Safety among the clouds

Posted By: Netcelerate

Published: May 18, 2016 13:53


Clouds

Let’s face it, the business climate, at least as far as computing is concerned, is changing. Drastically.


Companies that hedged against whether or not to move to a cloud-based structure are now flocking to it in droves. Company after company is moving the majority of what they do to the sky. However, just like security was an issue on the ground, so too has it become one in the cloud. Here, we’ll explore some of the most serious threats to the cloud system for your business, so you can look to avoid them in the future.


Problem #1 - Data Breaches


We’ve heard it all over the news. Large company gets hacked, thousands of credit card numbers stolen. Lawsuits a’plenty. And then the inevitable question: how did it happen? Truthfully, the most common culprit of a data breach is the organization themselves. The CSA has more than once recommended that organizations of all sizes utilizing cloud-based data storage to use things like multi-factor authentication (think user name AND password versus just one of those…) and encryption to protect their data.


Problem #2 - Hacked interfaces and API’s


An API, or Application Program Interface, is essentially just a set of routines building software applications, and just about every single computer network has them. And depending on the strength of the security protocols within those API’s, the ability for a hacker to get in there and screw things up is either greater or weaker, depending on the specific network, because these things tend to be the most exposed parts of the network. Make sure that someone is testing this part of the network on the regular for vulnerabilities and weaknesses.


Problem #3 - Account Hijacking


Surprisingly enough, things like phishing, fraud, and software exploitation are still a thing. And it all pretty much boils down to one thing. Account credentials. No amount of backup or security measures that happen after the fact are going to compare to a solid level of password protection enforced throughout the entire network. All accounts, even service accounts, should be monitored closely to make sure that they are instituting the necessary security measures.


Problem #4 - Permanent Data Loss


Though problems of this nature are becoming more of a rarity in the industry, there is still the risk that the data on a cloud-based system could be deleted entirely by a hacker if one so wished to do so. This problem can also arise in a more subjective sense when a user uploads encrypted data to the cloud and then subsequently loses the data encryption key, effectively losing all their data.


This list is by no means meant to be an exhaustive example of the many, many security risks that accompany just about every computer network out there. But this is a place to start, and we’ll dive a little deeper into this topic at a later time. As always, one of the best things you can do if you have questions about security on your network is to reach out to your network provider and ask questions.


After all, you really can’t be too careful.


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