Top 10 Cloud Security Challenges in 2021

You might already have heard about the term ‘Cloud Computing’. Hence, putting it in brief, cloud computing means preserving, accessing, and handling big data and software applications online. In cloud security, firewall networks shield the entire data and resources. The formation of the cloud changed the way companies functioned, providing on demand access, vast scalability, better business continuity, and a number of other advantages, including no longer needing to rely on costly physical data centers.

Cloud computing manage to transform the way companies use, store, and share data, applications, and workloads. It has also introduced some new security threats and challenges. With so much data going into the cloud and even into public cloud services. In particular these data become natural targets for bad actors. A cloud security system protects cloud data and resources, keeping the customer privacy, and consequently keeps regulatory compliance for cloud users.

Cloud security is characterized as a bunch of approaches, controls, strategies. And advances applied to a cloud companies to ensure cloud-based frameworks, information, and foundation. More data and applications are moving towards the cloud, which creates unique infosecurity threats. A survey by the Cloud Security Alliance revealed that 41% of companies have now shifted to cloud, which is up from 25% before the golbal pandemic. What’s more, 21% of companies expect to move 80-100% of their workload to the cloud services at some point in 2021. In this blog, We have listed top 10 cloud security threats in 2021 for cloud service provider.

1. Data Breaches

There is no surprise that data breaches will always be first and most prioritize cloud security challenge. A data breach is an intentional or unintentional release of secure or private information to an unauthorized party. Data breaches can cause great reputational and financial damage. They could potentially result in loss of intellectual property and significant legal liabilities. Data breaches can have dreadful consequences for any companies. Companies should keep in mind following points while adopting cloud architecture:

➠ Company need to define the value of it’s data and the impact of it’s loss.

➟ Enable access to critical data in the case of errors and failures.

➠ Keep eye on and defend infrastructure and applications created via cloud provided services.

➟ Encryption can protect the data, but with a trade-off in performance and user experience.

➠ Team up with cloud specialist organizations to research and react to potential security incidents, and in a way that is agreeable with protection guidelines.

2. Lack of In-House Expertise

According to the Cloud Adoption Practices & Priorities survey by the Cloud Security Alliance. 34% of companies are not fully deploying workloads to the cloud because they lack in-house IT expertise. And the problem is only going to get worse in the upcoming years. As written in Forbes report: “Advanced cloud and security skills are in higher demand than ever before; however, there is a significant lack of qualified, skilled professionals to support this movement towards innovation.”

While some companies can outspend their competition to the talent they need, this is not an effective or feasible option for many firms especially SMBs. In these cases, working with a MSP (Managed Service Provider) can be a reasonable, key, and successful approach to close the abilities hole.

3. Change in Mindset

The greatest test groups will have with regards to cloud security will be to quit moving toward it like they moved toward data centre security before. One of these mindset is understanding that security can no longer just be up to the security team in a silo. In the cloud, architecture is deployed as code and automation is central, meaning security must be “baked” into the entire development lifecycle. Iw will be challenging to get everyone to understand their roles and responsibilities across the cloud security lifecycle.

Authority needs to make an arrangement to move association from an on-premise attitude portrayed by hierarchical control and unbending strategy entryways to one situated around client strengthening with good approach guardrails that offset deftness with control. This change in thinking will also need team members to have a more comprehensive understanding of how security needs to be woven into the hole deployment process as well.

4. Misconfiguration and insufficient control of change

In some case, organization accidently exposing data via the cloud infrastructure. For example, CSA cites the Exactis incident where the cloud provider left an Elasticsearch database containing private data of 230M US consumers publicly accessible due to misconfiguration. It’s not just the loss of data that companies need to worry about. But, According to the CSA, Deletion or modification of resources done with the intent to disrupt business. The report blames poor change control practices for most of the misconfiguration errors. This misconfiguration include:

➠ The complexity of cloud architecture data makes them difficult to configure.

➟ Do not expect traditional controls and change management methods to be effective in the cloud architecture.

➠ Use computerization and innovations that check constantly for misconfigured assets.

5. Fading traditional remote access mechanisms

In the older cloud architecture, organizations used a full VPN to tunnel all traffic via the enterprise network. Such infrastructure introduced latency issues, especially when accessing resources in the cloud, because it meant routing all traffic back through the company data center. In 2021, companies should stop routing cloud sessions via the enterprise network. Instead, enterprises should allow remote workers to access them directly.

This calls for two prospects, either disinfect the traffic on the actual site or channel the traffic in the cloud. To select one of these potential outcomes, companies need to overhaul their conventional cloud security plan, where the cloud network utilizes additional processing assets to help secure traffic stream over the cloud.

6. Cloud hijacking

In cloud account hijacking, an individual or companies cloud account is stolen or hijacked by an attacker, and the stolen account data is used to conduct malicious or unauthorized activity. Cybercriminals tend to abuse cloud accounts that seem to have highly privileged or sensitive data. 

In cloud architecture, cloud accounts or subscriptions are highly susceptible to hijacking. These accounts can be compromised if Cybercriminals employ certain forms of phishing attacks. Exploit the cloud-based systems, or steal cloud or data credentials.

7. Insecure interfaces and APIs

Insecure interfaces and APIs are a common attack vector, as Facebook knows. In 2018, the social media service experienced a data breach that affected more than 50M accounts that was the result of a vulnerability introduced in it’s View As function. Especially when associated with user interfaces, API vulnerabilities can give Cybercriminals a clear way to stealing user or employee data. companies need to understand that APIs and user interfaces are often the most exposed parts of a system. And it encourages a security by design approach to building them.

8. Thinking that you are covered with CI/CD

Companies regularly get hushed into accepting that they have their cloud security covered in light of the fact that they’ve incorporated controls into their CI/CDpipeline. Properly imagining that on the off chance that they can find issues in the pipeline they’ll have the option to guarantee an ideal organization. In reality, this wil just never be the case, as changes often happen outside the pipeline. Cloud providers make configuration changes, templates can get updated without going through the right procedures. Or a number of other undocumented alterations, making it impossible to keep track of it all. To avoid this, Companies have to plan for continuous monitoring of cloud and pipeline controls. so that you’ll not just have perceivability into what’s being developed and has been conveyed, yet you’ll have the option to perceive what’s changing external your pipeline so you can make a reaction plan for that float, as well.

9. Insider threats

Insider threats are more dangerous to a business than outside cycber attackers for the simple reason that they are already inside. A Netwrix 2018 Cloud Security Report shows that 58% of organizations attribute security breaches to insiders. So, Insider negligence is the main reason for most security incidents hurting corporate companies today. 

According to the Ponemon Institute’s 2018 Cost of Insider Threats study. Negligent insiders were the main reason for most incidents (64%), followed by criminal and malicious insiders (23%) and employee and contractor negligence (13%). However, Some common insider based scenarios cited in the study include not well configure cloud servers. So, Employees storing sensitive data of company on their own insecure personal devices and systems. And employees or other insiders falling prey to phishing emails.

10. Abuse of Cloud Services

Abusive use of cloud services means that cycber attackers leveraging the cloud computing data to target users, companies and other cloud providers. Cybercriminals are increasingly using legitimate cloud services to support their activities. However, They might use a cloud service to host malware on sites like GitHub, launch DDoS attacks, distribute phishing email, mine digital currency, execute automated click fraud, or carry out a brute-force attack to steal credentials.

Cloud hosted malware can additionally use cloud sharing tools as an attack weapon to propagate itself further. Cloud service providers should have mitigations in place to stop. And detect abuse such as payment instrument fraud or abuse of cloud services. Companies should keep an eye on cloud services to have more control over the entire cloud framework.

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