Gartner predicts that end-users public cloud spending would increase 18.4% to a $304.9 billion total in 2021, which is a significant increase from the $257.5 billion last year. Organizations must therefore comprehend the challenges that cloud computing presents even as the demand for cloud continues to increase amidst the global pandemic. A new report unveiled by the Cloud Security Alliance outlined numerous cloud security issues. For enterprises entering 2021, these are the top 15 cloud security challenges that businesses must resolve:
Challenges in Cloud Security
One of the cloud security challenges in 2021 is the challenge of handling data breaches. As a result of the data breach, there are a number of implications on organizations:
- The financial charges that stem from the onset of an incident investigation and response Contractual and legal implications
- The decrease in the business’ overall market value because of all the mentioned issues
- The monetary losses that may be generated by the potential ramifications of regulatory requirements
- It may hurt the launch of products if you lose intellectual property to competitors.
- Reputation and trust in the firm can be damaged as a result of cloud security issues.
Misconfiguration and Inadequate Change Control
This is another of the most pervasive cloud computing security and challenges in 2021. For instance, an unsecured AWS S3 cloud storage bucket released sensitive and private information about 123 million families in the United States in 2017.
Alteryx, a data analytics and online marketing organization bought the dataset from the original owner – a credit bureau company called Experian. Alteryx exposed the file. When incidences like this occur, the implications can be extremely lethal.
Lack of Cloud Security Architecture and Strategy
Large enterprises throughout the world are gradually migrating their IT infrastructure onto public clouds. A significant problem with this shift is the implementation of security systems to deal with cyber-security risks.
Complicating matters is the fact that the majority of firms find it almost impossible to put this process in place. A dataset is subject to many assaults when organizations believe that the process of moving a business’s current IT infrastructure and security architecture to the cloud is a “straightforward chore” of simply transferring that system and architecture to the cloud. Another factor leading to the lower perceived security level is a lack of knowledge about the shared security role model.
(Also Read: Top 7 Benefits of Using AI in Cloud Computing)
Insufficient Identity, Credential, Access, and Key Management
Over the course of the implementation of cloud computing, changes are expected to occur in traditional internal system management procedures related to identity and access management (IAM). These cloud security challenges are however not new. Regardless, while doing cloud-based work, these security problems are even more significant.
The reason is that cloud computing has tremendous effects on identity, credentials, and access management. Even in the private and public cloud contexts, cloud service providers (CSPs) and cloud customers need to manage authentication and authorization without impeding security.
The problem of account hijacking is another of the numerous challenges in cloud security. It is characterized by malicious attackers’ unauthorized access to and abuse of accounts that house extremely private or sensitive details. Typically, cloud-based subscription or service accounts experience the most threats. As a result of stolen credentials, abusing cloud-based systems, and phishing assaults, these accounts become vulnerable to compromise.
A new report from Netwrix states that 58% of firms suspect that insiders are behind several security breaches. Hence, many security incidents are triggered by negligence on the part of insiders. It is estimated that 13 percent of reported insider cases were the result of credential theft, 23 percent were attributed to criminal insiders, and 64 percent were the result of contractor or employee incompetence (as recorded in the Ponemon Institute’s 2018 Cost of Insider Threats study).
Some of the scenarios listed in the referenced reports include employees and other company personnel falling victim to phishing emails that allowed malicious attacks on company assets, poorly secure personal devices or systems used by employees to save their private company data, and improperly configured cloud servers.
Insecure Interfaces and APIs
Cloud computing companies release a range of APIs and software user interfaces (UIs) in order to give customers, the freedom to control and utilize cloud systems. These APIs are then responsible for determining the overall security and availability of cloud server services. Completion of these interfaces is required in order to guard against both malicious and accidental attacks on the security policy.
When APIs are insecure, the results can be abuse, or even worse the theft, of private information. Following a number of big data breaches, it may be deduced that the source of these incidents has been leaked, exposed, or damaged APIs. A key take-away from this is that businesses must fully understand the various security measures that make up the design and presentation of these Internet-enabled interfaces.
Weak Control Plane
Creating proper data storage and protection protocols becomes a problem when businesses want to migrate from the data platform to the cloud environment. It is now necessary for users to make fresh procedures for the duplication, migration, and storage of data.
If the user employs multi-cloud, this process becomes even more difficult. To deal with these issues, it is critical to implement a control plane. This is because it adds security and integrity to the data plane, and that allows for data runtime and consistency.
An inefficient control plane means that whoever is in charge – may be a system architect or DevOps engineer – does not have full control over the authentication, logic, and security of the data infrastructure. In a situation like this, a fundamental problem is that knowledge of data flows, security configuration, and areas or positions of structural weak points and blind spots are not known by the majority of stakeholders. Consequently, data leakage, corruption, or unavailability could arise due to these security concerns in the cloud.
Metastructure and Applistructure Failures
Cloud service providers sometimes provide procedures and security protocols that are necessary to effectively execute system integration and security. While the vast majority of information is sent via API calls, which are protected by CSP (Network Security Service) protections, this data is generally integrated into the CSP’s metastructure.
Also known as the customer line or CSP of demarcation, the metastructure is considered the waterline for customers. In this paradigm, error possibilities are present at multiple levels. For instance, a wrong API integration by the CSP would make it easier for malicious attackers to disrupt cloud customers via the interruption of confidentiality, integrity, of service availability.
Limited Cloud Usage Visibility
The inability to visualize and analyze the maliciousness or safety of the cloud service employed within an organization result in restricted cloud usage visibility. There are two dominant cloud security issues in this regard.
The first challenge is the un-sanctioned use of the app. The problem arises when the employees are using cloud tools and applications in violation of corporate IT and security. This then gives rise to a self-assistance paradigm known as Shadow IT.
When unmanaged cloud services activity deviates from business policies, especially when connected to sensitive company data, there is the risk of sensitive data exposure. One-third of all successful security breaches in enterprises will be fueled by shadow IT resources and systems by 2020, according to projections published by Gartner.
The second concern is the sanctioned misuse of applications. It is typically difficult for businesses to conduct analysis about how approved applications are being exploited by insiders who utilize the sanctioned app.
It is far more common for this service usage to occur without the authorization of the company, or through outside threat agents who use techniques like DNS (Domain Name System) attacks, SQL (Structured Query Language) injection, credential theft, and others to target the service.
Abuse and Nefarious Use of Cloud Services
The cloud computing resources made available to both cloud providers and customers can be exploited by malicious attackers to target cloud providers, as well as other organizations or users. Even worse, criminal actors can use cloud services to host malware.
Cloud-based malware that is using the CSP’s domain may appear to be more legitimate because it utilizes the CSP’s domain. Another critical aspect of cloud-based malware is that it may leverage cloud-sharing resources as a means of attack propagation.
Hybrid cloud growth is outpacing the ability to secure it
About 60% of respondents, according to a survey, found that the growing availability of business services in the cloud has made it too difficult for them to keep these services up and running on time. This statistic has not changed since it was first reported. This is to say that no development has been made in that particular area. It can be reasonably inferred that the ground has now been lost, with the increased rate of public cloud usage.
Denial of Service (DoS) attacks
The number one goal of denial-of-service attacks is to render a machine, network, or system inoperable so that it can no longer be accessed by its intended users. Using digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ripple makes it simple for distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to happen more.
By utilizing cryptocurrencies, fraudsters don’t no longer need to have the necessary skills or have control over a botnet. With this financial source, all they need to do is hire another hacker to complete the work on their behalf.
Vendor Lock-In for Security Features
Vendor lock is regarded as a risk factor in terms of security features. Choosing to limit your cloud service security options to a single compatible provider is very constricting. The effect of this can be a reduced ROI for security.
This is a result of the fact that the locked-in seller is free of the necessity to compete against other vendors. They’ve been with your firm since you’re the only alternative they have if you want a functional service without having to start all over again.
Hence, when picking cloud-based services, you should find out how quickly you may switch from one service provider to another. Before picking a cloud computing provider, you should bear in mind some aspects in order to prevent vendor lock-in (for either your security solutions or your cloud service itself). Take these variables into consideration:
- Is the cloud service capable of offering a selection of many interfaces and integrations, both in terms of the various services it provides and security measures?
- Are there tools provided to assist with migration to another system?
- Is your data in an easy-to-export format, which can be used in a new system?
Notifications and alerts
One of the critical aspects of network security and cloud security is risk awareness and adequate communication. An ideal security system must be able to promptly notify the respective app and website managers about potential threats.
When there is not clearly defined and swift communication, proper actions cannot be implemented so as to significantly mitigate the hazard.
Conclusively, while all of the aforementioned threats to cloud security do exist, they are however not invincible. Businesses’ cloud strategy must be on par with a security strategy, as the adoption of cloud grows. Many firms will be forced to transition to cloud-based infrastructures as remote working or the ability to work from anywhere continues to grow in popularity.
Thus, businesses are now faced with an even greater task: to ensure they have a dependable, secure, and long-term cloud security strategy to host a protected and secure cloud infrastructure even with the ongoing cyber risks. By integrating the appropriate technologies and working alongside a variety of partners, your company can surmount the cloud security challenges and begin to profit from the tremendous benefits of cloud-based services.