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Nowadays, every organization uses cloud computing to improve its workflow and improve productivity. Cloud computing brings a whole new era of data transmission and storage. However, despite the gains of cloud computing, it still has some security Issues that organizations should be aware of.
This article intends to highlight the top 6 security issues in cloud computing so that you know how to protect your data and that of your customers. But before we dive deeper, let’s quickly run through the definition of the cloud and how cloud computing works so that everybody would be on the same page.
Let’s get started.
What is the Cloud?
The cloud is a virtual space that businesses, organizations, and individuals can store data or programs. When data or programs are stored in the cloud, it means the data is stored on a server instead of using the traditional hard drive.
Before now, data was limited, and they were usually stored in physical hard drives. But as data began to increase in volume, storing it with hard drives became old-fashioned. Space became a limiting factor for data. Businesses started looking for secured space to store their data and programs. This was how the cloud was birthed. So, generally, the cloud is about anything you can access on the internet wherever you are.
Let’s take an email to further explain what the cloud means. You may have a Yahoo mail, Hotmail, or Gmail account. Because your mails and data are stored in the cloud, you can access them from any location as long as you are connected to the internet.
How Does Cloud Computing Work
The term “cloud computing” is broad, to say the least. It encompasses everything that is related to the internet and computer system and is available to users. Suppose it involves analytics, database storage, computation, or applications provided for a fee with active management from the user’s side. In that case, it is an IT computing service like Managed IT Services.
A typical example of cloud computing is Google search. The moment you enter your search query and hit the search button, Google takes the heavy job from you, passes it to its data centers, and retrieves relevant information, and sends it back to you. This means the real work is done by a data center or cloud service located somewhere in the world.
Now you know what cloud and cloud computing are, let’s take a look at the security issues inherent in cloud computing.
Top 6 Cloud Computing Security Issues
#1. Compliance Issues
In the true sense of it, the cloud is a virtual world in space. As such, the control of the cloud is not too reliable and thus not sufficient to ensure IT governance and compliance. There is hardly any control over-provisioning in the cloud, and this becomes risk management. Additionally, it becomes almost difficult to deploy, monitor, and comply with the rules governing your data or programs and its transmission.
#2. Security Breaches
Security breaches can be in the form of login credentials compromise, interface hacking, or broken authentication. These occurrences are common in the cloud. Important and sensitive data is stored in the cloud; thus, it makes the cloud unsafe. As businesses and independent contractors move their data to the cloud, the risk also increases. An experienced hacker sees this as an opportunity to deploy his/her skills. Some studies suggest that businesses that store their data in the cloud tend to suffer from data breaches more than those that do not use the cloud.
#3. Migration Challenges
The moment businesses decide to move their data and programs to the cloud, so many concerns usually arise. The number one challenge is how their customers will access their accounts. Another challenge is how one cloud provider will communicate with another provider should a business use two or more providers to store their data.
These and more are some concerns that users battle with. The lack of a good roadmap on how to migrate to the cloud can result in security issues. To resolve this challenge, users have to apply due diligence every step of the way.
#4. Hijacking or Account Seizing
Users can access data stored in the cloud from anywhere. Back in the days, what usually was a restricting factor in the office is no longer the case. Cyber attackers or hackers can compromise employees’ login credentials or business owners to access their data stored in the cloud. Hackers can manipulate their data or take advantage of it once they have remotely had access to it. Cyber attackers can even hold the data captive until a ransom is paid. Other ways of gaining unauthorized access to data stored in the cloud are scripting bugs and phishing.
#5. Injecting Malware
Cyber attackers can inject a bug or a malware program into the cloud without you knowing. The bug will mimic your SaaS interface and appear like you are doing the normal thing. The malware program or bug can steal your data via Trojan. For example, in the past, cyber attackers have used this method to hack cloud-based websites. Injecting malware into the cloud can cause massive loss of data and pain to the business owner. One way to tackle this challenge is to implement 2F authentication or robust access control.
#6. Vulnerable APIs
Users can easily use Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to customize their cloud experience. These APIs are usually vulnerable in that they affect encryption. The communication between applications is the most vulnerable point of an API. Cyber attackers can easily exploit these points; as such, they pose a potential security threat.
The Final Word
Cloud computing has opened up exciting and lucrative opportunities for businesses. The cloud is even more attractive due to its financial viability. Today, it is almost impossible to conduct businesses without the cloud. It then becomes your responsibility to do your due diligence on how to make it secure. Using a protected cloud server like Azure Managed Services may be the magic you need to scale your business and earn more revenue.