7 Security Threats in Cloud Computing You Can’t Ignore

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Security is often cited as the main reason why many businesses switch to cloud environments. Of course, comparatively more robust security controls are a top benefit of cloud computing that you can’t ignore. However, that doesn’t mean that you can ignore cloud computing security threats.

“Moving to the cloud doesn’t mean you get to toss your old cybersecurity practices aside. The cloud may have fewer security risks, but it also has new ones you may not have encountered before. Keep your old measures, and add a few new ones to the mix.”Chuck Bender, CEO, Attentus Technologies

Think of it this way: would you leave your car unlocked in a known-to-be “safe” neighborhood? Sure, it’s less likely to get stolen there, but that doesn’t mean the risks are non-existent. Leaving your car unlocked is still ill-advised, as are lowering your security measures in the “safer” cloud.

However, unlike whether you should or should not lock your car, cloud vs. on-premise security requires some different protocols. Many of the standards, such as avoiding weak passwords, are still relevant, but there are a few new threats to have in mind.

In this article, we’re listing 7 cloud security threats that you should keep in mind as you plan your cloud security strategy.


1. Data Breaches

Let’s start with the most obvious one. Keeping your data secure still needs to be your top priority. Data leaks are less likely to happen, but they still can happen. This is especially true if you’re using a massive public cloud with a lot of noisy neighbors.

The good news is that most of the standards you have set in place to secure your data on-prem are still relevant to cloud data centers. Uphold robust access controls, utilize multi-factor authentication (MFA), and regularly scan your cloud resources for suspicious activity.


2. Misconfigurations

Cloud services come with a lot of different configurations. Even if you did all of yours right the first time, new updates will bring new settings that need to be properly configured. Misconfigurations are security vulnerabilities. Hackers can exploit a weak spot in your settings to gain access.

Be diligent about software updates when they appear. Don’t just click “ignore” to make the pop-up disappear, actually update your systems. This will ensure that any of those possible weak spots stay strong. Also, make sure the people in charge of your software configurations are trained to do them right. One bad setting can set you up for headaches.


3. Denial of Service (DoS Attack)

DoS (denial of service) attacks are particularly common in public cloud systems. These attacks occur when someone intentionally floods traffic to slow or stop user access. The reason why public clouds are big targets is because people who implement these attacks can hit a lot of companies at once.

This is why data backups in multiple locations are still important. If a DoS attack slows your access to data you need to be productive, you’ll still have it elsewhere. This way, you can use your backup to continue working while the DoS attack is resolved.


4. Insecure API

An insecure Application Programming Interface (API) is way too easy to intercept. The tough part is that you’re pretty reliant on your cloud provider to have secure APIs. As such, make sure you ask about their APIs upon your discovery calls before you sign a contract.

However, you’re not helpless. Data encryption is how you can regain control of any data transmitted via APIs. No matter your provider’s security level, your data will be unusable to anyone except for those with the right decryption key.

Learn More About How You Can Avoid Cloud Security Risks


5. Unmanaged Attack Surface

Your attack surface refers to how many possible entry points hackers could have into your system. According to Forrester, a cloud server’s attack surface is on average 30% larger than what business owners tend to assume pre-migration. If 30% wasn’t anticipated, there’s a good chance 30% is being left unmanaged.

Plus, your attack surface will grow with every new microservice you add to your cloud environment as you expand. Your attack surface can also include small leaks that could lead to a bigger attack. For example, an attacker using data from public Wi-Fi to figure out the names of online storage areas.

Look at the bigger picture and plan ahead before you migrate. Consider how you will stay secure as you expand or in the face of not-so-obvious threats. Look for powerful, yet flexible, security solutions that can adapt to a fluid attack surface.


6. Human Error

Inadvertent human error accounts for 88% of data loss. Some organizations even put that number up to 95%. No amount of high-powered software can do its job right if the people behind the desk don’t use it correctly.

For this reason, you need to invest in cybersecurity training as well as cybersecurity tools. Otherwise, you may want to outsource your cloud management tasks to trained professionals who won’t make easy mistakes.

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7. Zero-Day Attacks

Zero-day attacks take advantage of weak spots in commonly used cloud software. The hackers behind these attacks have a good idea of which weak spots often go unnoticed. The trouble is, it’s up to the software company to manage these vulnerabilities.

For better protection against zero-day exploits in the cloud, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your data. Limit who has access to your cloud by using role-based permissions. You can also isolate sensitive data in a separate environment.


Mitigate The Risks With a Cybersecurity and Cloud Service Provider (CSP)

These 7 precautions for these 7 risks are only scratching the surface when it comes to cloud security. It’s a good place to start, but we recommend seeking more in-depth advice for full protection. Plus, your business might have unique needs that won’t quite fit the general model we highlighted above.

The team from Attentus Technologies will happily play the role of your trusty cloud consultants. We’ve got the experience to back us up and our comprehensive cybersecurity package that goes beyond basic defenses. From legal compliance and device security to 24/7 monitoring, we provide an all-encompassing solution to keep your business safe.

Reach out to us today to find out more about what we can do.