Five Cloud Security Threats to Watch Out for

Migrating to the cloud was one of the key trends that saw accelerated adoption during the pandemic. But it is imperative to understand that the cloud is also vulnerable to cyberattacks. Therefore, before migrating to the cloud, mindful considerations are essential, as they can help save money, time, and sensitive, confidential data.

According to a survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute, about 57% of IT professionals are not confident about their organization’s strength to counter advanced cyberattacks. And 63% of the respondents believe their organization is not ready to stop confidential data exfiltration.   

No doubt, the data collected through the survey paints a gloomy picture. But businesses can make the most of their cloud investments when they understand its vulnerabilities. This will help them to design an appropriate cloud security strategy and strengthen the architecture of their cloud security.

Identifying the top threats to cloud security is the first step toward creating an effective cloud security strategy. In this article, let us understand

  • Top 5 cloud security threats
  • How to mitigate the cloud security threats 
  • How cloud security is a shared responsibility 

Top Five Cloud Security Threats

Before delving deeper into a cloud security threat, let’s understand the difference between a threat and a risk. In essence, a risk is when there is a weak spot in the security system. A threat can either be an adversary or an attack. That said, let’s look at the top five cloud security threats.

  • Data Breaches, Spills, or Data Leaks

These are the most common threats to cloud security. Data accessibility is one of the most significant advantages the cloud environment offers, but at the same, it is also one of the major drawbacks. 

According to the aforementioned Ponemon Institute survey, the average cost per lost or stolen record due to a data breach is $188 and the average cost of an organizational data breach is $5.4 million.

Another report released by Ernetic documents that about 80% of organizations surveyed suffered at least one cloud data breach between 2019 and 2020, with about 43% of firms confirming ten or more breaches within the same period.

  • Malware in Cloud

This happens when a malicious code or a service attacks the cloud-based system. Usually, the security teams become adept at dealing with malware attacks in the cloud. However, malware attacks can lead to other attacks like DoS attacks and hyperjacking.   

  • Unsecured APIs and Interface

The cloud architecture interacts through application programming interfaces (APIs). So, when these APIs are not secured, the cloud environment becomes vulnerable to threat actors seeking a loophole in the security and taking advantage of it.  

  • Misconfiguration

Misconfiguration in the cloud environment transpires when the organization fails to configure its cloud-based system correctly. This essentially means glitches and gaps popping up that can pave the way for attackers and make the data in the cloud vulnerable to various malicious attacks.

  • Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attack

A usual DoS attack is when a server receives numerous messages with an invalid return address. The overload of messages keeps the network server busy, and the authorized users cannot access it.

Steps to Mitigate the Threats

There are different steps to mitigate each of the threats mentioned above. 

Starting with Data breaches or data spills or data leaks, here are the steps an organization can take after the breach is reported.

Data Spills or Data Leaks – How to mitigate the threat

  • Organize a response team of experts.
  • Check the online sources and websites to find clues about data spills.
  • Try to eliminate vulnerabilities from the security system.
  • Formulate a plan for communicating clearly.

Cloud Malware – How to mitigate the threat

  • Adhere to the zero-trust model – it is the best way to mitigate a malware threat.
  • Practice network segmentation to reduce the effect of the attack to some extent.
  • Implement a threat detection platform.

Unsecured APIs and Interface – How to mitigate the threat

  • Perform centralized monitoring of the cloud.
  • Review logs from the APIs that an organization is using.

Misconfiguration in Cloud – How to avoid it

  • Deploy multifactor authentication.
  • Employ best RDP security practices.
  • Employ a cloud-based SIEM to detect any risky connections.

Denial-of-Service or DoS Attacks – How to mitigate the threat

  • Identify illegitimate traffic and implement traffic blocking at the routing stage.
  • Perform bandwidth analysis and management of services.

Cloud Security – A Shared Responsibility – What Can Be Done

Cloud security is a shared responsibility. Along with the cloud provider, organizations must ensure complete cloud security. While the IT security team should be confident about the ability of their cloud vendors to deploy appropriate security measures, firms should also have specific tools to compensate for any security lapses, train the users on security best practices, have the right policies in place, and ensure continuous monitoring. 

Wrapping Up

Cloud security is the need of an hour for businesses, and it is non-negotiable. After all, it’s vital for an organization on the compliance and reputation front. To that end, adopting the cloud may seem daunting initially, but by adhering to best security practices, businesses can realize successful utilization of the cloud benefits. 

At Heptagon, we help enterprises establish a robust cloud security architecture and ensure the success of their digital transformation initiatives. Please feel free to reach out to us for more information.

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