There's no question that cloud-based applications can be more reliable than on-premise solutions. Possibilities are the keyword here. Just because the cloud is more reliable doesn't mean companies will always be safer once they switch to cloud services. It is more about how companies and organisations can handle security, management, and oversight than about the cloud. In other words, it’s what you do with the cloud that matters.

The infrastructure can not shield you from the threats that occur in the cyber world. In the present scenario, the total cost of a data breach is $3.86 million. And this is a figure on a global scale. In the United States, the total cost is closer to $7.9 million. But what happens when businesses hammer into a data breach in 30 days or less? They can save around $1 million. And if the risk is prevented on time, that would be a multimillion-dollar saving. When viewed through the prism of all these data points. Cloud protection can appear to be resource-intensive and costly. But in reality it's a low-cost investment with a big return on investment.

 

The Biggest Cloud Security Challenges in 2021

With the evolution of threats and the development of complex new threats, it's more critical than ever for companies to adopt a security-first attitude. With that in mind, here are some of the critical cloud security problems we are battling this year.

1. Data Breaches

The biggest nightmare to any organisation is data breach, and most companies are worried about it too. However, only a few businesses have the tools and policies in place to appropriately handle it. As a result, it is a concern that needs to be approached in a constructive and precautionary manner.Failure to effectively manage data (through strategic encryption) exposes the company to substantial legal risks. Like data breach penalties, fines, and threats to consumer credibility. Regardless of what the Service-Level Agreement (SLA) states, a company is responsible for protecting its customer and employee data.

2. Compliance With Regulatory Mandates

It's popular for businesses, mostly small and mid-sized, to believe that merely collaborating with a cloud solutions provider ensures maximum security. But there is more to fulfil. Organisations need to meet many international and national laws and other compulsory business standards. European union data security, PCI DSS, FISMA, GLBA, HIPAA, and FERPA are only a few examples. The suitable cloud security solutions provide the technical capability to comply with regulatory mandates, but regular oversight and meticulous attention to detail are required.In the accountability model, the cloud provider is responsible for cloud protection, while the end-user is responsible for cloud security.

3. Lack of IT Expertise

According to a survey, 34% of companies are currently avoiding the cloud. Because they don’t believe their IT and business managers have the knowledge, and experience to handle the demands of cloud computing. This makes it one of the top-four concerns businesses have in regards to cloud security. In today's world, the average company has three or four clouds. This adds layers of difficulty, necessitating technological expertise and relevant experience. This is evidence of a larger trend that will arise in the coming months and years. IT and business managers will be expected to bring strategic cloud competency to the table rather than management expertise and financial literacy. It does not imply that they must be cloud experts. However, a basic understanding of the cloud and the ability to lead focused projects are required.

4. Cloud Migration Issues

Cloud migration is on the rise, but it should be implemented properly (otherwise, it exposes the business to unnecessary risk). According to one survey, visibility into infrastructure protection, enforcement, setting security policies, and security failing to keep up with the speed of change in applications are the four main challenges faced by many companies. As a result, security and IT experts can become frustrated by the amount of work they're being asked to do. Simpler and more straightforward migration strategies would benefit companies in seamlessly managing Cloud migration. It's a huge mistake to try to do everything at once. To minimize the possibility of fatal errors that could corrupt data and/or lead to vulnerabilities. The migration process should be broken down into many stages.

5. Unsecured APIs

The difficulty with the cloud is that there are too many different ways for attackers to gain access. As a result, although the surface attack area is overall very small, it is much more distributed. Probably this is more evident in microservice architecture and the growing popularity of serverless functions. APIs are fantastic, but you must understand how they can influence the overall system. Even if the cloud is theoretically safe, data can be stolen when intruders gain access to less-secure APIs. This is a serious issue! An appropriate cloud security solution will assist you in thoroughly evaluating each application to protect against loopholes like these.

6. Insider Threats

Trusting your employees is a sound business approach Unfortunately, many companies go too far in their confidence – or neglect to review the factors that drive their trust up front. Insider attacks are responsible for a shocking 43 percent of all hacks, according to Intel research. The first half is deliberate, while the second half is unintentional.Businesses, in particular, should consider access control and restricting who has access to what and when. Cloud technologies and data sources should be made accessible on a need-to-know basis. Nobody should have more access than they need to fulfil their job obligations.

7. Open Source

The majority of businesses build applications using open source tools. Open source software is at risk. Usually, hackers poison the well in the Git repo, waiting for developers to use the packages and then compromise the application with a well-planned attack vector. Despite the significant risks, organisations' use of open source is often misunderstood and poorly regulated. The majority of data breaches are triggered by the failure to upgrade software components that are known to be vulnerable for months or even years (remember the Equifax data breach?). Despite the fact that over 85 percent of open source security vulnerabilities have been exposed and a patch is available, many companies lack the infrastructure to enforce those patches. Enterprises are also striving to keep up with the growing number of open source vulnerabilities that have been recorded. Their number has risen to over 6000 in 2019. This makes manually maintaining track of newly disclosed vulnerabilities and their patches practically impossible, specifically at larger scale.

8.Dealing with Multi-Cloud Environments

Nowadays, the majority of businesses do not depend solely on a single cloud. According to the RightScale survey, approximately 84 percent of businesses are using a multi-cloud strategy, and 58 percent are using a hybrid cloud strategy that combines public and private cloud. In addition, companies use five separate public and private clouds. A long-term forecast for the future of cloud computing technology indicates that IT infrastructure teams will face greater challenges. Professionals have also recommended best strategies such as rethinking techniques, providing training, tooling, efficient vendor relationship management, and executing an analysis to overcome this challenge.

9.Weak Control Plane

Creating a sufficient data storage and security programme while shifting from the data centre to the cloud poses a number of challenges. The user must now create new data replication, migration, and storage methods, which becomes much more difficult if multi-cloud is used. The solution to these issues should be a control plane, which provides protection and integrity while complementing the data plane, which provides data stability and runtime. A weak control plane suggests that the individual in charge—either a system architect or a DevOps engineer—doesn't have complete control over the data infrastructure's logic, protection, and verification. Controlling stakeholders in this scenario are totally unaware of the security configuration, data flow, and architectural blind spots and weak points. Data, exploitation unavailability, or leakage may be the product of these limitations.

10.Hijacking of Accounts

The growth and adoption of the cloud in many organisations has brought with it a whole new set of account hijacking issues. Attackers can now remotely access sensitive data stored on the cloud using employees login information; additionally, attackers can falsify and manipulate information using hijacked credentials. Other methods of hijacking include scripting bugs and reused passwords, which allow attackers to steal credentials quickly and regularly without being detected. Amazon was hit by a cross-site scripting bug in April 2010 that also targeted customer credentials. Phishing, keylogging, and buffer overflow are all similar threats. The most prominent new threat, called the Man in Cloud Attack, involves the theft of user keys, which are used by cloud systems to validate individual devices without needing logins at each update and sync.

11.Real-time Security Solution

To reduce enterprise cloud security risks, real-time and adaptive measures of exposure, visibility, and controls are required. In a database, assessments should look at privileges, configurations, authentication, as well as other things. Internally addressing and fixing advanced threats without involving humans requires advanced analytic approaches. Your company's vulnerability assessment solution should prioritise challenges based on the importance of records and the likelihood of a leak, as well as suggest remediation methods. Online data security and business challenges, as well as vulnerability utilities, should provide risk intelligence that can be shared with the CRO, CSO, and CIO.