you assess this risk by categorizing your organization’s data. Even ifCloud data can be securely stored, but access and destination must be monitored.
Your cloud services can be strategically protected according to their level of risk once you understand your cloud security risk posture. Adopting best practices will enable your organization to detect malicious user behavior, monitor anomalies, and mitigate internal and external data loss due to careless employees or third parties. So, to help you with your cloud security, do the following:
- Configure your network and encryption carefully.
- Know how sensitive data is accessed and shared
- Ensure your data protection policies are followed
- Audit your identity and access management system
- Ensure that data sharing is limited
Choosing the right cloud computing solution
The risks of cloud computing aren’t small, but the benefits of working in the cloud easily outweigh the few manageable risks. Many of today’s leading companies choose cloud computing because of its cost savings, scalability, and security, as well as its seamless ease of facilitating remote work. Your organization’s risk can be mitigated by choosing the right technology and software developers to implement it.
About the authorSoftware Mind
Software Mind provides companies with autonomous development teams who manage software life cycles from ideation to release and beyond. For over 20 years we’ve been enriching organizations with the talent they need to boost scalability, drive dynamic growth and bring disruptive ideas to life. Our top-notch engineering teams combine ownership with leading technologies, including cloud, AI, data science and embedded software to accelerate digital transformations and boost software delivery. A culture that embraces openness, craves more and acts with respect enables our bold and passionate people to create evolutive solutions that support scale-ups, unicorns and enterprise-level companies around the world.