5 Top Cloud Security Threats Businesses Face Today

Andrew Zola
Andrew Zola on Linkedin

Cloud computing transformed the way businesses stored, managed, and shared data, applications, and workloads. As it continues to evolve, it has also introduced a whole new set of security threats and challenges.

With so much data moving to the cloud, especially public cloud services, it will inevitably become a target. But the responsibility securing your sensitive data doesn’t lie with your cloud service provider. In fact, it’s the cloud customer’s responsibility.

However, this is not always obvious to most enterprises utilizing cloud computing services. As a result, we have put together a list of the top five cloud security threats that businesses will face in 2018.

1. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Insecure Interfaces

Cloud computing vendors expose some of their software APIs to help customers better use, manage, and interact with cloud services. This means that you can engage in monitoring, provisioning, and management with these interfaces.

However, the security and availability of general cloud services depend on what kind of security that’s embedded in the API. As a result, these need to be designed to protect against both malicious and accidental attempts to circumvent policy.

2. Data Breaches

Data breaches occur because of human error and application vulnerabilities, but they’re also the primary objective of targeted attacks. Sometimes data breaches will also occur because of poor security policies.

Data breaches can result in data loss or the theft of highly sensitive information like financial data, health information, trade secrets, and personally identifiable information. While the risk of a data breach isn’t something unique to cloud computing, it still remains a major concern.

3. Ransomware Attacks

Last year we saw a plague of ransomware attacks that took down many corporations and even Britain’s National Health Service. From WannaCry to Petya, these attacks were quite successful in obtaining hard-to-trace cryptocurrency payments.

According to MartinGiles, the San Francisco bureau chief of MIT Technology Review, cloud service businesses will be a big target for bad actors in 2018. As cloud storage providers house an enormous amount of data and sometimes run consumer services like email and photo libraries, they will probably make the top of the list.

The largest cloud operators like Amazon, IBM, and Google have the brightest minds working on digital security. So these providers might be much harder to breach, but smaller companies will probably be more vulnerable. They will also be more inclined to pay up even for a modest breach.

4. Account or Service Hijacking

Although it’s nothing new in the industry, account hijacking adds a new threat to cloud storage providers. This means attackers can eavesdrop on transactions and activities, redirect clients to illegitimate sites, and manipulate data if they gain access to a user’s credentials.

These type of service instances can become a new base for hackers as they will be able to gain access to critical areas of the cloud with stolen credentials. Whenever this happens, they will be able to compromise the availability, confidentiality, and integrity of those services.

5. Denial of Service (DoS)

We will probably see more DoS attacks this year that prevent users from accessing their data or applications. These attacks will try to force the cloud service provider to consume a disproportionate amount of finite system resources like the following:

  • Processor power
  • Memory
  • Disk space
  • Network bandwidth

These types of attacks will lead the system to slow down and leave all legitimate customers without any access to critical services.

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