Top 10 Cloud Security Threats In 2018 And How To Avert Them
2017 has seen a plague of cyber-attacks- from ransomware shutting down hospitals in Europe, to Equifax data breach, and malware targeting established brands like FedEx. By mid-year alone, the number of attacks in the U.S. had risen by 29% compared to the same time in the previous year. According to the Identity Theft and Resource Source, the organization that had tracked them, more attacks were expected at a growth rate of 37% per year.
Sadly, they were right. As a matter of fact, their prediction turned out to be barely an underestimation. By the end of the year, they had recorded a drastic upturn of 44.7% growth rate compared to 2016. Undoubtedly an all-time high.
If you assume that that must have been the hardest 12 months for cybersecurity, wait until we are done with 2018. According to the Information Security Forum (ISF), the data security organization that had predicted an increase in the number of data breaches in 2017, 2018 will be another painfully dire year. The number and impact of security attacks are expected to rise again over the next couple of months.
The year is also expected to be very thrilling for cloud computing, as more enterprises continue expanding their computing frameworks to the cloud. As a result, the volume of sensitive data in cloud servers is expected to expand at an exponential rate. And that translates to increased vulnerabilities and targets for cyber attackers.
But contrary to popular belief, method and scale of attack will not be changing drastically any time soon. IT professionals are already aware of 99% of the vulnerabilities that will continue to be exploited through to 2020.
So to help you tighten your defenses in the cloud, here are the top 10 threats we expect through 2018.
- Data Leak
The average cost of a data breach, going by figures published by Ponemon Institute, currently stands at $3.62 million. Hackers continue to target cloud servers they think have valuable information they could use. And unfortunately, many of them might turn out to be lucky due to vulnerabilities even as simple as private data shared on public domains.
In addition to defining and implementing strict data policies, organizations should invest in data security tech like firewalls plus network management solutions. Most importantly, they should only leverage proven cloud solutions with state-of-the-art security features.
- Data Loss
A data leak might be unfortunate, but not as much as data loss. While the former mostly occurs when your cloud server is successfully infiltrated, the latter is mostly caused by natural and artificial disasters. When you think you have all your enterprise data intact, it vanishes completely after physical destruction of the servers.
It’s difficult to predict natural disasters. So, to avoid going out of business due to data loss, implement a multi-layered backup system that consistently runs in real time.
- Insider Attacks
Netwrix conducted an IT Risks Survey and established that many enterprises are still experiencing difficulty gaining comprehensive visibility into their IT systems. They consequently remain vulnerable to data security threats emanating from both authorized and unauthorized users. Such an attack could be potentially detrimental since users can easily access even the most sensitive information.
Organizations should, therefore, implement strict user policies, plus effective administrative measures to track and maintain visibility to all user activities.
Cybercrime has developed to a level that malicious individuals can now hire hackers to target organizations. The ISF predicts an escalation of this in 2018, as hackers continue to access infiltration tools through the web, and criminal organizations develop complex hierarchies.
Since this mostly targets intellectual property and trade secrets, enterprises should encrypt data both at rest and during transmission.
- Human Error
The human factor continues to be the weakest element in cloud security. Your organization’s cloud users might, for instance, mistakenly share that extremely sensitive information you’ve been trying to secure from hackers. Unfortunately, this risk multiplies with every user added to the network.
In addition to strict user privilege management, organizations should invest in IT training to teach employees on cloud use, potential threats, and data handling.
- AI Weaponization
Researchers and information securities have been leveraging neural networks, machine-learning strategies, and other artificial intelligence tools to assess attacks and develop corresponding data security models. The downside to this is the fact that hackers will also use the same tools to analyze cloud vulnerabilities, and launch systematic attacks.
Since this threat is increasingly dynamic, it requires an equally multilayered system of data security strategies to prevent attacks from multiple vantage points.
- IoT Challenge
Enterprises are exceedingly capitalizing on the cloud to facilitate remote file sharing and access. But this introduces the threat of BYOD devices, which could serve as entry points for malware.
CIOs should, therefore, prioritize not only on server security but also device security. All devices allowed to access enterprise networks should be thoroughly scanned, and adequately tracked.
- Account Hijacking
If perpetrators figure out user credentials, they could easily gain access to the corresponding cloud account, hijack it, then manipulate data, eavesdrop on ongoing activities, and tamper with business processes.
In addition to closely protecting user credentials, accounts should come with multi-factor authentication, and the ability to regain control in the event of a hijack.
- Denial Of Service
By forcing cloud services to consume an excessive amount of system resources like network bandwidth, disk space, or processor, attackers continue to clock out legitimate users from server access.
An adequately updated antivirus and infiltration detection system should be able to pick up such an attempt, while a firewall will block off subsequent data transfer.
- Insecure APIs
Cloud services continue to provide access to third-party software and APIs, which facilitate collaboration and improve service delivery. But some of these APIs come with vulnerabilities that hackers are able to take advantage of to access the primary data.
This requires CIOs to comprehensively review and vet all third-party services before proceeding with subscriptions.
All factors considered none of these aversion measures would be effective on a cloud service that’s poorly secured. So get in touch with us today to learn more about the world’s most secure Enterprise File Sharing Solution.
Author: Davis Porter