How to Manage Cloud Security Risk?
What is Cloud Computing?
This continually transforms and upgrades how organizations to store, use, and share data, workloads, and applications. The number of individuals using the cloud around the globe is increasing, contributing to a greater mass of sensitive material that is potentially at risk. There are many merits of cloud computing, which persuade more firms and individuals to use the cloud. These merits of cloud security could include low costs, improved employee productivity, and a faster market, among many more.
Regardless of the great benefits, saving a firm’s workloads to a cloud service that is publicly hosted exposes the organization to new data security risks, which cause uneasiness for firms. With enough data and software moving to the cloud, unique info-security challenges crop up.
Cloud Security Risks
The following consists of the significant cloud security risks:
· Shared vulnerabilities. Cloud security is the responsibility of all parties concerned in a business agreement. From the service provider to the client and business partners, every stakeholder shares the responsibility of securing data. Every client should be inclined to take precautionary measures to protect their sensitive data. Key security protocols such as protecting user passwords and access restrictions are the client’s responsibility. Users should consider high-security measures as the most delicate part of securing their data is firmly in their hands.
· Theft or loss of intellectual property. Companies data uploaded to cloud-based file management services contain sensitive data. This could be about the company or the customers. The intellectual property of most companies could face the risk of being stolen. Researchers have revealed that most interviewees had no idea of the threat posed by bringing their own cloud storage devices to their organization. Employees unknowingly help cyber-criminals access sensitive data stored in their cloud accounts. Weak cloud security methods within an organization include storing data without encryption or failing to install multi-factor authentication to gain access to the service.
· Malware attacks. Cloud services can be a vector for data theft. As technology improves and protection systems evolve, cyber-criminals have also developed new techniques to deliver malware targets. Attackers encode sensitive data onto video files, even pictures, and upload them to YouTube. Research shows that cyber-criminals use private social media accounts to deliver the malware. The malware then exhilarates sensitive data a few characters at a time. Some have also been known to use phishing attacks through file-sharing services to deliver the malware.
· Compliance violations. There is a serious risk with great consequence for organizations that are in a state of non-compliance. To mitigate this risk, companies should always use authentication systems for all the sensitive data in the firm. Tech giants like Facebook have been victims of resource exploitation due to user errors or misconfigurations. Keeping employees informed about the dangers and risks of data sharing is of at most importance.
· Contract breaches with clients and business partners. Contracts restrict how business partners or clients use data and also who has the authorization to access it. Employees put both the firm and themselves at risk of legal action when they move restricted data into their cloud accounts without permission from the relevant authorities. Violation of business contracts through breaching confidentiality agreements is common. This is especially when the cloud service maintains the right to share all data uploaded with third parties.
· End-user control. It is very germane that companies educate their cloud service employees on the sensitive nature of their jobs to avoid complacency in information management and control. Strict sanctions should be enforce on culpable employees. There is a rising incidence of insider threats in recent times in the modern market. Great dangers lies ahead when private data goes into the public server.
· Increased customer agitation. Many cloud service critics are keen to see which service providers have weak security protocols to encourage customers to avoid them. Most of these critics are famous around the internet and could lead to a poor impression of your firm in a few posts. If your customers suspect that their data is not safe in your hands, they not only move to competitor firms but also damage your firm’s reputation.
· Attacks to deny service to legitimate users. One must be well aware of cyber-attacks and how they can be used to hijack information and establish a foothold on the service provider’s platform. Denial of service attacks, unlike cyber-attacks, do not attempt to bypass your security protocol. Instead, they make your servers unavailable to illegitimate users.
· Insecure APIs. Application Programming Interfaces offer users the opportunity to customize their cloud service experience. The nature of APIs can pose a great threat to cloud security. This APIs provide access, authenticate, and effect encryption and gives firms the ability to customize the features of their cloud service provider. As APIs also increase the security risk on the data client’s store as they evolve. Programmers use the tools APIs offers to integrate their programs with job-critical applications.
Despite the favorable chances that the technology presents to the user, it also increases the level of vulnerability to their data. Cyber-criminals have more opportunities to use these vulnerabilities to their advantage.
· Loss of data. Information stored on cloud servers can be lost through a natural disaster, malicious attacks, or a data wipe by the service provider. Losing sensitive data is devastating to firms, especially if they have no recovery plan. Google is an example of a big tech firm that has suffered permanent data loss after being struck by lightning four times in its power supply lines.
· Diminished customer trust. It is usual for customers to feel unsafe after firm data breach concerns. Massive security breaches have resulted in the theft of millions of customer credit and debit card numbers from data storage facilities. These breaches reduce customer trust in the security of their data. A breach in an organization’s data will inevitably lead to a loss of customers, which ultimately impacts the firm’s revenue.
· Revenue losses. Clients of an organization will avoid patronizing the firm’s product in the wake of news of data breaches in the organization.
What Security Management in the Cloud is All About?
Security management in the cloud can be defined as strategies programmed to allow businesses to use cloud applications and networks to their most significant potential while limiting potential threats and vulnerabilities.
Ways to Manage Cloud Security Risk
· Encrypting data. In many cases, you’ll need to make extra efforts to prevent data loss and preserve data integrity by encrypting your data and securing your connections. It is your responsibility to allow legitimate network traffic and block suspicious traffic.
· Reporting. It is also important to monitor cloud activity from a high level and report on it to better understand your risks and ongoing operations.
· Identifying and assessing cloud services. First, you need to identify which cloud products and services are being used in your organization and which ones might be considered in the future. Then, you will need to assess and audit those items, analyzing their security and potential vulnerabilities.
· Auditing and adjusting security settings. You will have complete control of your privacy and security settings within each application. It is on your cloud security team to understand which settings are available and take full advantage of them to grant your organization the highest possible level of security.
· Managing users. Similarly, you will need to consider user-level controls. Establish varying user permissions levels, restrict access to your most valuable or sensitive information, and change user permissions to allow secure access.
· Managing devices. Cloud applications allow you to reduce the amount of physical infrastructure you maintain, but you and your employees will still be accessing data and services with specific devices. You will need to find a way to manage and monitor those devices to ensure that only authorized devices can access your data.