Cloud networks offer incredible benefits to businesses and organizations, including flexibility, scalability, and cost saving. But when it comes to data security, the cloud has its unique set of risks that IT professionals must learn to recognize and understand to ensure their networks remain secure. A total of 27% of organizations have experienced a security incident in their public cloud infrastructure in the year 2021. The major reasons were cloud misconfiguration, improper data sharing, compromised accounts, and vulnerability exploitation.
Major Risks to Cloud Networks
In this article, we’ll look at some of the major risks associated with cloud networks and how you can prevent them from happening in your organization. Cloud networks are constantly under attack from a variety of threats. Some of the popular risks to cloud networks are are follows:
Limited Visibility into Network Operations
One of the biggest challenges organizations have faced when working in multi-cloud environments is a lack of visibility into network operations. This can lead to outages and downtime, as well as security breaches. Without visibility into the network, it’s difficult to troubleshoot and fix problems. This can be a major problem for businesses that rely on cloud networks for critical operations.
Data Leaks and Data Breaches
Data leaks and data breaches are two of the most serious risks to cloud networks. A data leak is when unauthorized access to sensitive data is gained, while a data breach is when that data is stolen or accessed without permission. Both can have devastating consequences for businesses and individuals alike. There have been many high-profile data leaks and data breaches in recent years, including the infamous Yahoo data breach that affected over 3 billion user accounts. This shows that no one is safe from these threats, no matter how big or small they may be.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks
A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is a type of cyberattack in which a hacker seeks to make a network or server unavailable by flooding it with Internet traffic. DDoS attacks are often launched by botnets, networks of infected computers that can be controlled remotely by hackers. The US suffered 43.25% of all reported DDoS attacks in Q2 2022, closely followed by China and Germany, which were hit by 7.91% and 6.64% of reported attacks in the same period. DDoS attacks can be very disruptive and costly to businesses, as they can prevent legitimate users from accessing websites or services. In some cases, DDoS attacks can even cause physical damage to the networks or servers that are being targeted.
API security is often overlooked because it is assumed that the provider will take care of it. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Insecure APIs can lead to data breaches, denial of service attacks, and other serious problems. Attackers can use an insecure API to access sensitive data, such as customer records or financial information. They can also use it to launch attacks against other parts of the system. For example, they could use an insecure API to add their malicious code to the provider’s software. This could allow them to take over the system entirely.
Account hijacking is a serious threat to cloud networks. Hackers can gain access to your account and use it to commit fraud or steal data. They can also use it to launch attacks against other users on the network. There are a few ways that hackers can hijack your account. One is by guessing your password. Another way hackers can hijack your account is by using phishing tactics. They may send you an email that looks like it’s from a trusted source, but when you click on the link, you’re taken to a fake website that captures your login credentials. Once an attacker has gained access to a user’s account, they can use it to launch attacks against other users or applications or to steal sensitive data.
As more and more businesses move to the cloud, misconfiguration of cloud networks has become a major risk. Cloud networks are complex, and even small errors can have major consequences. One of the most common mistakes is failing to properly restrict access to cloud resources. For example, many organizations give all employees full access to all cloud resources instead of only the resources they need to do their job. This can lead to accidental data leaks or unauthorized changes that can disrupt service.
Another common mistake is failing to configure security controls properly. This can leave your cloud network vulnerable to attack. For example, not properly configuring firewalls can allow attackers to gain access to your network.
Best Practices for Mitigating Risks to Cloud Networks
Implementing best practices for mitigating risks to cloud networks can help organizations safeguard their data and avoid potential security threats. By identifying and addressing risks, organizations can ensure that their cloud networks are secure and protected against potential attacks. Here are some best practices for mitigating network security issues in cloud computing:
Conduct a risk assessment: The first step in mitigating risks is identifying which risks are most relevant to your organization. This can be done through a comprehensive risk assessment that considers your specific business goals, concerns, and operating environment.
Implement security controls: Once you’ve identified the risks that pose the greatest threat to your organization, you can implement security controls to mitigate those risks. Some common security controls include firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, and data encryption.
Stay up-to-date on security threats: The landscape of security threats is constantly changing, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest threats and how to protect against them. This can be done through regular employee training and awareness programs and by keeping abreast of industry news and developments.
Test your defences regularly: It’s not enough to simply put security controls in place; you also need to test them to ensure they’re effective regularly. This can be done through penetration testing, such as internal and external vulnerability assessments.
By following these cloud security best practices, you can significantly reduce the risks to your cloud network and keep your data safe and secure.
It is important to note that cloud networks come with their own set of risks and vulnerabilities. By understanding these cloud computing security issues and solutions and staying ahead of the latest threats, businesses can ensure they are protecting their data in the best way possible.
Implementing strong security protocols, ensuring all users have unique user accounts, and regularly monitoring suspicious activity are just a few essential tips for keeping any cloud network secure. With the right approach, businesses can rest assured that their systems are safe from attack and better protected against potential threats.