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10 Common Cloud Computing Security Issues and Challenges
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10 Common Cloud Computing Security Issues and Challenges

Cloud Computing Security Issues and Challenges

Cloud security is crucial for personal and business users. Businesses have a legal responsibility to ensure client data security while other users want to ensure safety. Cloud security helps companies prevent security breaches, safely manage remote work, and provide disaster recovery. Ensuring cloud security allows businesses to remain compliant with data protection standards to ensure customer data security and integrity.

With solid cloud computing security, businesses can enforce access controls and eliminate weak links, making it difficult for hackers to infiltrate and avoid errors that may result in data leaks. However, cloud computing is vulnerable to security threats, vulnerabilities, and risks. This article discusses the common cloud computing security issues and challenges to look out for.

1. Lack of a solid cloud security architecture and strategy

Most businesses jump into the world of cloud computing without proper strategy and architecture, exposing themselves to security threats. This may leave customers vulnerable to cyber-attacks, resulting in legal and compliance concerns, financial losses, and reputation damage. With a cloud computing security architecture, you can identify and eliminate security weaknesses resulting from a product-driven security approach.

To mitigate this challenge, establish and implement a security architecture framework, ensure the architecture aligns with your business goals and objectives and apply continuous security monitoring techniques. You should also update procedures, policies, controls, and standards to remain relevant.

2. Account hijacking

Account hijacking is a cloud security threat that steals account information from users. Attackers have multiple ways to hijack accounts, including phishing, keyloggers, buffer overflow attacks, brute force attacks, and cross-site scripting attacks. To stay safe from account hijacking, use strong, secure passwords and change them frequently to protect against brute force attacks. Be cautious when clicking password reset, email, and web links to stay safe from phishing attacks. You may also consider multi-factor authentication for an additional security layer, making it difficult for hackers to access your account.

3. Insecure Application User Interfaces (APIs)

APIs are known for streamlining cloud computing. They ease the sharing of data between two or more applications, improving convenience and efficiency. However, APIs can cause cloud vulnerabilities. When you use insecure APIs, attackers can exploit them to access company data easily and launch DDoS attacks.

To protect your cloud computing system from API attacks, run penetration tests, apply TLS/ SSL encryption on transmitted data, use multi-factor authentication to strengthen your controls, selectively share your API keys and dispose of them when they’re no longer needed to secure your APIs.

4. Malicious insider threats

Insider threats are a significant security concern because the malicious insider, including former and current employees, business partners, or contractors, has authorized access to a company’s resources and its sensitive resources. Malicious cloud insiders are also difficult to detect.

However, you can stay safe from them by limiting crucial data access, conducting frequent security audits, and canceling access whenever necessary. Since some insider threats may not be malicious, training sessions on data and system protection best practices can help enhance cloud computing security concerns.

5. Reduced visibility and control

Once businesses migrate to cloud computing, they lose complete control and visibility, with the cloud service provider taking on some infrastructure and policy responsibilities based on the cloud model. This results in multiple cloud computing security concerns and challenges, including unauthorized access and data replication. To alleviate these risks, implement an incident response plan for data analysis and identification of unusual user activities.

6. Data breaches

Data breach costs rose from $3.86 million to $4.24 million in 2021, making them an expensive security threat for businesses. It negatively impacts brand reputation and may result in mistrust from customers and business partners. Data breaches can also lead to legal battles, regulatory fines and penalties, and loss of intellectual property.

A data breach may occur when someone downloads malware or when an attacker exploits security vulnerabilities to bypass your network security remotely. To prevent data breaches, initiate regular security audits to identify the persons with access to your data and use secure, encrypted servers that allow data retrieval via your cloud center.

7. System vulnerabilities

Insecure third-party application integrations and improper security tools configuration may create cloud computing system risks. Failure to close your database connections, poor error handling, and inadequate logging and monitoring are some of the risks that could negatively affect your cloud services. To stay safe from system vulnerabilities, encrypt your data and apply a detailed intrusion detection system that functions on hybrid, on-premise, and cloud environments. Consider using a Web Application Firewall to secure your web applications from cloud computing security issues and challenges.

8. Misconfiguration

The cloud is designed for easy usability and data sharing, making it hard for businesses to ensure data accessibility to authorized parties, exposing them to attackers. To protect against misconfigurations, companies should familiarize themselves with their cloud service provider’s security controls. Failure to configure your cloud environment properly leaves your business applications and data prone to attacks, impacting daily business operations.

9. Data leakage or loss

The cloud makes it easy to share the information stored in them. Cloud-based environments enable easy data sharing via public links and direct email and are accessible from the public internet, creating data loss and leakage risks. To avoid data loss and leakage, apply data encryption to protect the data in the cloud storage and sensitive information on transit. Use strong passwords, change them regularly, and set permissions to limit access to sensitive data. Training your staff on best data protection practices prevents loss and leakage of sensitive data.

10. Cloud migration exploitation

Migration between clouds or to the cloud presents a significant security threat. When you conduct an automated live migration, attackers can compromise your cloud management system and exploit it by creating several fake migrations, resulting in a DoS attack. They also migrate cloud subscriptions under their control and other resources to virtual networks. Attackers can also alter changes to migrated systems, making them susceptible to future attacks. To secure cloud migration, understand your migration scope, evaluate your stack, assess your users, learn your regulatory responsibilities, and assess and document processes and controls.

Endnote

Establishing solid cybersecurity strategies helps protect your business or personal data and systems from cloud computing threats, risks, and vulnerabilities. Consider protecting your cloud computing system from these security issues.

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