According to analysis by experts, by 2020 the worldwide cloud computing market is projected to expand to $191 billion a wide margin when compared to $91 billion in 2015. There are several benefits of cloud computing making such as faster time to market, increased employee productivity, and lower cost, making a lot of industries moving to their data to the cloud.
Cloud data security breach is a major concern that can affect any company, and holds several from adopting the cloud for their Information Technology Department.
After high profile breaching of cloud platforms Slack, Adobe Creative Cloud, LastPass, and Evernote,researchers have identified several cloud risks that ever IT department should be concerned about. The cloud breach at LastPass was the most critical as the service keeps all of the user’s cloud service password and website. A cyber criminal could start a brutal attack on a company’s infrastructure if armed with passwords most especially those belonging to Admins with uninterrupted access. Most companies are not aware when their cloud security has been breached, and there would need the services of an IT professional with cloud security certification after vigorous cloud security training.
What is Cloud Security
Cloud security is a set of policies, applications, controls and technologies utilized to protect virtual data, IP, services, applications and the associated infrastructure of cloud computing.
Theft or Loss of Intellectual Property & Sensitive Data
Companies are increasingly storing sensitive data on the cloud, the most common sensitive data found on the cloud is private data, making up 47% of data being stored in the cloud. Personally identifiable data comes second (28.1%), payment data (13.6%), while encrypted health report data has 11.3% of the data stored on the cloud. According to statistics, 21% of files stored on the cloud services contains sensitive data and intellectual property. If there is a breach in a particular cloud service, cyber criminals would gain full access to all these sensitive data.
Loose control over end user actions
Some workers might be using cloud services in a company without the company being aware of it, those employees might be doing anything without supervision. For example, sales personnelwho is about to leave a company could retrieve a report of all customers contacts, save it on their private cloud data storage service, and the use the information once they get employed by another competitor. This is an example of what is known as Common insider threats.
Broken Authentication, Hacked Accounts, and Compromised Credentials
If you have poor password management, weak passwords, and easy authentication measures in place, you cloud data is always open to being compromised. Companies often struggle with managing their identities, so they try to hire professionals with cloud security certificationto handle the job. They sometimes forget to stop the user access when the user leaves the organization or their job function changes. A developer with cloud security training can create multi-factor authentication systems such as Cell phone authentication, passwords that expires after one use (One-time passwords OTP), and smart card to help protect cloud services. Several developers till make the common mistake of putting the encryption keys and credentials in the source code of their projects and share them in public repositories like GitHub.
Malware Infections That unleash a Targeted Attack
Cloud services is also used as a carrier for converting extraction of data. A novel data converting and extracting technique used by hackers has been discovered, the attackers encode sensitive data into video and audio files and share them on YouTube. There are also malwares that can extract sensitive data using a private Twitter account at 140 characters at a time. In the case of Dyre form of malware, the hackers can use file sharing services to send viruses to target via phishing attacks.
Hacked APIs and Interfaces
Almost all application and cloud services now offer APIs, IT staff use APIs and interfaces to interact and manage with cloud services including those that give cloud management, provision, tracking and orchestration.
The availability and security of cloud services usually depend on how secure the APIs are, the more APIs you have, the more exposed you are to attacks. Hackers normally target APIs to infiltrate the system and control them. While you might not be able to completely remove APIs, professional cloud security training can help you reduce the risks posed by them.
Contract Breach Between Clients or Business Partners
Often, contracts between business partners restrict how data is handled and who has authorized access to them. Without proper orientation, employees can move these restricted data into the cloud without authorization, leading to violation of contracts and legal actions can be taken against the company. A good example is a cloud service that has the right written in their terms and conditions to share all data uploaded to their service with third party companies, thereby they are allowed to breach the agreement of confidentiality made between the company and their users.
APT is an acronym for Advanced Persistent Threat. It is a mode of silent attack where hackers gain unauthorized access to your system, make use of your data, and stay there without your knowledge.
APTs moves laterally through the network and integrate with normal traffic, hence there are difficult to detect if you havecloud security training. Top cloud providers use advanced techniques to block ATPs from penetrating their infrastructure. Cloud users ought to be diligent in detecting APT commitments in cloud accounts.
Permanent Data Loss
It is extremely rare to see cases of permanent data loss as the cloud has become well advanced. Nevertheless, malicious hackers can permanently delete data from the cloud to disrupt data centers and businesses. The cost of forestalling data loss is not the sole responsibility of the cloud service provider, as the client also has to work in hand with the provider. F the client encrypts a data prior to uploading it on the cloud, the client must be cautious protect the encryption key.
Lack of Understanding the Cloud
Companies that make use of cloud services without proper cloud security training or don’t have staff with cloud security certification may encounter a huge number of financial, commercial, legal, compliance, and technical risks.
These companies are advised to hire the services of people with cloud security certification who understand all the concepts and fundamental complexities associated with cloud technology.