Business cloud services are absolutely thriving in today’s corporate world. Each day, more corporations ranging from smaller start ups to large financial institutions are turning to the cloud to safe guard their data. Enterprises are no longer indecisive about moving to the cloud- they are doing it and it’s hear to stay. There is however one major potential threat to cloud services for business and it is one that must not be taken lightly. We are of course talking about security threats. The first step to minimizing the risks are to identify them and that is exactly what we plan on doing during the course of this article. Let’s take a look at today’s top security threats to cloud services for business.
Compromised Credentials and Authentication
Data breaches and other types of hacking attacks often occur as a result of slack authentication, weak passwords, and poor key management in cloud services for business. Many companies struggle with identity management on a daily basis, because they have to attempt to allocate permissions which are appropriate to the user’s job function. Furthermore, as a result of human error, they very often forget to remove user access when an employee leaves the company.
Business cloud services which employ multi faceted authentication systems like one-time passwords, phone-based authentication, and smart cards attempt to protect their loyal cloud customers, because in taking these measures, it makes it more difficult for hackers to log in to the system with stolen passwords.
Phishing, identity theft and the exploitation of companies’ software are still more successful than you would imagine and now cloud services for business add a whole new ball game to the threat, due to the fact that potential attackers can developed the ability to spy on user activity, manipulate transactions, and modify data.
In order to implement a form of damage control before this happens, companies should forbif the sharing of account credentials between users and services, as well as enable multi faceted authentication components where applicable. All accounts should be monitored closely, so that every transaction can be traced to a human identity. The key is to protect account credentials from being stolen in the first place, before it’s too late.
A mole on the inside, who poses a threat to a business has many guises. It could be a current or former employee, a system administrator, a top contractor, or even a business partner. Their agenda of malice ranges from setting out to steal someone’s data to simply revenge over an unfair dismissal. In the context of cloud business services, a headstrong insider has the power to destroy entire infrastructures or manipulate data however they please. Organizations that rely solely on their cloud service provider for security, such as encryption, even those who operate using a zero knowledge policy are at greatest risk to insider threats. To best counter this potential security threat, it is recommended that organizations take complete control of the encryption process and keys, minimizing access given to users, aside from that which is absolutely essential. Active logging, monitoring, and auditing administrator activities are also critical to keep your business as far away from a potential security threat such as this one, as possible.
Permanent Data Loss
As the cloud has grown and evolved, complaints of permanent data loss due to provider error have become something of a rarity. However, advanced hackers have been known to permanently delete cloud data in order to harm businesses, and cloud data centres are largely as vulnerable to natural disasters as any facility. That said, the best providers use data servers which are non geographic, meaning they are immune even to natural disaster.
Cloud storage services advise that you distribute your data and applications across multiple locations for an extra layer of protection. A continuous, daily backup and off-site storage of data continue to be important with cloud environments. The burden of preventing data loss is not all on the cloud service provider. If a customer encrypts data before uploading it to the cloud, then that same customer must be extra careful to protect the encryption key as once the key they have created is lost, so is the data that it protects.