How to Detect and Overcome Cloud Computing Risks

Friday, November 22, 2019

Businesses are increasingly utilizing the cloud as a part of everyday working activity. And while this can have a huge range of benefits for organizations, it can sometimes leave complicated issues in terms of security. Many businesses aren’t sure about how well their system is truly defended against attacks.

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In this article we take a look at some of the most common cloud computing security risks, and how you can overcome them.

Permanent data loss

Many businesses and organizations choose the cloud because they believe it will be a more effective option in terms of always having a data backup. After all, when data is stored on the cloud it’s saved and secured on remote servers, which surely makes it impossible to lose – right? Well, the truth is a little more complicated.

Whether it’s due to an accident or through a deliberate act, users can sometimes delete data that’s secured in the cloud. This can be a result of simple human error or careless users, right through to disgruntled former employees, and criminal intruders. And the fact is that that some cloud providers don’t have a sophisticated backup system or the ability to recover files easily.

There are two issues here. Firstly, you should always take precautions and make backup files of any business-critical documents that would be a struggle for your organization to lose. But additionally, it’s worth ensuring that you’re working with high quality cloud service providers who may have a more sophisticated approach to ensuring that you can easily recover lost data.

Malware in the cloud

The cloud is now used by in excess of 96% of businesses. So perhaps it’s not surprising that it’s become extremely common for cyber criminals to deploy malware in the cloud – the opportunities are simply too great for them to be ignored.

It’s vital that you speak to your cloud service provider about the dangers of malware being deployed against your business in the cloud. Ultimately, it’s down to your providers to ensure their systems are correctly patched, reducing the possibility of malware being able to infect your system.

If your cloud provider can’t provide you with information about the steps they’re taking, or you feel their approach to security isn’t good enough, it could be sensible to move to another. While this process can be expensive, it will be more effective in the long-run.

Security breaches

Of course, it may well be the case that your business is most focused on the issue of a security breach in the cloud. Undoubtedly this is one of the most serious concerns due to the potential damage that a breach could incur. And in fact, many businesses don’t understand the scope of danger that a security breach could leave your business in.

Many organizations are aware of the obvious risks of data breaches: business data being vulnerable to being stolen, or sensitive data being intercepted, such as payment details, personal information, or company files. But a security breach can also play havoc with many different aspects of the business ranging from damaging your SEO work, to undermining your compliance with the GDPR.

This mean that you need to take cloud security very seriously. Once again, we recommend working with providers that have an excellent security track – but it’s also critical to do your own work. For example, ensure that you provide staff with training on how to keep their work account secure, and make sure that your software have two-factor authentication.

Shared technology

It should be noted here that if you use public cloud services, you’ll typically share your platform with other businesses in the virtual environment. This has a number of benefits, not least in terms of cost and access to high quality services. However, it can also leave your business vulnerable to issues with applications and storage.

It may not be enough to keep passwords safe. For complete peace of mind, ensure that data is encrypted and security assessments are carried out on a regular basis.

Final thoughts

Typically, using the cloud offers a huge variety of advantages, and one of these comes in the improved security features offered by high quality providers. However, that doesn’t mean that you can simply ignore the issue. You play a crucial role in your own security in the cloud, no matter what your provider is doing and so you need to make sure you’re taking sensible cyber security steps.

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Chester Avey

Writer

Chester Avey has over 10 years of experience in cybersecurity and business management. Since retiring he enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience through his writing.

 

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