Top 10 Cloud Security Issues, Threats and Concerns

We see more and more companies claiming ‘we have gone cloud.’ They do it with pride. And that is quite understandable. Security issues in cloud computing are minimal compared to their predecessors. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any cloud security issues or challenges. This blog looks at the top 10 cloud security risks of them.

What Are the Major Cloud Security Issues? 

To begin with, let’s first look at some of the common cloud security issues that can lead to serious data breaches in one’s cloud security.

Major cloud security issues

Unauthorized Access:

While accessibility from anywhere is the brightest side of cloud computing, it can simultaneously let attackers access your cloud systems. So, the access levels must be monitored. 

Account Hijacks:

This mostly happens to users who tend to use easy-to-guess passwords for their cloud accounts. Often using their own usernames with a few numerical characters before or after. 

External Data Sharing:

On a cloud setup, one can share data by sharing the ULR with the data source with anyone. While it makes things much easier from a usability point of view, the level of risk is high. 

Cyberattacks:

Cyberattacks are frequently reported to be one of the top cloud security threats. The reason is very straightforward. Cloud resources are accessible from anywhere and even through public networks. 

Misconfiguration:

 Cloud services have several customization options, allowing users to customize access levels. Poor configuration of the settings can lead to potential risks in cloud computing. 

Compromised APIs:

 To make the services more convenient for their users, cloud service providers provide them with access to APIs, which attackers can manipulate to breach users’ secure accounts. 

Shared responsibility model:

cloud service providers provide their services to their clients, sharing access to certain security aspects. Clients who don’t get that correctly end up leaving their resources at risk of exploitation.

Cloud security ignorance:

Most organizations have switched to cloud solutions from traditional computing services. While they are familiar with the former, they lack knowledge of the latter.

Insider threat:

An insider with a malicious intent to leak a company’s data to attackers or people with whom he has loyalty can do it more effortlessly than from a traditional computing system. 

Denial of Service Attacks:

 Denial of Service Attacks (DoS) is the deliberate attempt to overwhelm a server and make it inaccessible to actual customers. In cloud computing security, it targets businesses that rely on the cloud for delivering essential services.

What Are the Cloud Security Threats?

Cloud security threats are those potential dangers that can grow into serious security concerns with cloud computing if left unnoticed or unaddressed on time. Let’s look at some of them below.

Zero-Day Exploits:

As the name indicates, here an attacker identifies the vulnerability in a cloud infrastructure before even the developer has a clue about it and unleashes attacks. It gives the timeframe until a fix is ready. 

Insider Threats:

People with malicious intent to tarnish the reputation of a business that heavily relies on cloud assets and cloud security strategies can pose serious security risks to the organization.

Advanced Persistent Threats:

Advanced persistent threats (APTs) are usually executed by affluent attackers. It is one of the most complex security threats in cloud computing. The attacks go on for months, affecting the business operation. 

Cyberattacks:

Targeted, planned, and well-funded cyberattacks remain one of the top threats to cloud computing. Often, the intention of such attacks is to steal a company’s valuable datasets.

Cloud Security Challenges and Solutions

Security challenges in cloud computing are different from issues and threats. Challenges are those hurdles before organizations can effectively handle cloud security issues and challenges. Let’s discuss some of the top cloud security challenges and solutions.

Cloud security issues and challenges

Inadequate Cloud Computing Skills:

Organizations that lack expertise in cloud computing will often end up with system misconfigurations, which lead to vulnerabilities. It will compromise their security and challenge their effective cloud management. The solution is to train and upskill your team with up-to-date cloud computing skills. 

Poor Access Management:

Similarly, weak access controls can easily allow external players to gain unauthorized access to the organization’s cloud resources, exposing them to serious cloud security issues and challenges such as data breaches and thefts. The situation can be improved by bringing more stability to access management. 

Shadow IT:

Organizations that do not invest in proper mechanisms to deal with cloud security issues, for instance, using unapproved IT resources instead of licensed ones, often end up compromising their cloud services. The answer to this challenge is never to rely on unauthorized resources to deal with cloud security threats and solutions. Always use authorized services. 

Ensuring Cloud Compliance:

Ensuring compliance with regulatory and industry standards is essential to dealing with cloud security risks. As it demands continuous monitoring and upgrading, most entities may count it as a cloud computing security issue and challenge. Stay up-to-date on the laws regarding cloud computing and security and ensure compliance. 

Dealing With Data Loss:

To prevent data corruption, accidental deletion, or malicious attacks, you need robust backup and recovery solutions. It can be a costly affair for businesses, especially those startups that have a limited budget set for cloud security issues and solutions. Consult an experienced cybersecurity team about your cloud security concerns and take steps to deal with data loss. 

Securing Data Privacy:

Strong encryption, access controls, and monitoring practices are the answers to protecting sensitive data from unauthorized access and keeping their privacy. Unfortunately, these practices still remain far-fetched realities for most entities. Strictly study the data security guidelines from your cloud service provider and implement them. 

Handling Accidental Credential Exposure:

At times, there can be instances of sharing the credentials of your cloud assets with an unintended party by accident. Dealing with such instances requires a robust system of access control management, which can be challenging in many organizations’s contexts. 

Dealing with phishing emails::

In an organization of several employees, there are those with very limited knowledge of IT who would never identify cloud computing threats, for instance, phishing emails that intend to trick those innocent employees. Provide basic training to all your team members about potential email security issues in cloud computing and their solutions. 

Safeguarding Internet Protocols (IP):

 You need internet connectivity to access cloud services. As these services inevitably and heavily rely on the internet, it is essential to ensure that your IPs are encrypted and follow standard protocols. Additionally, make sure that you have implemented strong firewalls that effectively filter IP traffic. 

Having a roadmap and action plan:

It is widely observed that many organizations that switch to cloud services do so without having any knowledge of cloud security in cloud computing. As a result, when any potential challenge emerges, they have no clue as to what to do. The only way to prevent such misinformed accidents is to have a proper roadmap and action plan. 

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Jim Jacob

Jim Jacob is the founder of Cyberguard. He is an IT professional who has 21 years of professional experience in the tech field. Cybergurad is the product of his vision to share the knowledge gained from his career through the power of words. He is an expert at explaining complex tech concepts in simple language and has written numerous articles on IT and Cybersecurity.

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    Conclusion

    Knowing the challenges, risks, and threats to cloud security is the first step to creating a secure infrastructure for the deployment of business application running in the cloud environment. We are hopeful that this blog gave you a wholistic picture about cloud security issues. Cloud penetration testing helps identify any vulnerabilities in your system If you have any further questions about cloud security, cloud configuration, or any other concepts around this topic, feel free to write them in the comments below.