More than 90 percent of companies are already in the cloud, according to research published by 451 Research. This number is likely to increase over time as cloud computing becomes an essential technology for growing businesses. Cloud computing offers businesses a host of benefits, such as cost savings, scalable resources, pay-as-you pricing, lightning-fast performance and strategic competitive advantage. However, there are also some drawbacks to consider.
Top Cloud Computing Cyber Security Threats
Businesses that use cloud systems face certain cybersecurity threats that put them at risk for financial, legal and reputational losses.
1. Data Breaches
Among the most common threats impacting cloud users is the loss of sensitive information through data breaches. A data breach is a type of security incident where information is stolen, illegally accessed or used by a cybercriminal without authorization. Cybercriminals can sometimes gain access to a cloud network or use programs to view, copy or transmit cloud-based data. Losing private data violates the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and can result in hefty fines for a business.
2. Account Hijacking
Another major concern for businesses that use the cloud involves the hijacking of accounts. Cybercriminals can now use unsuspecting employees’ login information. Hijacking can be achieved in several ways, such as the use of scripting bugs or the manipulating or falsifying of information.
3. System Vulnerabilities
Like any system or program that is based online, cloud infrastructure is susceptible to certain system vulnerabilities. Third-party programs, complex networks, and other cloud computing components can expose security gaps that cybercriminals leverage to breach an infrastructure.
4. Insider Threats
When considering cybersecurity threats for cloud computing, many business leaders overlook insider threats. An attack that occurs from within an organization may seem unlikely, but these threats do occur. A rogue employee could use their authorized access to a business’s cloud-based services to access or misuse data, such as financial forms, customer accounts or other sensitive information. In some cases, inside threats are not malicious but rather performed by employees who were not well trained in security protocols.
One of the newest threats that businesses that use cloud computing face is known as cryptojacking. This new form of cyberattack occurs when hackers use computing resources from a business’s cloud system, essentially slowing down business operations.
As business operations do continue to work, cryptojacking can sometimes go undetected. IT teams may mistake the common symptoms of cryptojacking with other issues, such as a slow internet connection.
6. Malware Injection
A malware injection refers to a code or script embedded into cloud services. These malicious codes or scripts act as “valid instances” and run as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to cloud services. The malicious code is essentially viewed as part of the service or software that is running, making it difficult to detect. When a cloud operates after being injected, cybercriminals can compromise sensitive information and steal data.
7. Denial of Service
Denial of Service (DoS) attacks can be highly damaging to a business and could potentially shut down its cloud services. When employees and customers cannot access these services, it can negatively impact productivity and a company’s reputation. This type of cyberattack occurs when a cybercriminal floods a system with a large amount of traffic that the servers cannot handle, making it impossible to continue normal business operations.
8. Insecure APIs
Businesses can use application programming interfaces (APIs) to customize their cloud experience. However, APIs can also threaten cloud security. In addition to providing businesses with customization functionalities, APIs also provide access and affect encryption. This communication between applications creates serious security risks.
9. Risky SaaS Applications
When a user downloads and signs into a cloud service using their personal computer, tablet or smartphone, it can be difficult to monitor unsanctioned applications running in the background. Malicious SaaS apps that were not developed using the proper security controls can gain unauthorized access to a cloud environment. Team members may also unknowingly allow permissions to risky applications, which puts sensitive business data at risk.
10. Phishing Attacks
Cloud computing is also vulnerable to phishing and social engineering attacks. When confidential or login information is available, a cybercriminal may be able to log into a system from any location. Employees must be made aware of potential cybersecurity issues, such as phishing and social engineering attacks, so that they can take the proper steps to protect against these risks.
Speak With The IT Security Experts
The managed IT services experts at TCB Inc. have many years of experience helping clients minimize cybersecurity threats. To learn more about the different types of cybersecurity threats for cloud computing or to speak with a managed IT services provider, reach out to the IT experts at TCB Inc. today.