The popularity of cloud services has been growing rapidly in recent years. The prospects for savings on capital and operating costs, as well as scalability and elasticity, have prompted companies to switch to cloud services. However, the transition to cloud technologies is fraught with a lot of problems. One of them is security, which is a huge problem for organizations that want to switch to cloud technologies.
These organizations are one of the most valuable assets. Therefore, their security plays an important role for many organizations when switching to cloud technologies. Cloud service Providers (CSPs) keep the exact location of their data centers secret. Although this is a best practice in the field of physical security, many potential customers are afraid not to know the location of their data and refuse cloud services.
Information sovereignty also plays an important role in the transition to cloud technologies. Organizations do not want to lose access to data due to legal difficulties. Compliance with regulatory requirements such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one of the key challenges for companies. Violation of GDPR and other regulations entails large financial penalties, which most organizations want to avoid. For this reason, many organizations prefer to store confidential data (personal information, etc.) locally.
But data loss prevention (DLP) systems are crucial for the organization. Accidental deletion of data may occur on the part of the organization. A Service Level Agreement (SLA) may refer to the CSP’s assistance in restoring systems and information. If the CSP fails to fulfill the SLA, the client will incur heavy losses. Therefore, organizations want to be sure of the security of their backups, because in case of data loss or damage, they need the data to be restored within the target recovery time (RTO) and target recovery points (RPO).
Risks associated with multiple clouds
Many companies use software and services from different suppliers to solve their tasks. In this regard, such organizations, when switching to the cloud, are sometimes forced to adopt a multi-cloud model. According to a study conducted by Tripwire in 2021, 98% of security professionals working in the field of multi-cloud environments consider such a model to be more risky from the point of view of security. Respondents to the same survey noted that it is difficult to find security specialists who are experts in all cloud environments used by various CSPs.
The increased risks of the multi-cloud model force organizations to abandon some of the advantages of multiple cloud services in favor of a single CSP.
Conducting a comprehensive audit
Lack of due diligence can slow down the response of security services to cyber attacks. Most CSPs operate on a shared responsibility model when it comes to providing security in the cloud, so it is extremely important for cloud service customers to understand their role and the role of CSPs in this model. Cyber attacks are inevitable, so companies need to have plans to respond to various incidents and be confident in the methods of protecting providers.
When evaluating a public cloud option, an organization should understand that in such a model, a multi-user license is used to reduce costs. Clients of the services should be confident in CSP and “deep protection” methods, because the absence of multi-level protection will allow a hacker to commit a series of cyber attacks after one successful attempt.
The main types of threats
Denial of Service Attacks
Organizations using critical services in the cloud can be seriously affected by DoS and DDoS attacks that paralyze business operations. To minimize the risk of such attacks, companies should strive to eliminate single points of failure when allocating workloads.
Most of the tasks of securing, managing, orchestrating, and monitoring workloads in the cloud are performed through API calls. Therefore, the importance of reliable APIs cannot be underestimated, because the security and availability of shared cloud services depend on them. The lack of properly configured authorization, access control and API monitoring can lead to various violations and destructive hacker attacks.
The possibility of a natural disaster, although not related to attacks, is still an event that disrupts the operation of cloud services. If a natural disaster destroys CSP data centers, this will lead to serious disruptions in the work of enterprises using data centers, because even despite advanced backup methods, in the event of a natural disaster, the risk of information loss is quite high.
Moving to the cloud is an important but risky business decision that requires a competent assessment of all the pros and cons. It can cause irreparable damage to an organization, but with careful compliance with security measures and risk assessment, it can make cloud services an excellent tool for company development.