Once cloud computing began its rise to prominence as a leading business strategy for data center transformation, it didn’t take long for the malicious actors out there to adjust. Companies began using the cloud for storing their most essential data, and inevitably, the hackers followed. This is how the business world always goes – organizations evolve, and the threat landscape does as well.
In the early days, companies had fairly basic cloud security concerns to worry about. The most obvious ways to infiltrate a corporate cloud platform were through data breaches, malware, or perhaps the occasional insider threat to a network. Those avenues still exist – but because companies have gotten smart about playing defense, the hackers have begun to step up their game. According to the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), there are now a wide range of security threats for companies to be aware of beyond just the usual data breaches.
“The complexity of cloud can be the perfect place for attackers to hide, offering concealment as a launchpad for further harm,” said John Yeoh, global vice president of research for the CSA. “Unawareness of the threats, risks and vulnerabilities makes it more challenging to protect organizations from data loss.”
Yeoh recommended that companies take dramatic steps in the coming years to enhance cloud security. Simply putting up safeguards against data breaches and sniffing out insider threats isn’t enough. Here’s a rundown of five other problems that corporate IT offices should be aware of:
- Asset misconfiguration: When cloud computing assets are set up incorrectly, they’re more vulnerable. Such errors include unsecured elements of data storage, excessive permissions to access data, and even sometimes standard security controls left disabled. Because of vulnerabilities like these, more companies are turning to automation and other technologies that sniff out misconfiguration problems in real time.
- Spotty identity management: Simple username/password setups aren’t enough anymore to maintain full control over who’s accessing your cloud platforms. Companies that use weak passwords, or lack a regular rotation of those passwords, are especially at risk. Ideally, IT offices would begin pushing people to use more sophisticated identity management strategies like multi-factor authentication.
- Poorly protected APIs: Application programming interfaces (APIs) are often the most exposed parts of a data management platform, cloud or otherwise, because they tend to feature public IP addresses. It’s important for companies to address this issue by practicing good API hygiene, including protecting their API keys, changing them often, and avoiding reusing them.
- A weak control plane: The control plane provides the stability in a company’s data management platform; a weak control plane means that the people in charge don’t have full control. It’s crucial for IT offices to work with their cloud providers and implement adequate security controls that will block out intruders and also fulfill compliance obligations.
- Limited visibility of use: Does your business have complete visibility into who’s accessing your data, when they’re doing it, and exactly what they’re up to? If there are any gaps at all, your company could be vulnerable. Now might be the time for a complete, top-down effort to ensure visibility throughout your cloud system.
If you’re worried about the many cloud security threats that could impact your business, it’s hard to blame you. But there’s good news: It’s much easier to overcome all those threats when you have a reliable Cloud Solution Partner (CSP) by your side. And Zones is one of the best.
At Zones, we can perform a detailed Cloud Assessment to size up your data infrastructure – where you stand today, what you need in the future and what challenges you might face along the way. From there, our team of capable Solution Architects can help you design and deploy exactly the system you need. We specialize in Data Center Transformation, and we’re ready to deliver a solution for you – read on to discover how.