Top 5 Cloud Security Threats Plaguing Businesses
As business owners in the rapidly digitalizing world we live in, keeping up with technology trends has become an integral part of staying relevant. One such trend is cloud adoption; businesses are increasingly migrating their operations to the cloud. Its popularity is evident in the fact that 93% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy as stated in the Flexera 2020 State of the Cloud Report . Moreover, with the COVID-19 situation pushing companies to work from home, many businesses opted to switch to cloud platforms to facilitate telecommuting.
Incidentally, the prevalence of cloud computing has allowed cloud security to gain some much-needed attention. With so much data being shared across the web, it’s no surprise that cloud security breaches have risen and will continue to rise. As such, to protect your assets and minimise the vulnerability of your cloud to such attacks, here are the top 5 cloud security threats that businesses face.
1. Data Breaches
Data breaches occur when unauthorised personnel gain access to sensitive information in your cloud. With so much data flowing through the internet, it’s easy for cybercriminals to intervene and exploit any loopholes in your system. Threat actors can target your employees through phishing emails, malicious links or malware. Once they successfully obtain an employee’s credentials from the hacked device, they can infiltrate your cloud with ease. Cloud data can then be viewed, copied and distributed wherever they please. Confidential data can thus end up being exposed to the public or sold on the black market.
2. Compromised Credentials
Loosely managed access rights is one of the greatest threats to cloud security. The more people you give access to important data, the larger the risk of data leakage. Research has shown that employees are the biggest threat to an organisation’s cloud data as the lack of endpoint security is basically an invitation for a cyber-attack. Without proper security measures, company data can be easily extracted from an employee’s laptop or mobile phone etc. Poor password management by employees also contributes largely to data breaches. Many people have their passwords written down on paper or in their devices, making it easily attainable by cybercriminals. Furthermore, people generally use the same password across all their company accounts, greatly reducing the password’s strength. As such, companies should seriously evaluate what access rights each employee should get and be strict about it. Limiting access rights grants you more control over your data and minimizes your risk of an attack. Moreover, should a breach unexpectedly occur, you will have an easier time identifying the faulty account.
3. Data Loss
Data Loss is another deadly but unpredictable threat that can plague your cloud. Companies that utilise the cloud rarely monitor what is actually being stored in the platform. As your company grows, data stored can grow to a size that becomes difficult to manage. The larger the amount of data stored, the harder and more expensive it is to backup. As such, companies become less inclined to perform regular backups and checks. This increases the risk data loss as your cloud provider could experience sudden technical difficulties that could wipe out your information. With no backups to restore, the damage could be permanent, dealing a huge blow to your company’s reputation and growth. Furthermore, data loss can also occur in the form of a loss of access. When a company account is compromised, you may get locked out of your own database due to the lack of proper credentials. The hacker can then ask for a ransom for the returning of your data.
4. Denial-of- service (DoS) attack
A DoS attack is when an instigator intentionally disrupts your machine or services, making it unusable to your customers and hindering your business operations. A DoS attack occurs when large amounts of traffic flood your server, the overload interrupts all services and eventually causes your system to crash. As the traffic comes from a plethora of unknown sources, the attack is extremely difficult to stop. Your company will thus have to invest a large amount of resources into identifying the root cause of the ambush. In the meantime, your affected services will either cease to function or be extremely slow and erratic. This creates a huge negative impact on your business as you lose credibility, customers and profit.
5. Misconfigured Cloud
Failing to properly configure your cloud server settings can make you more vulnerable to attacks. An example of this would be keeping the default security settings of your cloud server. Many companies do not bother with strengthening the settings as they have an “as long as it works” mindset and are more interested in the cloud’s specific functions and features. This makes their cloud more prone to an attack as standard settings are naturally easier to breakthrough. Another instance is when companies store their data in messy and extensive structures, this increases the chances of some data being overlooked and hence left unsecured. Unprotected data can easily fall into the wrong hands, causing irreversible damage that could have been prevented.
As you can see, threats to your cloud assets are everywhere, many of which were not mentioned in this article. Hence, investing in appropriate cloud security tools and practising proper cyber hygiene is crucial if you want your business to thrive and continue doing so for a long time. As stated by Oracle’s Top 10 Cloud Predictions, 80% of all enterprise workloads will move to the cloud by 2025. Thus, cloud security is the future we are all inevitably moving towards.
CYBERhythm is a cloud detection and response platform from Singapore. We provide cloud monitoring services that help you identify and block potential cyberthreats while equipping you with real-time reports on your server’s health. Start your cloud security journey with us today with our 30-day free trial! Full access and no commitments. Visit our website for more details https://cyberhythm.cloud/.
 Flexera 2020 State of the Cloud Report
 2020 Oracle’s Top 10 Cloud Predictions
Retrieved from: https://www.oracle.com/a/ocom/docs/cloud/oracle-cloud-predictions-2020.pdf