The booming cloud security market is expected to be worth in excess of $585 million by the end of this year, according to global research firm Gartner. This increased demand for cloud security services and products has been driven by a spike in cybercrimes, targeted attacks, and data breaches.
Over the past few years these cloud-based breaches have become increasingly invasive and sophisticated, rendering many conventional security protocols ineffective. This year, there is an entire range of vulnerabilities and threats that IT managers have to contend with. Early detection and swift action is essential if these threats are to be negated effectively with minimal damage to the organization.
Multi-level failures pose a great risk
The applistructure and metastructure are two very important parts of a cloud service. Unfortunately, they are both at risk of failure, which can have a huge negative impact on clients. Providers offering cloud computing services are constantly releasing updated operational and security protection protocols that render their products and services increasingly secure.
These protections are generally incorporated into the CSP’s metastructure by the application programming interface (API). If the API implementation is weak, attackers are presented with the opportunity to interrupt the integrity and confidentiality of the cloud service. In order to counter these failures, cloud providers have to conduct extensive penetration testing while encouraging corporate clients to execute the required safety and security features at an organizational level.
Exposed APIs lead to data breaches
When examining a cloud system, the APIs and UIs are typically the most exposed components, often sporting the only public IP address on the outside of what is considered a trustworthy boundary. Although cloud service providers will attempt to integrate the necessary security into their models, many APIs are still riddled with weaknesses that can expose an organization to a multitude of security concerns, including high-level data breaches. The most effective way to abolish these concerns is to ensure that API keys are adequately protected and never recycled. Additionally, good API hygiene needs to be practiced at all times.
Insider threats continue to wreak havoc
During the course of 2018, the Netwrix Cloud Security Report found that up to 58% of security breaches was attributed to insiders. Now, two years later, insider threats continue to wreak havoc with cloud security. What makes an insider threat so hard to detect and eradicate is the fact that someone on the right side of the firewall does not have to navigate any security defences.
Networks and confidential information can be accessed directly and with relative ease, resulting in loss of intellectual property, decreased productivity, and a compromised reputation. It is important to note that insider threats are not necessarily intentional and can stem from phishing emails and unsecure personal devices. IT teams can reduce the risk of insider threats by conducting routine audits of cloud servers, regularly updating passwords, and empowering employees to utilize the cloud in a secure manner.
Despite the best effort from cloud service providers, the cloud continues to be plagued by a variety of threats. Thankfully, proactive threat detection goes a long way to limit the damage caused by these menaces.