Main Cloud Computing Security Risks in 2023

Top Security Risks in Cloud Computing & Ways to Manage Them

What are the advantages of cloud computing? And what are the risks that companies encounter when using cloud services?

Sasha Andrieiev
10 min readMar 3, 2023

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Remote working is becoming more and more popular for a wide range of reasons. As a result, more businesses rely on cloud-based technology. Cloud computing has become widely used in project management, networking, and operations.

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the total amount of data stored in the cloud, which includes public clouds operated by vendors and social media companies (think of Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc.), government-owned clouds accessible to citizens and businesses, private clouds owned by mid-to-large-sized corporations, and cloud storage providers, will reach 100 zettabytes by 2025. It means 50% of the world’s data at that time, up from approximately 50% today.

What are the advantages of cloud computing? And what are the risks that companies encounter when using cloud services? Let’s delve into the specifics and show you how to safeguard your company’s data from the most common cloud computing risks.

security risks in cloud computing

Cloud Computing Benefits and Risks for Your Business

Numerous organizations are undertaking technological advancement. It is one of the most powerful strategies to remain competitive in today’s crowded industry. Transferring your organization to the cloud will affect many aspects of your organization’s operations.

The cloud offers many advantages: from speed and accessibility to the absence of piles of paper. Moreover, there are different types of cloud service platforms, each having its own peculiarities. There is no doubt that this format of work has its risks. Let’s consider them and their solutions

The History of Cloud Storage

The concept of an “intergalactic PC network” can be linked to the beginning of cloud computing in the 1960s. Significant developments in the field of cloud computing occurred in the 1970s and 1990s.

As an illustration, IBM developed the VM (Virtual Machine) working framework in 1972. In the 1990s, a number of media companies provided their own variations of virtualized private systems. Cloud solutions are now divided into three groups based on their intended use: personal, public, and private.

What Separates Virtualization from Cloud Computing

Since about a decade ago, virtual machines have served as the primary computing unit in the cloud, enabling dozens of different apps and workloads to operate and develop successfully. Virtual machines depend on the hypervisor’s capacity to effectively distribute computing resources across hardware by decoupling them from it.

Virtualization is therefore the technology that makes it possible to build a number of dedicated resources or simulated environments from a single physical hardware system. Cloud computing is not a single technology, but rather a set of concepts and methods for providing consumers with on-demand access to platforms, services, and applications related to computing, network, and storage infrastructure across any network.

What Is Cloud Computing And What Are Its Advantages

security risks in cloud computing

Cloud computing refers to the distribution of on-demand computer resources — hardware, storage, databases, networking, and software — via a network to organizations and people (usually the Internet). Cloud computing allows businesses to access and store data without having to manage their own physical devices or IT systems (according to Google).

Cloud computing services save time and assist with management. Users benefit from enhanced customer experiences and increased data accessibility. Investors can also get thorough updates on the company’s performance at any time.

The main advantages of cloud services include:

  • Ensure collaborative security. The cloud may be the greatest option for coordinating two or even more teams.
  • Simple for using. Cloud computing enables instant data access, procedures, and important enterprise systems from any part of the worldwide with a stable Internet connection.
  • Cost-effectiveness. Because cloud computing is a subscription model, there are no upfront costs for hardware, software, or maintenance.
  • Shorter time to market. Developers can work more quickly with rapid deployments because new instances can be spun up or retired in a matter of seconds.
  • Scalability and flexibility. Cloud computing gives your business more flexibility. Without spending money on physical infrastructure, you can easily scale resources and storage up to meet business demands.
security risks in cloud computing

The more data a firm has on the cloud, the more effectively it will recruit new clients, establish development strategies, and increase its market position.

For instance, cloud computing has become a development worth examining in the healthcare sector, where organizations display information on every patient, including symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and a comprehensive medical history. Other industries are also adapting the cloud model to their needs and challenges.

Limitations of Cloud Computing

Traditional computing uses a hardwired connection to access data on servers or storage devices. Using cloud computing may result in inability to access the data or apps needed due to a bad connection. The use of the cloud has benefits and drawbacks, just like any other technology.

Other disadvantages of cloud computing include:

  • vendor lock-in possibility;
  • less control over the cloud’s underlying infrastructure;
  • worries about security risks like data privacy and online threats;
  • integration difficulty with legacy systems;
  • unexpected expenses.

When moving to the cloud, there are many difficulties that arise because it is unclear what services the providers offer, how much they charge, and which security tasks still fall under the customer’s purview.

What are the Main Security Risks of Cloud Computing

Understandably, 75% of businesses rank cloud security as their top worry. 33% are extremely concerned, 42% are very concerned, and only 25% are indifferent to somewhat concerned. Let’s take a look at the most popular security risks you must be aware of before moving all your business data to cloud storage.

security risks in cloud computing

Data security: leakage or breaches

Over the same time period, over 53 million people in the US (2022) were affected by data compromises such as data breaches and leaks (according to Statista). It’s one of the most common risks of cloud computing. Not all providers of cloud services are capable of creating backups when required.

Limited visibility

Companies might lose visibility into system integration, resource, service consumption, and costs when they migrate their workflows and assets to the cloud. Organizations must use extra technologies to monitor their cloud services consumption, such as cloud security configuration monitoring, network-based monitoring, and additional logging.

Malware

As the prominence of cloud computing rises, so does cybercriminal activity. Malware (a portmanteau for malicious software) is any software that is intentionally designed to disrupt a PC, device, customer, or network node, leak personal data, obtain unauthorized access to systems or systems, deny access to that information, or interfere with the host PC’s privacy and security (according to Wikipedia).

Lower control over repositories

Different types of cloud service models offer varying degrees of resource control. You often have no influence over where your data is kept. When a breach happens, you may not even understand exactly whether it occurred or where it occurred.

Stored data is lost

This type of risk is possible in any system, not only CC. There are several ways to lose data in the cloud. When technology fails, systems halt and backup copies become lost. At times, servers fail and the data stored therein is lost. Although most cloud storage companies go to considerable measures to protect their networks and your data, not all assaults can be avoided.

Simplified unauthorized usage

Administrators, developers, and other trusted staff with access to sensitive data may unintentionally cause harm. Security risks aren’t just external threats. Cloud services frequently have publicly available URLs for uploading and downloading files, which can lead to data leakage if inadequate security protections are implemented.

Increased complexity

Cloud complexity is the outcome of the fast acceleration of data migration without regard for the difficulty it brings into processes. With public, private, and multi-cloud added to legacy systems, IT complexity grows.

The issue is that as workloads are moved to the cloud, IT does not remove endpoints (tech systems such as servers, databases, and so on). That is, when applications go to the cloud, the traditional platforms remain in some form. They are used less frequently, but they must still be regulated.

Account fraud

Thieves can get login credentials to access sensitive data stored in the cloud and are known to exploit holes in network architecture, thus using strong passwords that are updated on a regular basis is an excellent practice. The 3 major types of fraud:

  • Misappropriation of property;
  • Bribery and corruption;
  • Deception in income accounts.

According to McKinsey & Company, synthetic ID fraud is the fastest-increasing financial crime in the United States.

API security weaknesses

When APIs fail to enforce correct access control, encrypt data, or sanitize its inputs, cross-system vulnerabilities can occur. Cloud services with unsafe APIs endanger information confidentiality and integrity, exposing your systems and data. Thieves often utilize three sorts of attacks to try to compromise APIs: brute force assaults, denial-of-service attacks, and man-in-the-middle attacks.

Cybercriminals attacks

Cybercriminals use a variety of strategies to launch a cyberattack, including phishing attacks and the use of stolen login information. In the remote work era, the endpoint is the primary target of cybercriminals and an organization’s primary defensive line.

Despite the ubiquity Management: security threats, statistics from Check Point reveal that 99 percent of businesses are not adequately safeguarded. A cyberattack, on the other hand, is avoidable.

How to Manage Cloud Computing Risks: Best Ideas

Now that we’ve discussed the main risks of moving data to the cloud, let’s take a look at the solutions that have been developed to overcome them.

Testing for cloud penetration

The goal of cloud penetration testing is to evaluate a cloud system’s strengths and weaknesses in order to strengthen its overall security posture. Cloud penetration testing aids in the identification of risks, weaknesses, and gaps. The consequences of vulnerable vulnerabilities. There are five types of penetration testing: reconnaissance, scanning, vulnerability assessment, exploitation, and reporting.

Security training

To reduce the human risk aspect, you must provide cloud storage security training to your personnel. You can select an advanced course for those who will be in charge of the security and maintenance of files in the cloud, but for the most part, employees will need to understand the fundamentals of data protection in virtual systems.

Preparing for the unforeseen circumstances

It is a significant step to transfer all of the organization’s data to the cloud. With the help of your team and the cloud service provider, develop backup plans. The more possible difficulties you analyze, the more secure your personal information will be. If at all possible, you can also hire someone to manage and secure the cloud data for your business.

Data security audit

Cloud security is a shared obligation among cloud providers and clients. A cloud security audit is an examination of an organization’s security policies in place to secure its data and other resources in the cloud. An external auditor often conducts the audit, using various test scenarios and checklists to determine whether the target security posture is adequate.

The organization’s risk tolerance and the sensitivity of the data stored in the cloud determine how often security audits of cloud infrastructure are conducted. At least once per year, most businesses should conduct cloud security audits.

Designate a person to manage the cloud budget

Make sure your company has a budget for using cloud services to reduce worries about the higher costs associated with data migration to the cloud. Keep track of your spending and hunt for the finest chances, since the cloud industry is brimming with them.

Encrypt your data

Data encryption is a method of converting plaintext (unencrypted) data to ciphertext (encrypted). To store passwords and sensitive information, pick the encryption technique that works best for you. This will provide an additional layer of security.

security risks in cloud computing

Set User Permissions with Proper Passcodes

Different employees need access to different sections of the company’s files. It’s best to personalize access so that your staff members can access the files they require. For their accounts, it’s also crucial that they frequently come up with brand-new, challenging passwords. This will help protect against a general data leak through a single account.

It is crucial that passwords are intricate and contain symbols, capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and other characters. Alternatively, use passwords with the necessary complexity that were generated automatically. You can also set up automatic password expiration to make sure that workers don’t forget to update their passwords. Two-factor authentication is advantageous for sensitive data.

security risks in cloud computing

Conclusion

How do the advantages of cloud computing stack up against the security risks? The numerous benefits of working in the cloud far outweigh the few, manageable drawbacks. As cloud computing continues to advance and increase security while providing more and more options for various business models, you have the ability to safeguard your data from potential threats.

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Originally published at https://jelvix.com.

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Sasha Andrieiev

CEO & Co-founder at Jelvix | Digital Leader| Innovation Expert | www.jelvix.com