Top Security Issues in Cloud Computing
Even though cloud services have ushered in flexible ways to store, transmit and share data, many organisations feel reluctant to use them. This may be because of the many security concerns that surround the integrity of data in the cloud. From Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks and malware injections to accidental data losses and internal vulnerabilities, these threats loom large. But they also have viable solutions when dealt with strategically.
Cloud computing has transformed the way organisations use, share and store their data, business applications and workloads. Scalability, resilience, flexibility and efficiency are the top advantages of this technology. However, despite the potential gains, several enterprises have been hesitant to adopt the cloud because of the security concerns. With terabytes of data getting pooled into public cloud resources, they have become an enticing target for cyber thieves.
Let’s look into the top security challenges that affect the adoption of cloud computing and how these problems are to be dealt with:
Cloud solutions have been affected by Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks in the past few years. DDoS attacks are strategised to overwhelm web servers and make them insensitive to legitimate access requests. A successful DDoS attack can render a website useless for hours and even days. This can lead to loss of revenue, client trust and brand authority.
In their early days, the sheer amount of the resources used by cloud computing platforms had made it difficult to execute DDoS attacks. With the increasing number of devices and applications now connected to the IoT, however, this threat is impending. An experienced service provider can secure their client’s cloud environment by providing a huge bandwidth, using intrusion detection systems, configuring firewall rules to keep out malicious IP addresses and regularly updating the security patches.
Insecure Access Points
A prime benefit of the cloud is that it can be accessed from any location or device. Even so, the same can become a major threat when the interfaces and APIs that the users interact with are not secure. When hackers uncover such vulnerabilities, they can misuse them.
The flexibility of access to cloud platforms has also made them prone to phishing and social engineering attacks. Once cyber thieves acquire the login details, they can easily break from anywhere into a system that is available. Employees must be well-acquainted with ways to safeguard their login credentials against such attacks, especially when they use their personal devices or computer systems outside the office premises to access the data in the cloud.
One of the measures to dilute this risk is to use a behavioural web application firewall that observes HTTP requests for a website and ensures that only legitimate traffic has access to it.
Inadvertent Data Loss
The DDoS attacks that a cloud is vulnerable to are diversions for bigger data thefts. Ransomware and malicious tampering by sacked employees are also some threats to cloud security. In addition, a business can lose its data from the cloud due to accidental deletion by the authorised workforce, including the senior managers.
Natural disasters can also lead to data loss. Google lost all data at one of the data centres in Belgium when its power grids were struck by lightning in 2015 ¹
To address these problems, it is important to have a strong disaster recovery process with data backups. Small and medium enterprises can involve their cloud service provider in the process. Furthermore, the user IDs of employees who get terminated from the company and the ones who voluntarily resign should be disabled with immediate effect.
Cloud computing platforms can also have internal system vulnerabilities. The networks that have complex architectures and multiple third-party platforms are particularly prone to these issues. If such vulnerabilities become known to attackers they can be easily used against the business owning the data. With a good system for patches and upgrade protocols along with network monitoring setups, this threat can be addressed.
When you are working with a recognised and trusted cloud service provider, it is feasible to surmount the cloud computing security problems. Tata Tele Business Services uses a harmonised combination of security tools and monitoring solutions to ensure that your data stays safe in the cloud. We offer secure cloud services to help you capitalise upon the benefits of data storage flexibility, automatic application updates, better collaboration, mobility and reduced fixed costs of data maintenance.