Top 6 Cloud Computing Security Threats

Nowadays, enterprises are increasingly integrating cloud-based computing into their operations. By using cloud services, businesses can easily scale operations saving lots of money in the process. As the trend becomes popular, so do security threats to an organization’s data and equipment. Given that, organizations must identify these threats and appropriate measures to mitigate them. In this post, we highlight the top 6 cloud computing threats.

Threat #1: Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS)

In the early days of cloud computing, most security experts considered cloud-computing threats as unlikely to occur. Why was that so? It was thought that no one would afford the resources, commitment, and time to successfully launch DDoS attacks on cloud computing platforms. However, the proliferation of mobile devices and IoT has made it easier for attackers to launch DDoS attacks targeting an organization’s cloud-based architecture. Today, with sufficient computing power, any cloud platform can be taken down or disrupted.

Threat 2: Water Hole Attacks

There are three stages of a waterhole attack. First, attackers collect intelligence on an intended target. In most cases, they track an organization’s user online habits to identify their most trusted sites. In the second stage, attackers install exploit on identified websites. And lastly, they wait for unsuspecting users to visit the trusted website where the inserted exploit replicates and infects an organization’s system. But what can you do to protect yourself? It is recommended that you regularly update and patch all cloud-based applications to eliminate backdoors through which attackers can gain access to the system.

Threat #3: Malicious Governments and Intelligence Agencies

Technically, governments are required to ask for permission before accessing a company's information. However, with companies migrating their data and services to the cloud, governments can bypass this requirement by going directly to the cloud provider. To avoid falling victim to this threat organizations need to use cloud platforms wisely. A company should never let anyone have access to its encryption keys. Doing so will ensure the security of cloud based services even in situations where the government has access to a provider’s information.

Threat # 4: Platform Vulnerabilities

Cloud computing platforms often have system vulnerabilities that can compromise the security of your data. Often clouds are made of different applications, hardware, and users connected together for delivery of business services. As a result, vulnerabilities in a cloud platform can be utilized against the system.

Threat # 5: Compliance with Standards and Industry Regulations

Cloud computing equips companies with the ability to create a global platform for use in the business operations. Any business entity needs to comply fully with variable laws across the globe. Failure to do so can result in significant drawbacks to an organization’s global operations. A business entity needs to understand the different regulations in all countries in which it operates. Businesses should contract for cloud computing solutions that comply with industry standards such as EU data protection laws, HIPAA, and PCI DSS regulations. Practically, the use of encryption and vendor credentialing technologies is highly recommended for protecting your data against this threat as well as the reputation of your organization.

Threat # 6: Data Breaches

Cloud computing platform is susceptible to ransomware attack because of the lack of adequate data backups. In the event of a ransomware attack, a company may find that it can't access business-critical data. To avoid this, companies should regularly create backups of their data.

Nowadays, there are measures that companies can take to protect their cloud computing resources against the identified threats. With a data protection service, companies can enhance, improve, and protect against potentially catastrophic security breaches.

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