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The top 5 cloud security threats to watch out for

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Cloud computing has emerged as one of the biggest trends post the pandemic.  Enterprises across the globe frantically moved their business-critical workload to the cloud to ensure business continuity. However, moving to the cloud without giving enough consideration to security seems to have raised the possibility of threat incidents. As per an article by Security Magazine, approximately 63% of IT professionals surveyed, identified cyber threats designed to target cloud services as the top obstacle to their cloud strategy.

Also Read: How Can Enterprises Overcome Edge Computing Security Challenges?

Enterprises planning migration to the cloud must understand its vulnerabilities to design an appropriate security strategy. Here are the top 5 cloud security threats that needs to be taken into account for strengthening the security architecture:

Data Breaches: One of the major benefits that cloud offers is the accessibility to data at all times. This facilitates instant sharing and as a result enhances collaboration. However, this also becomes one of the drawbacks as cloud makes it too easy for user to share data, either with fellow team members or external third parties. Additionally, when enterprises move their data to cloud storage, they often struggle with performing regular data backups as backing up such large volume of data becomes costly and time-consuming. All these factors often lead to data breaches and loss or leakage of confidential company information.

API vulnerabilities: Cloud software interact with each other via APIs (application programming interfaces), and they become an essential part of the cloud environment. Unfortunately, enterprises fail to secure their APIs. When developers create APIs with inadequate authentication, they open up security loopholes that can allow unauthorized access to corporate data. As per Gartner, APIs will soon become the most targeted cyber-attack.

Cloud Malware: Cloud malware refers to the cyberattack on the cloud-based system with a malicious code or service. Often security teams assume that malware isn’t an issue in the cloud. Especially, after implementing endpoint security solutions. However, malware is a real-threat in the cloud, and security teams must have multiple layers of security to detect it. Malware in the cloud can take the form of several types of attacks, such as DoS, hyperjacking, and hypervisor infections. Once it infiltrates an organization’s IT entry points, it can spreads quickly and opens the door to even more serious threats.

Lack of identity and access management solutions: Easy data accessibility is one of the major benefits of the cloud. However, this benefit can quickly turn into a drawback. When the data is easily accessible, it raises multiple identify and access management crisis. Hence, it is advisable to implement advanced identity and access management solutions to ensure that employees have access to only that data which is critical for their functions.

Cloud Misconfigurations: Cloud misconfigurations have always been one of the major threats that businesses face while functioning in a cloud-based environment. Misconfiguration occurs when a company has not configured its cloud-based system correctly, leaving it vulnerable to hackers.  As more organizations store data in the cloud, cases of misconfigurations have skyrocketed in recent years.

As a result of these misconfigurations, threat actors can easily access and exploit the cloud-based data. They can launch multiple cyber-attacks such as DDoS, ransomware, malware, or digital skimming, the list is endless. However, there are a number of cybersecurity best practices such as encrypting cloud-based data, securing entry-points through identity and access management solutions, performing periodic security audits, which businesses can undertake to secure their cloud-based assets to prevent a misconfiguration breach.

Conclusion

Understanding the most significant threats that surround a cloud-based environment is a crucial step towards preventing them. Through understanding, businesses can come up with the right defence and strategies to prevent cyber-attacks so that they can reap the benefits of operating in a safe and seamless cloud environment.

As written by Shrikant Navelkar, Director, Clover Infotech, and published in Data Quest India

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