Any business that relies on cloud platforms typically allows team members and customers access to their systems and applications from various locations.
One of the biggest myths about cloud security is that the cloud is intrinsically safe. But the harsh reality is that the next cloud security breach could be lurking on your doorstep.
In saying that, migration to the cloud has indisputable benefits, particularly now, with so many professionals working remotely, from scalability to flexibility and cost savings.
Security is also another highlight when it comes to the cloud. Still, it’s one thing to appreciate the fact cloud storage vendors will safeguard you against security threats with baseline protection. But you’d be entirely mistaken in thinking that it is the only security measure you need to stay safe to keep your organization protected.
Let’s dive into some of the most common cloud security challenges in 2022 to find out more.
Most Common Cloud Security Challenges in 2022
Human error is high on the list of general cybersecurity issues, be it phishing and malware threats or cloud security.
Misconfigured cloud services occur when the platform’s security settings are not correctly configured – usually by the user or admin. This can come in the form of someone accidentally allowing unauthorized access from outside sources, allowing servers and applications to communicate with each other.
A prime example of this is the Alteryx breach that took place in 2017. The marketing analytics firm publicly exposed sensitive data of around 123 million U.S. households when they left an unsecured database online.
To reduce the possibility of exploits and brute-force attempts, it is imperative to deploy multifactor authentication (MFA) as this will reduce the chances of unauthorized access. Also, invest in a cloud security system that will integrate with your existing cloud environment and detect any hazardous connections.
Although many often believe that malware isn’t that much of an issue when it comes to cloud security – it most definitely can be.
The fact that data is so accessible in the cloud, while it has a significant upside, can also be a downfall. This is because data constantly goes to and from the cloud, meaning there is a higher chance of it being intercepted and, in turn, compromised.
Once malware enters the cloud, it moves swiftly, creating more extensive problems, such as stealing sensitive data using keyloggers. Malware comes in various forms on the cloud-like DoS attacks, cloud snooping, and hyperjacking, just to name a few.
To avoid malware from entering your cloud environment, you should take the necessary precautions and employ a zero-trust model. That means your organization assumes there is always a possible breach in play and secures any and all access to systems through MFA and other precautions.
Using threat intelligence and other endpoint security tools will allow for the detection of any malicious actions, applications, or files that could contain malware within your cloud environment.
Cybercriminals generally target cloud networks as they are most often accessible by public internet. Additionally, since businesses often use the same cloud service provider, hackers can employ an attack multiple times on the same target and, in turn, gain access to several targets.
The truth is, cloud environments make it too simple to share data, whether internally or with third parties. That said, regular backups of cloud data are challenging to perform due to the overwhelming amount of data, making it a costly venture.
You’re actively opening the door to the viable risk of ransomware and data loss by not regularly backing your company’s data.
Ransomware is one of the most effective, prevalent, and costly threats carried out by malicious actors. They hold your data hostage and demand a hefty ransom for its return – generally in the form of cryptocurrency.
The best way to get around this cloud service issue is to encrypt data. Company information should never be on the cloud unless it is encrypted. Perform regular backups and set the proper permissions, which will prevent the wrong people from accessing information.
Lastly, it’s incredibly important to educate your staff to prevent them from accidentally leaking information.
While Application Programming Interfaces or APIs have been adopted as useful tools for businesses, they’re equally a source of anxiety for many security teams. Designed to streamline computing processes on the cloud, they are also one of the most significant causes of data breaches.
So much so that it has been predicted that APIs will become the most common platform for cyberattacks in 2022.
Securing your cloud-based systems from compromised APIs through authorization policies is a strong start. Additionally, activating web application firewalls and using a standard API framework will also help.
Distributed Denial of Service Attacks
Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS attacks are highly damaging. So much so that many companies have never recovered from such an attack. This type of attack denies access to legitimate users to their online service by saturating them with dangerous connection requests.
Steer clear of DDoS attacks by keeping a backup internet connection that will provide you with alternatives if your primary connection is overtaken with requests. You should also have excess bandwidth so that hackers have a more challenging task in flooding your connection.
Reassess Your Cloud Security Today
The above cloud security vulnerabilities, while not at all new, are prevalent this year in terms of cloud security. Malicious actors will use any and every tool to their advantage to cause damage and fill their pockets.
Understanding these threats is vital in improving the security level of any business’s cloud environments and, in turn, mitigating them on time. Should you wait until something goes wrong, it will almost certainly be too late.