How to Avoid Security Risks in Cloud Computing
Cybersecurity has become increasingly important with the advent of cloud technology and six main risks were highlighted in 2019. In this article we give some insight into these and how to avoid them.
#1 Access is Poorly Controlled
Management of access is key to avoid hackers entering the system and they are keen to exploit any vulnerability here.
Tips to avoid unauthorized access:
- Use multi-factor authentication for users. Using passwords with one-time-only keys can keep the data secure. If someone tries to access the account without the second layer the account will be locked and the user informed.
- Only authorized and necessary access should be granted on the service side where users only access the parts of the system relevant to their tasks.
#2 Data Breach and Loss of Data
This is a key concern for cloud computing. If a data breach happens it is always because there was a failure to pick up a security issue. In these cases, data is access and extracted exposing sensitive data to the public.
Tips to avoid data breaches:
- Validated access — multi-factor authentication which insists on extra proof of identity has now become a standard extra layer of security on cloud systems.
- Encryption — any data stored on the system must be protected by a layer of encrypted security.
- Firewalls — a firewall must be in place both externally and internally to prevent unauthorized access within the system.
#3 Loss of Data
There are four main ways that data can be lost: Alteration, unreliable storage, deletion and the loss of access to the data.
Tips to avoid loss of data:
- Regular automated backups.
- Multiple cloud locations helps ameliorate the risk of losing all data by storing it in different areas.
#4 Insecure User Interface or API
API is widely used internally and externally and this is often targeted by hackers looking for a way into a system. Vulnerabilities include poor configuration, encryption and/or authentication.
Tips to avoid problems with an insecure API:
- Ensure adequate monitoring is in place.
- Never reuse passwords.
- Avoid on-scree visibility of authentication keys.
- Regularly test to try and breach your security protocols.
- Use SSL/TSL for data transmissions.
- Ensure multi-factor authentication processes are used.
#5 Poorly Configured Storage on the Cloud
This is another part of the API scenario where misconfiguration leaves the data vulnerable.
Tips to avoid configuration risks:
- Always double check your cloud security configurations.
- Never use default settings.
- Use proper authentication for access.
- Use specialized tools to check the efficacy of your security configurations.
#6 Denial of Service Attacks (DoS)
The cloud can carry a heavy workload but sometimes a hacker will use automation to overload the server. DoS is designed to stop users accessing a system, disrupt its workings or just cause it to crash by overloading the system. This always harms the users and the reputation of the company.
Tips to help prevent a DoS attack:
- Installation of modern Intrusion Detection systems.
- Firewalls designed to look at the source of incoming traffic and its destination.
- Source rate limitation — stopping data coming from certain IP addresses if it looks like an attack.
The shift to cloud computing has given a whole range of benefits to business and users but it has also given potential access points to hackers seeking to access sensitive data. Following standard security protocols and keeping up to date with current risks is a key way to protect your companies data and reputation.
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