Affordable, efficient, and scalable, cloud computing is still the best solution for most businesses -- but it can still leave you vulnerable if the proper precautions aren't taken. Here are six of the most common cloud computing security risks:
1. Distributed-Denial-of-Service Attacks
When cloud computing first became popular, Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks against cloud platforms were largely unthinkable; the sheer amount of resources cloud computing services had made DDoS attacks extremely difficult to initiate. But with as many Internet of Things devices, smartphones, and other computing systems as there are available now, DDoS attacks have greatly increased in viability. If enough traffic is initiated to a cloud computing system, it can either go down entirely or experience difficulties.
2. Shared Cloud Computing Services
Not all cloud hosting solutions and cloud computing services are made equal. Many cloud solutions do not provide the necessary security between clients, leading to shared resources, applications, and systems. In this situation, threats can originate from other clients with the cloud computing service, and threats targeting one client could also have an impact on other clients.
3. Employee Negligence
Employee negligence and employee mistakes remain one of the biggest security issues for all systems, but the threat is particularly dangerous with cloud solutions. Modern employees may log into cloud solutions from their mobile phones, home tablets, and home desktop PCs, potentially leaving the system vulnerable to many outside threats.
4. Data Loss and Inadequate Data Backups
Inadequate data backups and improper data syncing is what has made many businesses vulnerable to ransomware, a specific type of cloud security threat. Ransomware "locks" away a company's data in encrypted files, only allowing them to access the data once a ransom has been paid. With appropriate data backup solutions, companies need no longer fall prey to these threats.
5. Phishing and Social Engineering Attacks
Due to the openness of a cloud computing system, phishing and social engineering attacks have become particularly common. Once login information or other confidential information is acquired, a malicious user can potentially break into a system with ease -- as the system itself is available from anywhere. Employees must be knowledgeable about phishing and social engineering enough to avoid these types of attackS.
6. System Vulnerabilities
Cloud computing systems can still contain system vulnerabilities, especially in networks that have complex infrastructures and multiple third-party platforms. Once a vulnerability becomes known with a popular third-party system, this vulnerability can be easily used against organizations. Proper patching and upgrade protocols -- in addition to network monitoring solutions -- are critical for fighting this threat.
Cloud computing security issues are not insurmountable; in fact, many of the risks above can be protected against through the use of a dedicated data protection service. Cloud data protection solutions will both protect data from loss and against cyber security threats, allowing businesses to leverage the power of the cloud without the associated risk.
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