Although many businesses greatly rely on cloud computing and cloud-based applications for storing their important company data, the security concerns associated with cloud computing can’t be neglected. There are certain security threats associated with the cloud services that you need to understand if you want to mitigate the risks.
Cloud Computing Security Threats
Following are such top 5 treacherous threats of cloud computing that may potentially damage the reputation and goodwill of a company:
- Data breaches: The data breach resulting in the loss of personal, business and financial information is quite common. Due to a large amount of data stored on cloud servers, the providers become the main target of cyber-criminals. The breaches involving business secrets, confidential health information, and intellectual property can be more devastating. The organization’s sensitive internal data can fall into the hands of the competitor. This can impact the brand and the person greatly.
- Compromised credentials and broken authentication: Data breaches and other cyber attacks usually are a result of weak passwords, lax authentication, and poor certificate or key management. Organizations often struggle with assigning permissions to appropriate user or department. Sometimes, they forget to remove user access when an employee leaves the organization or changes the job. Organizations that are planning to use cloud service to store its information need to have knowledge about the security measures the provider is using to protect the identities.
- Account hijacking: Phishing, fraud, and software exploitations are still common and cloud services are no exception because cyber criminals can eavesdrop on activities, modify data and manipulate transactions. These cloud applications can also be used by attackers to launch other attacks. If your account is hijacked, the attacker can use it as a base to enhance himself at the expense of your reputation. To avoid this, organizations should forbid the sharing of account credentials between users and services, and enable multi-factor authentication wherever possible.
- Malicious insiders: A current or former employee, a contractor, a system administrator, or a business partner can destroy whole infrastructures or manipulate data in order to take the revenge. Therefore, the systems that depend only on the cloud service provider for security are at greatest risk. It’s the responsibility of the organization to control the encryption process and keys. Effective monitoring, logging, and auditing activities are also important to keep everything under control.
- Permanent data loss: Although the cases of permanent data loss due to provider error are quite rare, malicious hackers have been known to delete cloud data permanently to harm businesses. Therefore, cloud service providers are as vulnerable to such kind of disasters as any other facility. For added protection, organizations are recommended to distribute data and applications across multiple zones. Off-site and on-site data backup is also considered the best practice for data safety and recovery.
The Bottom Line
Although cloud service providers deploy security controls to prevent such kind of breaches, it’s important to note that eventually, organizations are responsible for protecting their own data.
About Luke Lonergan
Luke Lonergan is the co-founder and CEO of Greenplum, San Francisco. Luke is an expert in Big Data and Cloud Computing. Luke Lonergan is best known for his newer ideas for cloud computing. Luke has an innovative approach for Big Data too.