Cloud migration: Top 4 cybersecurity risks you need to understand

cybersecurity risks

We’ve consistently extolled the benefits of migrating to the cloud, especially for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). And with a sharp rise in the number of American organizations embracing remote work, adoption of cloud services increased as well.
This massive cloud migration trend is obviously a boon for cloud service providers (CSPs), but what people know less about is how cybercriminals are drawn to the movement as well. Threat actors are on the prowl, eager to take advantage of any vulnerability they can find.
If you’re already using the cloud or planning to migrate soon, these are the top cybersecurity risks you need to be aware of:

Shadow IT

This is the general term for unvetted IT solutions that staff implement. In an attempt to show initiative, employees may download free cloud-based applications and plugins to help accomplish tasks.
Unbeknownst to them, cloud-based apps are the most common malware delivery method that cybercriminals use. While some hackers develop bad apps disguised as beneficial ones, others take advantage of misconfigurations and other app vulnerabilities. And now that most remote workers are literally left to their own devices, shadow IT is a more pressing concern than ever before.
To counter the threat that shadow IT poses, you can launch a company-wide educational campaign teaching staff why they can’t just use any app that they want to do their jobs. You’ll need to complement this with a vetting process so that you can build white- and blacklists that people can use as reference. 


Those who think that data stored in the cloud is completely safe from ransomware are in for a rude awakening. Data — including files stored as backups — is only good if it remains untainted. That is, once ransomware encrypts your local files, the cloud syncing process will apply the changes to the copies you store in the cloud. Syncing may happen too quickly to be stopped, but fortunately, data replication for backups are scheduled less frequently and can be cancelled to prevent backups from becoming useless. 

Negligence toward sensitive data

More and more sensitive data such as customer information and intellectual property are being stored in the cloud. However, many IT managers don’t even classify data according to sensitivity, much less put more effort into protecting high-value data.
A common method for mitigating this problem is by dedicating on-premises infrastructure for sensitive data and critical processes. Another is to implement more stringent access protocols such as multifactor authentication on cloud-based apps and data stores to help ensure that only authorized users can get to your data. 

Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks

Even if you’ve already secured access to your cloud, the connections used to access it may be vulnerable. If a staff member is on an unsecure network such as public Wi-Fi in an airport, then a hacker may intercept data transmissions to steal sensitive information.
Internet connections at home are also vulnerable to drive-by hacking attacks, especially if users don’t change the default username and password of their router.
One way to nullify this vulnerability is to have employees use a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN encrypts data transmissions so that these become unreadable to interlopers. Another thing that organizations can do is to hold training sessions on cybersecurity best practices. This way, staff members will know that they must change the access credentials of their routers as soon as they install them, among other things.

It is but a natural phenomenon that solutions to old problems introduce new ones. What’s important is to be aware of them — and to pick your battles wisely. For top-notch cloud services that enable your organization to perform at its very best while securing you from cyberthreats, turn to SimplyClouds. Learn more about migrating to the cloud by downloading our eBook today.

Categories: Cloud migration, Cybersecurity, Data security

Tags: cloud migration, cybersecurity, Shadow IT, cybersecurity risks, ransomware, cloud-based apps, Man-in-the-middle attacks, drive-by hacking attacks, cloud syncing