What Are the Security Risks of Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is scalable, cost-effective, and hassle-free, but it does come with some security risks. Because it stores your data in remote data centers, it creates some important security risks that you should know. Let’s review them now.
1. Data Loss
Cloud service providers may accidentally leak or disclose data or cause it to be lost as a result of hardware failure. When this occurs, you may not have much control over the situation since suing the provider and demanding compensation cannot revert the event. With proper security measures in place, data loss is not very likely to happen, though.
2. Data Theft
Data stored in the cloud can become the target of cybercriminal attacks. This may happen if your cloud service provider doesn’t use multiple security layers such as multi-factor authentication, encryption, or malware defenses. The risk of data theft decreases if you avoid storing sensitive information in the cloud.
3. Malware Attacks
Hackers may use file-sharing services or private social media accounts to deliver malware that specifically infects cloud computing users. Whether this malware corrupts data or causes only annoyance, it can threaten important data and cost businesses serious money.
4. Compliance Violations
Most companies operate under a regulatory body that defines how customer data should or should not be accessed. Problems arise when businesses allow employees to use their own computers or devices to access company data or when they don’t have strict authentication systems in place. These scenarios create situations in which employees may access, share, and leak sensitive user data.
But proper authentication systems and restricted access to sensitive data can reduce the risk of compliance violations.
5. Insider Threats
Disgruntled employees may use cloud computing to access and pass off sensitive information to competitors. This may happen when an unhappy employee moves from one company to another.
Insider threats are more likely to occur when companies don’t fully understand the extent of the data access rights they grant their employees.
6. Protocol Vulnerabilities
Major cloud services providers like Google, Dropbox, or Amazon use standardized security protocols to secure client data. But in many cases, the delicate part of securing data remains in the hands of the user.
Without cloud data control measures in place to define what kind of data is uploaded to the cloud and how it’s kept safe, companies can run risks.
7. Vendor Lock-In Issues
Moving your cloud data and resources from one provider to another can be time-consuming and costly due to non-standard data formats and proprietary tools. At the same time, it can create security vulnerabilities that add to the costs of the migration.
8. Contract Breaches
Contract data between businesses and clients or businesses and partners may require authorization before it can be moved into the cloud. Without authorization, employees who move restricted data may breach confidentiality agreements.
Security Risks of Cloud Computing – The Bottom Line
Cloud computing is only as safe as your cloud service provider and the security protocols you enforce. Cloud computing is not inherently insecure, but it creates the security vulnerabilities that come with data being transferred and stored remotely over the internet. Only by understanding the risks and creating strategies for dealing with them can you fully take advantage of the power, flexibility, and scalability of cloud computing.
Cloud Computing Security Resources
Here is a list of resources when evaluating security in cloud computing:
- Google Cloud – Google Cloud’s security model, world-scale infrastructure, and unique capability to innovate will help keep your organization secure and compliant.
- AWS Cloud Security – gain the control and confidence you need to securely run your business with the most flexible and secure cloud computing environment available today.
- Microsoft Cloud Azure – Reduce costs and complexity with a highly secure cloud foundation managed by Microsoft.