6 Security Risks of Cloud Computing

Updated: March 30th, 2022 Author: Liv Appleton

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Cloud technology can cause challenges when it comes to cyber security.

We have a lot to thank cloud technology for. From spurring technological progression to enabling us to work from anywhere when the pandemic started causing chaos and now enabling businesses to allow flexible working patterns for their team. However, as work and business data is moving away from a physical location, cloud technology can cause a range of challenges for your IT team, especially when it comes to cyber-security. So, let’s take a quick look at 6 security risks that can be caused by cloud computing and tips to help you avoid them.

1)   Secure Your Endpoints

It’s great that business is utilising cloud technology to allow more and more employees to work remotely. However, this shift to ‘location-agnostic’ workplaces means that workers will naturally use more endpoints compared with being in the office. As every endpoint is a potential door for cyber-criminals to access your data, this can cause a cloud security nightmare. Implementing a Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solution is an effective way to ensure all endpoints are secured. UEM solutions monitor all of your devices within your business’s cloud infrastructure under one security protocol. Furthermore investing in endpoint management solutions that possess automated features, means you can protect your data within your cloud infrastructure whilst freeing up the capacity of your IT team.

2)   Cloud-Native Security

When it comes to cloud security, it is common for businesses to use a range of security solutions and tools to protect their infrastructure and the data within. This can result in having to spin lots of plates when monitoring the safety of your data and therefore security processes are inefficient. If something were to go wrong, it’s naturally going to take a lot longer to fix – penalising your business in both time and money. Cloud-native security platforms allow you to manage your security across multiple environments, including hybrid cloud environments from a single, uniform platform. They also allow you to combine and integrate the individual security solutions you’re using to protect your cloud data. Streamlining your processes with cloud-native security platforms means you have a better chance at preventing security breaches and dealing with them more efficiently, should they occur.

3)  Infrastructure as Code Vulnerabilities

One of the wonderful things about cloud technology is the fact that it has opened up a world of new possibilities when it comes to the maintenance and management of your IT infrastructure. The evolution of Infrastructure as Code (IaC) has enabled IT teams to maintain the settings of individual deployment environments through code rather than manual processes. Although this can bring a lot of benefits, namely, providing developers with a way to effectively adhere to cloud security standards, IaC isn’t completely hacker-proof. Cyber-criminals are still capable of infiltrating vulnerabilities and utilising harmful code to attack or steal your data. A common reason for this risk, is a lack of relevant knowledge when dealing with IaC and not knowing how to take advantage of all the security capabilities IaC possesses. Either increasing IaC security training or deploying the utilisation and management of IaC to an external provider, could effectively combat this security risk.

4)  Manual vs Automation

Protecting your cloud infrastructure manually, is not only time-consuming and therefore uses up a lot of your IT resource, it leaves your data vulnerable. Due to the complex nature of cloud environments, it is incredibly difficult to manually check all aspects of your cloud infrastructure for vulnerabilities and unpatched issues that could let in an intruder or be responsible for a data breach. The best way to avoid this is to utilise automation within your cloud security measures. Using solutions that can automatically identify vulnerable areas of your infrastructure, alert you of issues and protect against malware attacks, will not only save you time, but provide a higher level of security than relying solely on manual processes.

5)  Dangers of Open Source Software

Open Source Software can provide very useful benefits when it comes to cloud computing. They are platform-neutral, so don’t tie you to a single cloud provider or their environment and the scope for customisation means you can create cloud solutions and tools that fit your needs exactly. However, when it comes to security, Open Source Software can open an entry-way for a cyber-criminal and compromise your data. Developers don’t always consistently scan for issues within their software and open forums discussing weaknesses with some software can alert criminals to a vulnerability that they can take advantage of. Furthermore, some cyber-criminals have been maliciously inserting harmful code within Open Source Software packages. Our tip to avoid this issue is to only trust software that has been around for a while, by trusted developers and avoid new Open Source Software. Also, ensure you are up to date with any updates for your Open Source Software and keep your eye out for any reports of attacks, vulnerabilities or bugs within the software you use.

6)  Misconfigurations

It can take one misconfiguration of a cloud element or component to open up a serious vulnerability within your cloud infrastructure, which can result in disastrous consequences. Considering the amount of applications, elements and components that are running at any one time within your infrastructure, this is a serious issue. Performing regular audits and configuration reviews will help you to identify insecurities and misconfigurations that can leave your information vulnerable, before it becomes a major risk. Furthermore, ensuring you are clued up on the security controls and default configuration of the components within your infrastructure is also a strong defence that can protect you from a misconfiguration disaster.

Safeguard Your Cloud Computing with Netcentrix

At Netcentrix, we want you to take advantage of all the silver linings that comes with cloud computing, without dreading any security storms. Our expert team can source the best cloud solutions for your needs, as well as support you in securing your data whilst utilising them. Whether it’s suggesting the best security measures or fixing security issues within your cloud infrastructure, we’re here to help your business to fly high, securely, with cloud technology.

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