The cloud has become the new normal, businesses must rely on cloud computing to execute their operations and get a competitive edge in the industry. Despite cloud technology’s immense benefits, it has also exposed the business network to sophisticated security threats.
In response to the growing threat landscape, the recent National Cybersecurity Strategy released by the U.S. government aims to develop safe and secure digital ecosystems. The latest cybersecurity strategy released by the government seeks to reimagine cyberspace by making fundamental shifts in how they allocate roles, responsibilities, and resources in cyberspace.
“It is true that nation-state-level threat actors can leverage the flexibility of the cloud to launch attacks and make it easier to hide. But this is also true of the internet in general,” says James Beecham, Founder, and CEO of ALTR
The U.S. government wants to achieve two primary goals with the new cybersecurity strategy:
- They want to focus on rebalancing the responsibility of securing cyberspace by fundamentally shifting the burden for cybersecurity away from users, small and medium businesses, and local governments to enterprises with the best capability to minimize risks for all.
- Additionally, they want to focus on realigning incentives that encourage businesses to have long-term investments by striking a perfect balance between securing against today’s threats and strategically planning for investing in a resilient future.
Cloud providers need to focus on strengthening their cloud architecture to enhance their security to protect the rights of customers and their customers.
This new cybersecurity strategy is designed and enforced with the following vision in mind:
- Defensible: Cybersecurity measures need to be easy, economical, and more effective;
- Resilient: Cyber incidents and gaps need to have less impact.
- Values-aligned: Enterprises need to implement cybersecurity measures that align with the values to secure the digital world.
Also Read: Tips for Selecting the Right Cybersecurity Insurance
Emerging Cloud Security Issues and Threats
Modern enterprises are developed on three significant types of cloud public, private, and hybrid. The best cloud providers offer their service through Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). According to a recent report by Gartner titled “Forecast: Public Cloud Services, Worldwide, 2020-2026, 3Q22 Update,” public cloud spending globally would reach approximately USD 600 million by 2023. The global cloud security market is also gaining momentum along with the cloud computing market. According to a report by Statista titled “Cloud Security – Worldwide,” the revenue gathered by the cloud security industry is expected to reach USD 1.92 Billion by 2023.
Various security gaps in cloud computing can expose the data to sophisticated threats and make it more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Compared to legacy systems, adopting the cloud adds new cybersecurity challenges. Organizations with multi-cloud environments have higher risks of full-blown cyber-attacks. Data breaches, ineffective access management, malware, and API vulnerabilities are emerging cloud cybersecurity threats and risks.
As data is one of the most lucrative sources of income, cybercriminals are on the prowl to look out to steal sensitive data. Data breaches are one of businesses’ most significant cloud computing cybersecurity threats. Cyber attackers are constantly looking for loopholes in the cybersecurity defense measure and leverage them to infiltrate the business network and move laterally to accomplish their malicious goals.
“An organization that loses access to its data is unable to maintain operations: Anything from servicing the public and political stakeholders; calculating and paying grants, bills, and salaries; planning and executing activities. It all grinds to a halt,” says Niels van Ingen, Keepit’s Chief Customer Officer.
Industries like healthcare, banking and financial services, government agencies, and e-commerce portals, where there are stringent data privacy laws, are prime suspects of these cybercriminals. These industries need the best strategies implemented to secure their cloud against various threats to their data.
There are consequences often seen when organizations fall victim to ransomware attacks holding vital infrastructure applications like Microsoft 365 or Azure AD hostage. The ramifications are serious: Even if access to the services gets restored within a few days or weeks, it’s the rule rather than the exception that data gets partially restored. Most of the time, data recovery can take months and is never complete. This not only disrupts business continuity. It also causes significant compliance issues down the road.
“The only way to ensure an organization is resistant to loss of access to data is to ensure a full and granular backup and recovery of all cloud data – a backup that is stored independently from the SaaS vendor whose applications are part of the day-to-day operations,” adds Niels VVan Ingen
Ineffective Access Management
Another significant emerging cloud security threat for businesses is poor access management, which can leave the organization crippled because of full-blown cyber incidents. Ineffective Identity and Access Management (IAM) can expose administrator accounts to various threats. Poor IAM is usually a result of multiple admin accounts, inactive assigned users, or ineffective password management policies. As businesses rely on cloud computing to store all sensitive information, they need to have effective IAM policies set to reduce the exposure of the business network to various emerging cloud security threats and risks.
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As cloud providers explore opportunities to add services, the settings become more complex. Moreover, many companies rely on multiple cloud providers to accomplish their operational goals. Different cloud providers have different default configurations with unique implementation needs and requirements. These lead to various misconfigurations in cloud management that expose the cloud to emerging threats and risks. Enterprises must implement effective cloud security strategies to avoid cybercriminals exploiting misconfigurations.
Human error is a significant threat to cloud security, and hosting resources on the public cloud can magnify the risk. Adopting the cloud allows users to leverage APIs that businesses might not know. This lack of transparency leads to increased loopholes in the perimeter, and the SecOps teams need to implement the proper controls to help people make the right decisions. CyberSecurity industry veterans need to implement stringent security processes to make their cloud computing more secure.
As cloud computing becomes increasingly sophisticated, the threats are also evolving tremendously. Making cloud providers accountable for better security will enable them to strengthen the cloud servers.
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