Cybersecurity Chicago

7 Cloud Computing Security Threats and How to Avoid Them

Sebastian AbbinantiPerspectives

As an increasing number of companies move their operations to the cloud from traditional data centers, security challenges have become increasingly bigger.

According to recent findings, over 45% of data breaches are now cloud-based, ranging from insider threats to misconfiguration to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. These challenges require an innovative and proactive approach to security.

In this blog, we will discuss the seven biggest security threats in cloud computing, and how a managed service provider (MSP) can help mitigate them with cloud security measures.

Cloud Security Threats

Cloud computing security concerns; Research Gate

What Are the Biggest Cloud Security Threats for SMBs?

Ponemon and Proofpoint found that compromised cloud accounts bring a $6.2 million loss on average to businesses every year – a lot of money you could save by securing your cloud accounts properly.

Let’s take a look at some of the most significant cloud computing security threats accounting for these losses within SMBs and how to mitigate the risk with a cloud service provider (CSP).

1. Data Breaches

Data breaches can occur when sensitive information is stolen or accessed by unauthorized individuals – and they can happen irrespective of whether you’re using a public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud.

Recent studies have shown that the average data breach can cost small businesses anywhere from $120,000 to $1.24 million dollars.

In the cloud, data breaches can happen due to weak passwords, malware, phishing attacks, poorly configured systems, and other cloud security threats.

An MSP can help you mitigate data breaches by implementing a cloud security strategy that includes best practices such as:

  • Access management
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Encryption of sensitive data
  • Firewalls
  • User permissions
  • Data backup and disaster recovery
  • Shared responsibility models
  • And more

Check out these additional resources to learn about the additional benefits of MSPs and how to choose a managed service provider who meets your security needs.

2. Insider Threats

Insider threats refer to security risks that come from within your organization – and serve as one of the top cloud security threats today.

These threats can be intentional, such as an employee stealing confidential information, or unintentional, such as an employee inadvertently exposing sensitive data – considering that 88% of data breaches are a result of human error, this is an especially important one on the list of cloud computing security threats to be aware of.

An MSP can help you identify insider threats through cloud services such as behavior monitoring, training employees on security best practices with cyber awareness training, and implementing security policies that limit access to sensitive data.

3. Lack of Visibility

A lack of visibility into your cloud environment can make it difficult to identify and mitigate security threats. This can happen due to the use of multiple cloud providers, different security tools, and complex IT infrastructure.

For example, it can make it difficult to identify problems or inefficiencies in a system, which can ultimately harm performance or create safety risks.

An MSP can provide visibility into your cloud environment by implementing a unified security platform that consolidates data from different sources, providing a single view of your security posture.

4. Compliance Risks

Cloud computing poses significant compliance risks for businesses that are subject to regulatory requirements such as:

  • HIPAA
  • PCI DSS
  • GDPR

Compliance violations can lead to significant legal fines and damage to your business’s overall reputation – which is why it’s so important to safeguard your data and applications properly.

An MSP can help you mitigate compliance risks by implementing security controls that meet regulatory requirements, providing regular compliance assessments, and maintaining compliance certifications.

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5. DDoS Attacks

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks can cripple your cloud infrastructure by overwhelming your servers with traffic – and it doesn’t help that they are becoming more sophisticated and can be difficult to detect and mitigate, especially with a lack of cloud security.

An MSP can help you mitigate DDoS attacks by implementing security measures such as:

  • Network segmentation
  • Traffic monitoring
  • Deploying DDoS mitigation services to detect and block malicious traffic
  • And more

6. Identity and Access Management

Identity and access management (IAM) is critical in cloud computing, where multiple users can access resources from different locations. IAM controls access to cloud resources and can help prevent data breaches and other security threats.

An MSP can help you implement IAM controls such as multi-factor authentication, role-based access controls, and identity federation, which allow users to authenticate once and access multiple cloud resources.

7. Misconfiguration

Misconfiguration refers to the improper configuration of a system or application that results in security vulnerabilities. In the context of cloud computing, misconfiguration can occur when an administrator fails to properly configure a cloud resource such as a virtual machine, storage bucket, or database instance.

This serves as a major threat, as if an administrator fails to set up access controls for a storage bucket, anyone with the bucket's URL can access the data stored within it.

So, how can you mitigate these security threats in cloud computing?

An MSP can protect you from misconfiguration of your cloud by implementing best practices and utilizing automation tools such as 24/7 monitoring, automation configuration, and access controls to monitor and manage your cloud infrastructure so that in the event that an attack surfaces, you’re ready to handle it.

Cloud Computing Security Threats

How The Isidore Group Can Help You Mitigate Your Cloud Security Threats

In conclusion, cloud security threats are numerous and constantly evolving. A managed service provider can help you mitigate these threats within your cloud environments by implementing a comprehensive cloud security strategy that addresses your unique business requirements.

With our own hosted data center for cloud services that offers rapid support and response times, The Isidore Group helps you take advantage of cloud computing to the fullest – while actively minimizing your cloud security threats.

Learn more about how we can help secure your cloud environment – book a free consultation today!