Covid-19 is still looming; recent research shows that over 70% of the world’s businesses now operate on cloud. This is not a very surprising find since cloud offers a significant number of benefits like lower costs, flexibility, automatic software updates, increased accessibility, and overcoming geographical barriers.
But this also means there are security gaps known as Cloud attacks that must be addressed while maintaining efficiency and reducing operational costs. In the current scenario, 90% of organizations are moderately concerned about cloud attacks and security. Cloud technology is one of the most actively developed technologies with many vulnerabilities that malicious insiders can exploit easily.
Before exploring how to overcome cloud threats, let’s look at some of the most common types of cloud attacks seen in 2021 and expected to continue in 2022.
WHAT ARE THE TOP CLOUD COMPUTING THREATS
Cloud API vulnerabilities
Shared Technology Vulnerabilities
Insider threats may not seem familiar to organizations; however, it does exist. Employees have authorized access to organizations’ data that may include sensitive information such as personal information, payment details, customer accounts, financial forms, etc. While sometimes the misuse of this information is intentional, it could be accident or malware too. To overcome this, a recent research suggested a few best practices followed by organizations, such as implementing technology, controlling access, business partnerships, and prioritizing initiatives.
Cloud API vulnerabilities
Application Programming Interface allows users to interact with cloud-based services by creating a middle layer. However, any vulnerability may significantly impact security, cloud management, and monitoring. Developing stronger control over APIs and implementing them helps manage your cloud easily without being exposed to vulnerabilities through API.
Is Cloud safe? Can cloud store sensitive information rather than saving it on-premise? Although cloud computing has gained traction in the past few years, data breaches are not new. According to recent research, almost 50% of IT and Security professionals agreed that security measures to protect data on cloud services are low in their organizations. The study was conducted in nine scenarios to validate that a data breach had occurred. After evaluating each scenario, it was found that data breaches were three times more likely to occur where organizations used cloud than those who use on-prem. However, with the right data regulation and stringent security measures, cloud computing offers more advantages.
Data on cloud can be lost due to malicious attacks or even through data wipe through the service provider. Without a recovery plan, data loss could be catastrophic for small businesses since they stand to lose vital information. Many giants like Amazon and Google have suffered data loss, permanently destroying customers’ data. Securing data by carefully reviewing backup procedures that outline plans for physical storage locations, physical access, natural disasters, etc., can help minimize data loss.
Shared Technology Vulnerabilities
Cloud computing involves using a huge number of shared technologies, such as cloud orchestration and virtualization. Attackers can cause significant damage to many cloud users by exploiting vulnerabilities in any part of these technologies. Weaknesses in cloud hypervisor can lead to hackers gaining advantage and causing significant damage to cloud or even the host itself. Hackers gain unrestricted access to the host through shared resources; thus, it becomes important to check if your cloud provider has a stringent security measures.
Many other vulnerabilities are commonly seen in cloud weak cryptography, insecure APIs, Service attacks, Malware injection, hijacking of accounts, and so on.
HOW TO PREVENT CLOUD ATTACKS & THREATS
- Using Strong Authentication
- Access Management
- Improve Security Policies
- Identify Intrusions
- Secure APIs
With cloud, the traditional security model used no longer holds good. While a cloud provider ensures security, it is a mammoth task; therefore, the responsibility also lies with the cloud users. Cloud providers are now focusing more on following industry best practices to ensure they offer superior cloud security.
Here are a few ways to ensure your cloud is safe:
1. Using Strong Authentication
The most common way to access users’ data in the cloud is through stealing passwords. Cloud developers must implement strong authentication in the form of multi-factor authentication, tools that prompt for static and dynamic passwords. The dynamic passwords could be in the form of one-time passwords on mobile or using biometrics to authenticate user validity.
2. Access Management
To improve security, cloud developers should allow users to assign role-based permissions. This will ensure the data is safe and the scope of users’ permission stays within the company’s purview, where it can be tracked efficiently.
3. Improve Security Policies
Cloud providers must protect user data by limiting access to third-party software vendors. Security policies must be well laid out, and clients must be informed regularly on what security measures have been taken from your side to keep users’ data safe.
4. Identify Intrusions
As a cloud provider, you must provide a fully managed intrusion detection system for all cloud-based solutions you offer. This system can help detect and inform intruders about any malicious use of data. It can perform continuous network monitoring and notify about any suspicious behaviors.
5. Secure APIs
Cloud providers & developers must ensure that any cloud-based application can be accessed only through secure APIs. While it may cause limitations in terms of the number of IP addresses used or providing access only through corporate networks or VPNs, this can be a secure way. But this limitation can be overcome by implementing security protection using special scripts, templates, etc. Furthermore, security protection can be built to protect your API.
Cloud-based solutions are the way to move forward. Although this technology is exposed to vulnerabilities and cloud attacks, enhancing security measures and having a smooth functioning cloud-based service at your fingertips is possible. By being aware of top cloud attacks and how to avoid them, your organization can build a cloud security strategy and protect businesses from vulnerable attacks.