Businesses, large and small, are moving to the cloud for increased efficiency and streamlined processes. A recent report by O'Reilly suggests that Cloud adoption is surging across industries, and 90 percent of them are using cloud computing. Cloud computing offers your business a competitive advantage, but you mustn't rush without understanding the risks associated.
Whether you are moving to the cloud, thinking about it, or are already there, it is crucial to understand its vulnerabilities and keep some security considerations in mind.
Cloud malware is a cyberattack on a cloud computing system with malicious code and service. Types of cloud-based systems that are prone to such attacks include- Open cloud-based systems, standard or easy to learn cloud-based systems, and those made of entities such as virtual machines (VMs), containers, and storage buckets. In a typical malware attack, the attacker will inject a malicious service into the cloud-based system, resulting in malicious service implementation modules or virtual machine instances.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is a type of malware attack which is very common, where cybercriminals use large-scale botnets to flood a network with malicious traffic. This kind of attack slows down the cloud computing system significantly and can lead to its misuse. Hypercall type of malware attack is an intrusion where the attacker comes as a guest and requests domain access from the host.
In such attacks, detection and prevention become difficult using standard network security. There are many other malware attacks like Hypervisor DoS (attacks the hypervisor space) and Hyperjacking (takes control of the entire hosting and causes damage to the VMs). There are types of Malware that can specifically attack the live migration of the cloud-computing systems.
Data privacy is a common concern nowadays due to rising regulations and industry standards such as GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, etc. To ensure that your organization is compliant, you have to monitor who can access data and to what extent. When you are moving to the cloud, you have to know in which countries your data is being processed, what laws apply, the impact of those laws, and then adopt an approach to comply with them.
It can be challenging for an organization because there are different laws in every region to comply with, like data protection laws, data localization laws, data sovereignty laws, interception laws, access to information laws, etc.
Loss of data
Data leakage is another growing concern for businesses these days. More than 60 percent of the organizations cite it as one of their biggest cloud security concerns. Cloud computing requires businesses to extend some of their control to cloud service providers putting your critical data into the hands of someone beyond your IT department.
Research by Thales Global Cloud Security Study suggests that 40 percent of the businesses have experienced a cloud-based data breach in the last 12 months. There are still businesses that have not encrypted half of their sensitive data stored on the cloud.
Apart from being aware of the above cloud security risks and implementing appropriate solutions, keep in mind that accessibility and visibility are the key strengths of cloud systems. Organizations that adopt cloud services must also adopt a cloud security strategy like data encryption, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and privileged access security.
(Amit Verma is Managing Partner, Codvo.ai)