Top 5 Security Challenges for Cloud

Pallavi Khopkar


Availing cloud services to set up infrastructure is the in-thing. Cloud offers a myriad of benefits in terms of cost-efficiency, high availability, scalability. However, your responsibility does not end with just setting up an infrastructure in the cloud. Strengthening cloud security is of utmost importance.

In 2021, companies across the globe faced multi-million dollar cloud security breaches, exposing sensitive data and compromising compliance. Security breaches indeed come with a hefty price tag.

In this blog, I have listed the key security threats for your cloud infrastructure:

1. Data breaches :

    Data breaches remained the top cloud security threat in 2021 as per CSA report. A global survey indicates that security organizations face a daunting task in preventing data breaches that come at a high cost.
    Have you heard of the Facebook data breach in 2021? Facebook data breach exposed over 533 million individuals’ personal details which could be misused for data engineering.
    Remember the data breaches faced by First American Financial Corp. (885 million records), Equifax(605 million records), Marriott (500 million records) and many more. Healthcare data breaches alone affected a staggering 45 million people in 2021.

    A data breach can cause irreversible damage to the company’s reputation, financial woes due to regulatory implications, legal liabilities, incident response costs and decreased market value.

2. Cloud Misconfigurations :

    Incorrect set up of the cloud infrastructure can create vulnerabilities for hackers. In fact, 65 to 70% of all security challenges in the cloud arise from misconfigurations. For example, in 2020, more than 440 million Estee Lauder records that included user email addresses and audit, error, CMS, middleware, and production logs were exposed because of a database that was not password-protected. Capital One breach was traced back to a web application firewall misconfiguration that exposed Amazon S3 buckets.
    Cloud adopters believe that they need automated detection and remediation to address the security requirements.

3. Lack of cloud security strategy :

    Shifting to the cloud without any proper architecture strategy for security controls leads to an infrastructure vulnerable to security threats. AWS Security best practices must be adopted while architecting the infrastructure in AWS cloud. Any vulnerabilities must be detected and remediated in a timely manner.

4. Insufficient access and key management :

    The attack on Microsoft affected 30,000 organizations across the globe; the attack began when hackers used stolen passwords combined with previously undetected vulnerabilities on servers running Microsoft Exchange software. Malicious access using stolen credentials is the topmost cause of data breaches.
    Using multi-factor authentication, providing access with least privilege policy, and key encryption are a few of the areas of access management that need to be considered.

5. Insecure interfaces and APIs :

    APIs through which customers interact with cloud services are some of the most exposed components of a cloud environment. The security of any cloud service starts with how well these are safeguarded. The most critical API security risks include: Broken object level, user- and function-level authorization, excessive data exposure, lack of resource, security misconfiguration, and insufficient logging and monitoring.

    The implications of these and other risks are huge. In fact, some of the biggest security breaches of late were due to an API vulnerability. This includes the infamous Cambridge Analytica breach, where a Facebook API loophole exposed personal information about more than 50 million people.

To have a secure and compliant cloud architecture, it is essential that cloud adopters partner with cloud service providers. Even if businesses have cloud infrastructure set up, it is critical to assess the infrastructure for any weak areas and then remediate the security findings.

Comprinno has implemented numerous projects aimed at improving cloud security posture of companies.

If you want a free security assessment and remediation report and/or need help with strengthening security of your infrastructure, contact us now.

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