Many cloud breaches occur because of misconfigured security settings. If you lack visibility and control over your cloud infrastructure, you might need to rely on the security controls from your cloud service provider (CSP). In such cases, you might leave your cloud-based resources exposed to a security misconfiguration due to your company’s unfamiliarity with cloud infrastructure and multi-cloud deployments.
We often consider collaboration and data sharing to be cloud benefits, but both have the potential to become liabilities when protecting your sensitive data. Since the public cloud is accessible directly from the internet, it enables you to share data easily with other parties using direct email invitations or by sharing a link to the data. Companies that run their systems in the cloud can risk data loss if they fail to properly protect themselves.
Insufficient Identity and Access Controls
It is common for companies to move data to the cloud without considering access and identity policies. But a lack of such policies can lead to other cloud security challenges. For example, an unauthorized user might seek access through a password spraying attack. In this instance, the attacker would use the same password on multiple accounts. Cloud apps and services are more likely to suffer from this security risk because hackers can log in from anywhere to carry out their attacks.
Insecure Application Programming Interfaces
CSPs provide you with well-documented application programming interfaces (APIs) to increase flexibility for users. You might run into problems, however, if you don’t secure the interfaces for your cloud-based infrastructure. If you are not careful, attackers could use customer documentation to identify and exploit ways to steal confidential data from your cloud environment.
Cybercriminals select targets based on expected profits. A lot of sensitive and valuable data is stored in public cloud infrastructure, which is directly accessible from the internet. Moreover, many companies use the cloud, so attackers can attack many times with a high chance of success. Consequently, cloud deployments are a common target for cyberattacks.
Every organization must deal with insider threats. Malicious insiders already have access to your network and sensitive resources. If you are unprepared, you will have difficulty detecting malicious insiders since most only expose themselves once they have already carried out their attacks. The insider threat can also come from employees who make mistakes, such as misconfiguring cloud servers, storing sensitive data on insecure devices and systems, and falling victim to phishing emails.
If you have endpoint security software and client-side firewalls, your security teams might assume malware won't be an issue in the cloud. It is crucial, though, to have multiple layers of security to detect and stop malware in the cloud. When cloud malware infiltrates your system, it spreads quickly and can lead to even greater problems. When the malware executes, it can leak your confidential data or steal login credentials via keyloggers. Malware's damage will only worsen if it goes undetected.
Legal and Regulatory Compliance
Data protection and privacy regulations require you to demonstrate that you limit access to regulated information, such as credit card numbers and healthcare records. When you move that information to the cloud, it can be harder to prove compliance. Cloud deployments only give you partial visibility and control over your infrastructure. The result is that legal and regulatory compliance become significant cloud security challenges, so you will need to implement special cloud compliance solutions.