November 23, 2021
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Cloud Computing Security Issues and Challenges

Cloud Computing Security Issues and Challenges

James HawesNovember 23, 2021,

Cloud Computing is seeing a major increase in adoption rate, with the end-user expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. Many businesses are still unwilling to join the cloud bandwagon, with IT and cyber experts citing security concerns.

We brought in the experts to highlight the main cloud computing security issues and challenges;

Misconfiguration

Cloud infrastructure misconfiguration is a major contributor to data leaks. Critical corporate data and apps may become vulnerable to an attack if an organization's cloud environment is not configured properly. Because cloud infrastructure is designed to be widely available and encourage data sharing, it can be challenging for businesses to verify that only authorized users have access to their data. 

This problem might be made worse if they don't have visibility or control over their infrastructure in their cloud hosting environment. Misconfiguration, in short, causes major cloud security risks for organizations and the public.

Nicholas Rosenfeld, Director at Making a Will.co.uk

Lack of Personnel Experienced in Cloud Security Measures

Finding qualified security specialists for any type of production environment is always a challenge. This issue is worsened by the cloud because not everyone will be familiar with the security procedures that the solution will employ right away. It's quite tough to find qualified staff to administer cloud computing security solutions. 

MSSPs, on the other hand, are often experienced with a wide range of security tools and can quickly deploy a team of professionals for a fraction of the cost of hiring, onboarding, training, and paying a comparably trained in-house security team. 

Daniel Foley, Founder of Daniel Foley SEO

Data Leak

One of the most significant advantages of cloud computing is the simplicity with which data can be shared. However, this doesn't come without its downsides; because data sharing in the cloud is often done by direct email invites, it might provide major security risks and concerns. Anyone with knowledge of the connection can access the information stored inside these invites. This allows hackers to intercept the system information and use it for future attacks. 

Visibility Issues

When a company decides to migrate to a cloud-based computing model, it gives away a level of control to the cloud provider. This often results in a lack of visibility which, in a cloud context, may lead to cloud computing security vulnerabilities that put the company at risk of cyberattacks.

As long as the provider has strict and effective security measures in place that meet a company's regulatory standards, there shouldn't be much of an issue. This is why it is imperative that companies keep a comprehensive insight into their cloud system on a regular basis.

Isla Sibanda, Cybersecurity Specialist with a background in ethical hacking and an entrepreneur at privacyaustralia.net

Vendor Lock-In for Security Features

When it comes to security features, one big potential difficulty is the likelihood of vendor lock. Being limited to a single compliant security solution for a cloud service is incredibly restrictive—and it might result in a low-security return on investment. This is because the vendor with whom you've contracted doesn't have to compete with other suppliers. After all, you're their only option if you want anything functional without having to start from scratch. 

When it comes to cloud-based services, it's crucial to consider how easy it would be to switch from one to another. Is your data, for example, in a format that can be easily exported to another system? Is it possible to use the CSP's exporting tools to assist with this? Is there a large number of different integrations/interfaces for various services and security measures in the cloud service? 

It's critical to check this before committing to a cloud computing solution to avoid vendor lock-in (for either your security solutions or the cloud service itself).

Daniel Carter, SEO Manager at Manhattan Tech Support

User Access Control

User access control, being one of the components that are virtually always the user's responsibility, is a critical difficulty for cloud security, regardless of the type of cloud service used. User access control in the cloud, like on-premises security solutions, can be difficult—especially if the cloud service doesn't offer very robust control options. 

It's vital to verify the user access restrictions that come with a cloud service, whether it's an IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS solution, or if they can be supplemented with extra tools and integrations, when choosing a cloud service, whether it's an IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS solution.

Rodney Yo, Owner of Best Online Traffic School

Shortage of Cloud-Security Experts

The state of cloud security today is poor. Cybercriminals are getting very advanced, like the SolarWinds hack that compromised the email accounts of many top-level US officials. More and more criminals are exploiting vulnerabilities created by the cloud. This rapid increase in the sophistication of threats is also creating a shortage of people adequately trained to handle cloud security. The increase in attack sophistication combined with a shortage of experts puts cloud security in a state of catch-up.

Many organizations are simply not educated about the risks associated with the cloud and simply don't recognize there is a potential security issue. Organizations cannot see the entire security puzzle where cloud security, network security, corporate security, etc., are all pieces. They often focus on a single piece like network security and wrongly assume it covers everything, including the cloud.

Many organizations assume the cloud is more secure because it's controlled by the tech giants. But this is simply not the case. Cloud service providers have security and backup solutions that only protect themselves; they do not protect the individual or company using their platform. Organizations often fail to understand they are responsible for their cloud security.

No organization is fully secure. The SolarWinds, The Colonial Pipeline, and Equifax hacks are examples where organizations spent millions of dollars on cybersecurity and were still breached. While large companies and governments make the news when attacked, it's important to know that small to medium-sized businesses are the primary targets. 

Hackers know that small organizations do not have dedicated IT or security teams. With small companies generating nearly 50% of all US economic activity, they are considered the low-hanging fruit by cybercriminals. This not only makes small businesses an easy target but a big target.

One thing is certain; organizations are going to increasingly adopt cloud technologies. Therefore, companies need to become more proactive about cloud security and educate their employees on staying safe and keeping their data secure.

The future needs technology and people agile enough to match the threats. The number of professionals trained in cloud security must increase to keep up with this new demand.

Tom Martinez, Founder and CEO tca SynerTech

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