Improving Cloud Storage Security: How Secure is Your Cloud-Based Data

cloud storage security

The benefits of storing company data in the cloud are many. An organization cannot lose its data in times of natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, and fires. Data can be accessed remotely and shared with remote teams. It reduces storage and IT costs, improves data scalability, and ensures business continuity at all times. 

When accessing data from cloud-based storage, it often passes through public portals. The storage faces high-level threats the same way traditional data stores face. It might have misconfiguration vulnerabilities, insecure APIs, and loss of control over end-user actions. Improving cloud storage security is an excellent way of securing cloud-based data. 

Cloud attack frequencies

Between 2021 and April 2022, 79% of organizations experienced a minimum of one cloud data breach. Out of that figure, 43% experienced at least 10 breaches. Currently, at least 92% of companies use cloud storage. That means at least all of them have experienced a data breach at one point or another within the last year. 

Under SaaS infrastructure such as Salesforce CRM, 52% of organizations face compliance and auditing challenges. Salesforce cloud security should be given priority to avoid exposing organizations to potential risks. To reduce risks caused by end-user actions, companies should conduct consistent surveillance, monitoring, and post-incidence analysis. They should conduct investigations and have incidence response plans. 

Organizations that experienced cloud data attacks recently

Block

In April 2022, Block’s data was breached after a worker downloaded reports for 8.2 million customers. This was an internal threat because no permission escalation was required to access information. The data included customers’ full names, account numbers, portfolio values, and stock trading activities. 

LinkedIn

In 2021, LinkedIn experienced a data scraping breach in its cloud system. About 700 million profiles were affected, and their data was posted in a dark web forum in June 2021. The breached data included email addresses, telephone numbers, and other sensitive information. 

Facebook and Google

In December 2021, it was discovered that Facebook, Google, and Hotmail had stored their passwords in plaintext. This made it possible for employees of these companies to access the passwords. A report by The US Sun published in December 2021 showed at least 5.5 billion passwords and email addresses were compromised. 

How secure is cloud-based data?

The evolution of cloud-based data storage helped pave the way for the future of remote work but also opened doors for increased cyber-attacks. Cloud storage offers a highly scalable, flexible, fast, and cost-effective solution compared to traditional data centers. However, most cloud storage solutions offered are public shared dynamic environments. 

This is an important issue that should be of concern to organizations. A company rents storage space that is managed on virtual computers whose hardware is shared by millions of customers. Most of the solutions are allocated on demand. The only challenge is that an organization can never know where their data is located and who else is sharing the same server with them.  

Although cloud storage providers invest in strong cyber security tools, a company cannot entirely rely on them. The company needs to invest too in security; otherwise, its data will not be secure. Data privacy should be a priority and a key element in an organization’s cyber security protocols. There are local and international regulations to observe, and customers trust an organization to keep their data safe. 

Main security challenges experienced in cloud storage

  • Data breaches: Data stored in the cloud could be compromised through unauthorized access. Hackers can steal sensitive data through copying, viewing, or transmission. The organization’s IT department may never know there was a data breach.
  • Data leak: If there are weak points within the system, data can leak to the public, and this can have devastating effects on the company. 
  • Insecure APIs: APIs allow easy access to data stored in the cloud. Customers access the back side of a company through APIs after sending queries. Sometimes an API could have flaws and allow data access to unauthorized people. 
  • Misconfigured cloud storage: When a business opens a cloud storage account, it receives default security settings from the provider. Some companies fail to configure the settings for better privacy. This often leads to data vulnerabilities. 

Strategies for securing cloud-based data

Use the cloud-to-cloud backup

Data loss is a major challenge faced by businesses. The cost of recovery can be too costly, and it can lead to a loss of reputation. Although cloud storage provides better security compared to traditional data stores, organizations should consider creating backups. Having a backup on hard disks is not enough due to their limitations. Cloud-to-cloud backup is one of the best solutions to avoid data loss challenges. 

Monitoring end-user activities using automated technologies

Customers access a company platform using different types of applications. Remote workers have direct access to a company’s back end. Hackers can create applications, email addresses, social media accounts, or websites that are similar to a specific company. The use of automated solutions such as AI security can help keep a company’s data safe. The solutions help with detecting threats and vulnerabilities and stopping them before they happen. 

Seal off data leak loopholes

Data leaks happen due to vulnerabilities in the system that leave security gaps. Data then leaks through these gaps in the public cloud. One of the security measures to take is to secure all endpoints. These include computers and mobile devices. Test all applications for compliance and bugs. Some application vendors may not be swift in updating their applications often, which makes them vulnerable. Test them to ensure they are up to date and comply with online security requirements. 

Secure all APIs

APIs send communication from users to the back end and reply to requests using the same path. All APIs should use Transport Layer Security to encrypt the information it sends to ensure it is safe while in transit. Other important processes include data validation, access control, throttling, and quotas. 

Conclusion

The main cyber security challenges faced by companies include securing cloud resources and data privacy. The top cloud threats are due to insecure interfaces, misconfiguration, account hijacking, and unauthorized access. The best security measures by companies can range from cloud to cloud backups, the use of AI for automation monitoring, and ensuring APIs safety.

error: Content is protected !!