By Neelesh Kripalani, Chief Technology Officer
Ever since the cloud has gained momentum, enterprises across the globe have adopted it to reap its benefits such as high speed, easy accessibility, enhanced security and low latency. The global cloud computing market size was estimated at USD 396.18 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 456.05 billion by the end of 2022. The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 15.14% to reach USD 923.46 billion by 2027.
Despite the array of benefits that the cloud offers, enterprises are struggling to make the most of it due to security vulnerabilities. Cloud infrastructure is complex and this complexity creates a lot of security vulnerabilities that threat actors can exploit.
Below mentioned are the top 5 cloud vulnerabilities that enterprises must watch out for:
Misconfigurations on the cloud – Misconfigurations refer to any glitches, gaps, or errors that could expose a cloud computing infrastructure to risks. As per industry research, around 70% of all security challenges in the cloud arise from misconfigurations. Cloud consists of a multitude of settings, policies, assets, interconnected services, and resources that make it a sophisticated environment to fully understand and operate in. To avoid these misconfigurations, enterprises need to make concerted efforts at all stages of its usage.
Unauthorized Access – Although accessibility is one of the most significant benefits of cloud computing, it can create a major security threat by granting access to unauthorized people. Since cloud-based environments are outside an organization’s network perimeter and directly accessible from the public internet, improperly configured security or compromised credentials can provide easy access to threat actors.
Insecure Interfaces/APIs – An API basically allows applications or components of applications to communicate with each other over the internet or a private network. They have the ability to streamline cloud computing processes. However, when APIs are left unsecured, they can open lines of communication that allow threat actors to exploit private data. Gartner predicts that by 2022, API attacks will become the most-frequent attack vector, causing data breaches for enterprise web applications.
Hijacking of Accounts – Cloud account hijacking is a common tactic in identity theft schemes in which a threat actor uses the stolen account credentials to conduct malicious or unauthorized activity. Cloud account hijacking at the enterprise level can be very devastating as company’s integrity and reputation gets maligned and confidential data can be leaked or falsified causing significant loss to businesses or their customers.
Malicious Insiders – As per many security leaders, insider threats have become a major security issue for organizations. Insider threats come from users who have authorized and legitimate access to a company’s assets and abuse it either deliberately or accidentally. On the cloud, detection of a malicious insider is even more difficult as companies lack control over their underlying infrastructure. Further, since cloud environments are directly accessible from the public internet, they are more vulnerable to security misconfigurations.
By migrating to a cloud computing environment, enterprises can attain cost efficiency and higher productivity. However, without careful planning, adoption of the cloud can expose an enterprise to a lot of security vulnerabilities. Hence, enterprises need to be proactive in their security approach and leverage best practices to generate optimum RoI from cloud adoption.