Since the pandemic workplaces everywhere have been going hybrid or fully remote, and that means more and more sensitive data exists in the cloud.
But the benefit of being able to take meetings in pyjama pants goes hand-in-hand with much less visibility and control over IT security, and an increased risk of cybercrime.
Cloud security awareness is incredibly important to protect your company in this new era of remote work. In the past two years, an astonishing 79% of companies experienced at least one cloud data breach. More than half of those reported 10 or more breaches in that time!
So, what are the biggest cloud security risks you should be aware of?
Misconfigured Cloud Services
You may be shocked to learn that one of the most common threats to cloud security comes down to… human error.
Misconfiguration is when a user or an admin doesn’t set up a cloud platform’s security settings properly, and after that things get a bit, well, phishy.
In addition to allowing unauthorised access, misconfiguration can also lead to other threats like data exposure, brute-force breach attempts, and exploits.
Think of it like this: If there’s a way for unprivileged applications to talk to your servers, or if outbound access is accidentally unrestricted, private data could go anywhere.
Our cloud security course explores the risks associated with cloud computing and offers some tips on securing your information when using the cloud.
You’re able to access secure work files anywhere there’s internet if they’re in the cloud. That’s great, right! …right?
Well, it’s great so long as only the right people have access. Unauthorised internal employees or external third parties mean that data movement can become almost impossible to track, which makes data loss a huge concern. In fact, 64% of cyber security professionals claimed data loss and leakage as their top cloud security concern in 2019.
What’s more, the large amount of data and increased costs mean it’s harder to regularly back up, which can expose you to ransomware. Much like with traditional data breaches, hackers will encrypt an organisation’s data and demand a ransom to have that data returned.
Worried about a data breach? Catch or prevent a data breach before it happens with out helpful advice.
Most applications in the cloud will interact with each other via APIs, which makes API security one of the top threats to cloud security.
Since API interactions have a whole host of implications for control and not just data access, vulnerabilities can easily be exploited to launch DoS attacks and code injections. Take a look at what happened with car manufacturers which used an API to allow owners to remotely control the car from a mobile app… but it also allows hackers to do the same thing due to a security flaw.
This makes authentication procedures crucial for cloud security. You need to be sure that only the correct people have access to your cloud infrastructure.
Any malware infection requires more access to a system than other kinds of cyber attack, and since cloud services go hand-in-hand with increased access, all that data travelling to and from the cloud provides even more opportunities for these systems to be compromised.
Once malware infects your systems, it’s a small step to more serious threats like data theft or even stealing access credentials via keyloggers. For example, Cloud Snooper piggybacked on legitimate cloud-bourne traffic to bypass firewalls and inject all kinds of malware.
While serious, it’s good to note that malware made up only 17% of cloud attacks in the last two years, and 94% of those attacks were delivered by email. That means tried-and-true cyber security is still the best way to keep your systems safe.
For more on malware, check out our course “Business Email Compromise BEC” which takes learners through some of the more common, simple and highly effective scams using malware. It is also important to learn how to identify dangerous email attachments and avoid viruses to keep your systems safe.
How do I keep my organisation safe?
Around 92% of organisations host their IT environment in the cloud, and while all that convenience is great, it comes with new risks to be aware of and new security protocols to be aware of.
Your three main takeaways to stay safe in the cloud come down to the following:
- Set up those systems correctly
- Authenticate your users
- Teach your teams the warning signs of phishing scams!
For a more in-depth look at your organisation’s risk factors and employee defences, contact the team for a Phriendly chat about how our product can support your cyber education needs.