Cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses operate. It allows companies to access vital data and applications from anywhere in the world, making it a convenient option for organizations of all kinds.
However, with great convenience comes great risk. Cloud vulnerabilities can leave your business susceptible to cyberattacks and data theft. Here are the top cloud threats in 2023 that you need to be aware of.
Devastating data breaches
By storing data and applications in the cloud, businesses can enjoy greater flexibility and scalability while reducing their IT costs. Cloud technology makes it easy for businesses to collaborate and share information, improving communication and increasing efficiency. Although considered more secure and reliable than traditional on-premises systems, misuse or mismanagement of cloud resources could lead to data breaches.
Due to shared vulnerability, the whole cloud environment is more likely to experience future attacks if your business is not prepared. A single data breach can destroy a business’s reputation and cost millions of dollars in damages and revenue loss. In fact, according to IBM's 2022 Cost of a Data Breach report, the average cost of a data breach in the United States is $9.44 million.
Here are some tips to avoid cloud data breaches:
● Any data you wouldn't want falling into the wrong hands should always be encrypted before being stored in a cloud environment. ● Only provide access to individuals based on their requirements. Not every member of your organization needs unlimited access to your cloud data. ● Keep your passwords safe by storing them in a secure location or using a password manager. ● Together with your IT department and/or cloud solutions provider, implement a robust security protocol and regular employee training. Doing so will help your team understand that securing your cloud infrastructure is a shared responsibility between users and the cloud provider.
Unexpected DDoS attacks
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) is a type of cyberattack that seeks to disrupt the normal operation of a network by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources. DDoS attacks are often used to target high-profile websites or online services, and can cause significant disruption for users. Large and sustained DDoS attacks can result in temporary outages of the targeted site or service. According to Lumen's DDos Report, cloud services are now being utilized to launch large-scale attacks.
The consequences of a DDoS attack can extend beyond simply disabling a website, online shop, or application. Aside from financial and data loss, your business's reputation can also be negatively affected.
While DDoS attacks can be difficult to prevent, there are some steps that you can take to protect your business against them:
● Deploy a DDoS protection service that can detect and block malicious traffic from your cloud infrastructure. ● Keep your cloud programs' security up to date by regularly installing the latest patches. ● Have a plan in place for how to respond if your systems are attacked.
Moving to and from the cloud makes it easier for malware to infiltrate your systems, and it also opens doors for more serious attacks. For instance, ransom-cloud attackers commonly use malware or phishing emails to target cloud-based mail servers such as Microsoft 365. One popular method they utilize is file sync piggybacking, where the attacker sends a phishing email with an attachment. When a user syncs files with the cloud, ransomware “piggybacks” on the file sync service to help the threat actor infiltrate their cloud environment.
The following are a few things you can do to protect your business against malware:
● Leverage security tools to detect and stop malicious files and applications, and to keep you informed about any security threats or vulnerabilities. ● Implement a zero trust model. The zero trust model is a security concept that requires strict verification of user identities before allowing them access to system resources. ● Implement network segmentation to limit the damage of a malware attack by containing it to only one small section. This makes it more difficult for an attacker to gain access to all of the devices on your network.
Unfortunately, proper cloud security settings are often overlooked by administrators during the configuration process. For example, admins may accidentally allow unrestricted outbound access, which can result in unauthorized applications communicating with your cloud server. This is exactly what happened during the Alteryx breach in 2017. The online marketing firm released data from millions of households due to a small error in their AWS S3 bucket configuration.
Here are tips to ensure proper cloud configuration:
● Establish identity and access management. Set and implement strict guidelines for password use, user access, multifactor authentication, and the like. ● Conduct regular logging and monitoring. Set up alerts, run event tracking, and update access policies as needed.
An application programming interface (API) is a means for one software application to communicate with another. In effect, it is a set of rules that govern how two applications can talk to each other. APIs are important because they allow businesses to exchange data and functionality in a way that is both efficient and secure. If APIs are not properly secured, malicious actors can steal and exploit sensitive business and customer data.
Here are some tips to help keep your API secure:
● Select an API that was built using a standard framework, with security as the primary concern. ● Prior to utilizing any API, test it for safety by examining the design of tokens, signatures, encryption, and API gateways. ● An API must be properly implemented and well-documented. The API documentation should also be secured, as malicious actors can use this to reveal weak points that can be exploited.
Though it may seem daunting, you can ensure your cloud infrastructure's security. By being proactive and working with a trusted partner, you can rest easy knowing that your cloud data is well protected against even the most sophisticated cyberthreats. At SimplyClouds, our cloud experts will provide excellent security guidance and solutions tailored to fit your specific needs, helping you stay one step ahead of malicious actors. Contact us today to learn more.