Security threats for cloud computing
One of the significant advantages of Cloud Computing that is often cited as a considerable advantage is that it can make your business more secure. In recent years, many companies have chosen to migrate to the cloud, specifically for its security benefits. However, this doesn’t mean that the cloud is impervious to cyber security attacks. There are actually several cyber security threats that can cause all sorts of problems for cloud systems.
Perhaps the most common threat to cloud computing is leaks or loss of data through data breaches. A data breach typically occurs when a business is attacked by cybercriminals who can gain unauthorized access to the cloud network or utilize programs to view, copy, and transmit data.
A data breach can be extremely damaging if you use cloud computing services, but it can happen relatively quickly. Losing data can violate the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which could cause your business to face hefty fines.
Remember that a data breach can cause many different issues for your business. Aside from the fines and loss of data, you can also lose the trust of your customers or even steal your intellectual property.
Compliance violations and regulatory actions
These days, most companies operate under some regulatory control of their information, whether it’s HIPAA for private health information, GDPR for data protection, or one of the many other governments and industry regulations. Under these mandates, companies must know where their data is, who can access it, and how it is being protected. BYOD policies can often violate every one of these tenets, putting the organization in a state of non-compliance, which can have serious repercussions.
Denial of service
One of the most damaging threats to cloud computing is a denial of service (DoS) attacks. These can shut down your cloud services and make them unavailable both to your users and customers, but also to your staff and business as a whole.
Cybercriminals can flood your system with a massive amount of web traffic that your servers cannot cope with. This means that the servers will not buffer, and nothing can be accessed. If the whole of your system runs on the cloud, this can make it impossible for you to manage your business.
When we think of cybersecurity challenges, we often consider the concept of malicious criminals hacking into our systems and stealing data – however, sometimes, the problem originates from the inside the company. A recent study suggests that insider attacks could account for more than 43 percent of all data breaches.
Insider threats can be malicious – such as staff members going rogue – but they can also be due to negligence or simply human error. It is crucial, then, to provide your staff with training and also ensure that you are tracking the behavior of employees to ensure that they cannot commit crimes against the business.
You should also ensure that you have a proper off-boarding process in place. This refers to the point at which someone leaves the company – you need to ensure that their access to any crucial data is removed and that their credentials no longer work in the system. Many businesses get hacked due to malicious former employees looking to get revenge.
The connectivity that makes clouds such valuable tools can also make cloud services a nightmare. If you have all of your mission-critical data and applications in the cloud, these resources are typically ensured to be highly available. However, if you are having Internet connectivity issues, this availability means nothing. Without a connection, you have temporarily lost your most valuable resources. Even on a less severe scale, this can cause significant issues.
For example, the massive increase of work from home created by Covid-19. Many organizations are not prepared to suddenly have their networks strained by large numbers of VPN connections. Likewise, many workers’ home internet connections are not fast enough to allow for effectively connecting to cloud resources, particularly when the number of active users is taxing available bandwidth.
Sometimes it can be the case that your system is highly secure, but you are let down by external applications. Third-party services, such as applications, can present serious cloud security risks. You should ensure that your team or cyber-security experts take the time to establish whether the application is suitable for your network before they have it installed.
Discourage staff from taking matters into their own hands and downloading any application that they think might be useful. Instead, it would be best if you made it necessary for the IT team to approve any application before it is installed on the system. While this might seem like a lengthy step to put in place, it can effectively take away the risk of insecure applications. And applications need to be patched whenever possible, so make sure that this a part of the ongoing role of your IT team.
Your organization is most likely using the cloud in some capacity. It’s important to remember that the cloud can still be vulnerable to cyber security attacks.
The Cyber Security experts at Lazarus Alliance are completely committed to you and your business’ success. Regardless of whether you represent the private sector or the public sector, we stand ready to partner with your organizations.
Lazarus Alliance is proactive cyber security®. Call 1-888-896-7580 to discuss your organization’s cyber security needs and find out how we can help your organization adhere to cyber security regulations, maintain compliance, and secure your systems.