7 Top Cloud Security Challenges and its Solutions (Infographics)
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    7 Top Cloud Security Challenges and its Solutions (Infographics)

    Asha Devi N D | Mar 08, 2018 | 8140 Views | 2 Comments
    7 Top Cloud Security Challenges and its Solutions (Infographics)

    As we witness a secular move with reference to the cloud aspect, Bring Your Own Cloud [BYOC] is becoming more pronounced among the employees. Though, the bigger and faster transition towards cloud is acceptable owing to its enormous benefits, defining the cloud security is also a major concern.

    A few of the fears may be just a fiction or the fact. Still, accepting and meeting the prevailing and/or the predictable challenges of cloud revolution is the need of the hour to make a fair deal. The best security planning and defensive implementation is a must to embrace the clear benefits of cloud moments.

    Cloud Security, the IT phobia is making or breaking the cloud. Though the benefits of cloud computing are so clear, a strong ‘YES’ for its implementation is an issue that ponders over every IT team members’ mind. The challenges regarding Cloud Security has become the major influential factor in the company’s decision-making around the cloud. 

    However, there is nothing to panic, as the security technologies are evolving and the enterprises are getting accessed with security tools that can provide the control they are thriving for. A proactive approach makes the deal done.

    A perfect planning for cloud implementation includes analysis of sensitivity to risks, cloud service models, varied levels of service, consideration of proper cloud type, comprehend the data storage and transfer mechanism provided by the service provider. This simple initial note and strategy make you move a long way in the cloud environment.

    Before closing the cloud security challenges, let us understand the gap that is holding back the firms to deploy the cloud.

    cloud security challenges and solutions

    1.Data Breach:

    A data breach is confirmation of an incident wherein the sensitive, confidential or the protected data is accessed in an unauthorized manner. The violation may include getting access to personal information, trade secrets, and any other products/materials/information that is not intended for public release, or the intellectual properties.

    It may be due to a simple human error or an intended attack. Whatever the reason may be, when the system is vulnerable or a poor practice standard is set, then the property is liable for attacks.  

    Today, the businesses operating in Australia are subject to the country’s new notifiable data breaches scheme. The companies have to report to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner [OAIC] and the affected individual in case of loss of data, either stolen or leaked.

    The law against data breach is becoming more stringent today.

    Still, at the firms’ end, a few of the basic and must steps to follow in order to prevent security breach are as follows:

    • Only the authentic people must access the network
    • Framing of the access so that the users get only the permitted data
    • Authenticate the running software and also the software patches
    • The process of request permission must be formalized
    • Monitor all the network activity and detect intruders
    • Recommended to log all the users and programs activity
    • Encrypt all the data that needs protection
    • Regularly monitor the network for vulnerabilities
    • Aware of malicious insiders and protect the data


    2.Secure Application Programming Interfaces [APIs]:

    Cloud APIs are the programming interfaces embedded into the cloud system. It automates the several tasks and makes the job easier. The APIs generally embedded are Representational State Transfer [REST]; Simple Object Access Protocol [SOAP]; XML-RPC or the JSON-RPC.

    When an API is incorporated, the issues like identity, authentication, authorization, sessions, username, certificates, OAuth, Custom Authentic scheme, API key and, etc., must be addressed.

    • While choosing the cloud service provider, the documentation of their API must be checked. You must hire a penetration tester to test the API provided and same measures must be taken while developing own APIs to ward-off security bugs if any.  

    3. Vulnerabilities in the system:

    The shortfalls in the virtual machines could be exploited for vulnerabilities.

    The virtual machines vulnerability includes hypervisors, VM hopping, virtual machine-based rootkits, denial of service attacks, data leakage, and more.   

    The well-known existing vulnerabilities in the virtual machines include buffer overflows, denial of service, execution of malicious codes, and gain privileges.

    Another known vulnerability in the VMware products includes the path traversal vulnerability. If it gets exploited, the attacker will be able to control the guest VM image, break the access, disrupt the flow if the VM host is not disabled.

    To combat these kinds of system vulnerabilities, the company must

    • Follow a secure system approach adhering to National Institute of Standards [NIST] benchmark that validate the security baseline system
    • Configure the vulnerability scanner to know the unknown risks that the system may get subjected to on the daily basis
    • Implementation of security within the system development life cycle is recommended  

    4. Cloud Service Hijacking:

    When a cloud account gets hijacked or stolen, the attacker may impersonate the account owner to steal the information, conduct unauthorized or any unwanted activity that would lead to compromising of the trust the company has earned.

    Though the cloud has numerous benefits, it paves way for the cybercriminals as most of the data are housed in one place. The risks on hijack are more prevalent.

    To combat the hijacking, the company has to take up these precautionary and effective measures.

    • Ensure with the service providers for trustworthy employees who access the servers at data centers
    • Possess a stringent authentication for the cloud app users
    • Have a regular and secure backup of the data to prevent loss of data
    • The IP addresses must be restricted for cloud applications access so that the users use only corporate networks
    • The users must have multi-factor authentication like static password and dynamic one-time password delivered through tokens, biometrics, or other means.
    • The sensitive data must be encrypted before it gets transferred to cloud environment.

    5. Advanced Persistent Threats [APTs]:

    These are the targeted multi-vector attacks taking place over a longer period of time with an aim to get information on user data, intellectual property, or any other kind of private documents.

    Still, the path is predictable as the attackers start from the low-level systems like the personal computers of a non-tech person for conducting phishing or any other related techniques. Slowly, the attacker might infect with the malware to exploit the software vulnerabilities and gain control over the machines. The attackers generally get their targets from social media networks and other reliable sources.

    A few of the protective measures for APTs are as follows:

    • Adoption of multi-layered security strategy
    • Educate the employees regarding security
    • Understanding of data control policies
    • Use of firewalls, malware scanning, and server hardening
    • Regular update of software
    • Post-event analysis to prevent recurrence
    • Blocking of the entry points
    • Implement reasonable defense methods

    6. Loss of data:

    Apart from the malicious attacks, the data could be lost permanently owing to accidental deletions, a physical catastrophe like the fire or the earthquake. It is recommended to follow the best practices for preventing hamper in business continuity and disaster recovery.    

    A few of the methods recommended are:

    • Protect the data either at disk level or through scale-out storage
    • Periodic backup of the data at cost-effective lower tier medium
    • Journaled file system or checkpoint replication will enable to recover data

    7. Loss of Revenue:

    Whenever a news hits the headlines telling about the company ABC’s data breach, invariably it affects the revenue where we can expect about 50% drop in the first quarter. This loss is really huge for a company to recover.

    It is recommended that the company has to reduce the unmanaged cloud usage and thereto its associated risks. The IT teams must understand the uploaded data, shared data, and enforce adequate security and governing policies to protect the data.

    • The companies must be aware of the associated risks related to the implementation of the cloud services and mitigate them, take proactive approaches in securing the data, and thus availing the clear benefits of the cloud.   

    Closing Note:

    When these basic things are considered while moving to the cloud, any of the organization for that matter is bound to gain success. It is important to take care of the end user actions by earning their trust.

    When business strategies are developed, it is necessary to consider the cloud technologies, its pros and cons, and the security measures. A good roadmap and checklist to evaluate the technology that has to be implemented and hiring the competent service providers steals the real show.

    There should not be any loopholes by which a customer may become suspicious to get connected with the business. This makes them move elsewhere. Additionally, they may carry away their friends or any intended audience creating customer churn.

    If the concerned points are addressed, any businesses for that matter is bound to stay here.


    I strongly believe so!

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    Tags : Cloud Security Challenges, Cloud Security Challenges and Its Solutions, risks of cloud computing

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