With the number of benefits it has to offer, the cloud has transformed the industry and government for good and at the same time given rise to new security issues. The cloud delivers business supporting technology with the ease and efficiency the likes of which were never seen before, but these advancements have created new vulnerabilities, which primarily revolve around the security issues whose impact shall obviously have unavoidable and major collateral damage.
Even though the cloud offers economical and faster solutions to real time problems, it suffers from the potential risk of the tendency to bypass IT and access data. In the process of being affordable and quick with solutions, the cloud undermines the important security policies and in their absence the businesses are prone t
o security intrusions and breaches.
To experience the best of the cloud, one has to recognize the risks associated with it. In order to manage the risks in the cloud, one has to know and understand the nature of the security threats. While there are many threats to the cloud security, here we shall discuss the ones related to the shared nature of cloud hosting.
1. Breach of data and privacy
Data security is and always has been the chief concern and with the cloud the risk of such breaches looms at large. It is imperative that the organization’s sensitive internal data does not fall in to the wrong hands and the unfortunately introduces new avenues of attacks.
To make the data more secure, you can choose to encrypt the data to reduce the vulnerability but if you lose your key then the data shall be lost as well.
2. Data Loss
The worst nightmare for consumers and businesses both is data loss, something which
the cloud is prone to. Attackers can access your data and delete the information and that is the top threat which is always in the vicinity of the cloud. Data stored in the cloud can be lost by the service provider as well, or worse, natural calamities like earthquakes and fires, thus increasing the potential of data loss. Steps could be taken by the service providers to make backup of the data and also the customer can encrypt their data as well, but these options are never 100% secure.
3. Traffic Hijacking
The online world was dealing with threats such as these since a long time, but with the cloud the risk has increased manifolds. Various methods like phishing and fraud were being used before as well, but the cloud offers a platform for it to be transforming into something bigger.
An attacker could gain access to your credentials, they access the ability to redirect your clients, and issue falsified information, therefore manipulating data
4. Denial of service
When the attackers gain access to your credentials, they simply can deny the user’s access to the data and applications on the cloud. Denial of service attacks usually involves the attackers to make the victim cloud service to consume all the resources and thus making the system slow, which prevents legitimate users from accessing it.
5. Abusing the cloud
The cloud offers large amounts of computing power at low costs, which is the most beneficial quality of the cloud for small businesses. But this large amount of power can be used in ways it is not meant for. For an attacker which has limited resources might find it hard to crack an encryption key, but with the power the cloud has to offer, the attacker can use these resources and might be able to crack it in a much shorter time span. With the computing power the cloud is offering, it would be very optimistic and yet so naive to assume that these
capabilities offered by the cloud will not be abused.
5. Rushing to the cloud
In their quest of cost cutting, organizations are switching to the cloud without fully understanding the scope of the undertaking and thus giving rise to certain issues which they cannot even comprehend. There are matters like the security and distribution of resources, security monitoring that are critical to be understood before switching to the cloud and with the organizations taking a leap of faith with the cloud, the risks increase.
6. Shared vulnerability
Whenever there is a sharing of an integral piece of technology, like the hypervisor or an application there is increase of the exposure of the environment to security breaches and compromise. The reason this is so critical is because it enables a threat to the whole cloud all at once, thus putting everybody at risk.
7. Insecure interfaces and API
The customers of the
cloud are provides with a set of software interfaces or APIs that are used to manage the cloud service by the customer. The APIs determine the security and the availability of the general cloud services and in the effort to make these interfaces complex, the risk of exposure also increases. Likewise reliance on a set of loose interfaces also exposes the system to risk.
About the Author: Renuka Rana, Editor at QuickBooks Hosting DotCom spends considerable part of her time in writing about technology including cloud hosting and Hosted PBX. When not writing, she loves to dig deeper into knowing the best and the latest technology in industry.
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