Alex White

What are the Security Risks of Cloud Computing?

3 min read

Cloud-based services such as hosted desktops and VoIP have soared in popularity over the past few years as they offer scalability and agility to workforces. With the move to remote and flexible working, file storage and sharing using multiple devices is also growing in demand. This requires data to be readily accessible. However, with any new or evolving technology, new security risks are introduced with vulnerabilities that are waiting to be exploited by cybercriminals. Businesses increasing their cloud usage need to consider the cloud computing security risks involved and put measures in place to prevent cyber-attacks. 

Two Common Cloud Infrastructure Security Threats

> Compromised Accounts

Storing data in the cloud rather than on-premise means that accounts can be accessed remotely, meaning cybercriminals can attempt to gain access no matter where they are and where your business in located. Therefore, taking action to secure cloud accounts should be a priority to prevent data loss or exploitation. 

Having a password policy in place means staff will need to have unique, strong passwords for cloud services. Setting up two-factor or multi-factor authentication is a great way of adding extra layers of protection to accounts which will improve your cloud infrastructure’s resilience against data breaches. 

> Insider Threats

When thinking about cloud security threats, businesses often make the mistake of solely focusing on external attacks. Insider threats can result from human negligence or disgruntled employees who can expose or damage data. A way to manage this threat is by managing who has access to cloud applications and services within your business. Doing regular audits to see what employees have access to is a great way to securing data and removing user access when it is no longer needed. 

> Misconfiguration 

Cloud infrastructure is designed to be easily accessible and allow co-workers to store and share files with ease. This can mean that data sharing can be hard to control. Reliance on the security controls from multiple cloud service providers without understanding their strengths and weaknesses can mean businesses are at risk of a data breach without realising. Working with an outsourced trusted IT provider who will secure and pro-actively monitor your systems is a great way of ensuring your cloud accounts are properly configured for your business at all times.

> Compliance 

Businesses have a duty of care to meet data protection requirements. Depending on the industry, businesses have to meet controls set by standards such as Cyber Essentials Plus and ISO 27001. Data breaches and cyber-attacks can have devastating impacts on your business’s reputation and lead to loss of custom.  

Cloud Security Benefits

> Incident Recovery 

Using only local hardware devices for data storage does limit remote unauthorised access as a risk, but this security benefit is greatly outweighed by the risks it creates. Storage devices include on-premise servers, USBs, and laptops are all susceptible to damage or theft. Therefore it is not a suitable data loss recovery control on its own, but it is an option to compliment cloud storage. Storing data in the cloud means that is it is backed-up in multiple data centres, meaning if one data suffers from an incident such as a fire, your data is still available. 

> Ransomware Recovery

One of the biggest threats to businesses at present is ransomware. This is a type of cyber-attack where the cybercriminals use malicious software to encrypt data on devices and networks, preventing user access. A demand is made to release the data but there is no guarantee it will be given back. Therefore, having data backup on the cloud is a way of recovering much quicker. 

Cloud Technology Specialists for Businesses

As cloud technology specialists, the team at Linten Technologies are always available to help you utilise and secure cloud services including Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 Business. Book in a time to chat below and we will get to know your business and walk you through cloud and security services that are right for your business. 

Book a chat with our IT Specialists.