When your business decided to migrate to the cloud, better data security was probably one of the benefits you were aiming for. Compared to in-house systems, the cloud hosts your files via the internet, and with its redundancy features, even if one copy goes offline, another can still be accessed. This ensures fewer downtimes and better business continuity.
However, while the cloud is indeed more secure than an on-premises infrastructure, there are still some problems you can run into. For instance, data protection regulations are becoming more stringent, and noncompliance can not only be costly, but also very damaging to an organization’s reputation. Cybercriminals are also constantly looking for ways to steal sensitive data from companies.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest threats to your cloud security:
#1. Data breaches
Data leaks are one of the biggest cloud security threats a business has to be prepared for. This is typically caused by an unauthorized third-party entity gaining access to confidential data and being able to view, copy, modify, or transmit it.
Just recently, cybersecurity company Imperva suffered a data breach that led to the leak of its customers’ data. It was later found that a stolen cloud application programming interface (API) key, or a unique user identifier, was the cause of the data theft. The stolen data included email addresses, passwords, and other API keys.
#2. Data loss
Aside from breaches, there are also instances when your data can go missing in the cloud. Let’s take a look at the three most common factors for data loss:
- Accidental deletion/user error: Sometimes, organizations delete data they don't realize is actually important or still needed. One of your employees might unintentionally delete a shared project or accidentally modify a finished document. Third-party apps can also corrupt some data.
- Overwriting data: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications normally hold large amounts of data that are constantly updated and added to. Overwriting is a common problem when large data sets are imported into an application via bulk uploads or third-party applications.
- Malicious actions: Cyberthreats such as malware, phishing, and man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks can be one of the causes of data loss. Internal threats can also lead to data loss; for instance, a disgruntled employee can modify or delete data intentionally to spite a supervisor or coworker.
- Natural disasters: Earthquakes, floods, forest fires, and other natural calamities can also cause data loss.
#3. Distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS)
DDoS is an attack method where a hacker enlists thousands of different computers to target an internet-accessible system and flood it with connection requests. Once traffic becomes too much to handle, the system will crash and be rendered unusable.
This is an advancing security threat that came from the rapid rise of cryptocurrency use. In this attack, cybercriminals use your computing resources to “mine” or dig for cryptocurrency by installing a mining script on your servers without your consent. The CPU load will spike due to this activity, which will eventually slow down the entire system, making it almost impossible for your system to function properly.
#5. Account takeover
Cybercriminals can easily hijack the login credentials of your employees through poor password policies. For instance, if one of your users has a password like “12345678,” “letmein,” or “passw0rd,” hackers can gain access to your cloud environment, and steal or manipulate your data. They can also sabotage your system.
How to keep your cloud systems protected
Attackers will always find ways to steal your files, so your business still has to do its due diligence in data protection. Here are a few things you could do:
- Conduct a regular cloud security assessment. Set a regular period for cloud infrastructure review, and replace anything outdated. Make sure to use trusted cloud services with a good reputation
- Establish strict access policies. Only provide file access to those who need it, and make sure you can revoke it at any time, especially if your firm deals with contractors and project-based workers. Use multifactor or biometric authentication as well for better security.
- Create a disaster recovery plan. You can never really know when incidents will strike, so preparation is always a good idea. Create a solid disaster recovery plan so you can prevent data loss and avoid extended downtimes.
- Raise employee awareness. Remember that your employees are your weakest link, so take the time to inform them of your cloud service policies and how to secure their data from theft and loss.
You can also partner with a proactive cloud services provider (CSP) like Binatech. We customize our services according to your needs and make sure that your data is always protected — no matter the cyberthreat. Secure your cloud environment today. Call us now.