The latest risks involved in cloud computing point to problems related to configuration and authentication rather than the traditional focus on malware and vulnerabilities, according to a new Cloud Security Alliance report.
Using the cloud to host your business’s data, applications, and other assets offers several benefits in terms of management, access, and scalability. But the cloud also presents certain security risks. Traditionally, those risks have centered on areas such as denial of service, data loss, malware, and system vulnerabilities. A report released Tuesday by the Cloud Security Alliance argues that the latest threats in cloud security have now shifted to decisions made around cloud strategy and implementation.
1. Data breaches
A data breach can be any cybersecurity incident or attack in which sensitive or confidential information is viewed, stolen, or used by an unauthorized individual.
- Data breaches can damage a company’s reputation and foster mistrust from customers and partners.
- A breach can lead to the loss of intellectual property (IP) to competitors, impacting the release of a new product.
- Regulatory implications many result in financial loss.
- Impact to a company’s brand could affect its market value.
- Legal and contractual liabilities may arise.
- Financial expenses may occur as a result of incident response and forensics.
Key Takeaways and Recommendations
- Defining the business value of data and the impact of its loss is essential for organizations that own or process data.
- Protecting data is evolving into a question of who has access to it.
- Data accessible via the Internet is the most vulnerable asset for misconfiguration or exploitation.
- Encryption techniques can protect data but can also hamper system performance and make applications less user-friendly.
- A robust and well-tested incident response plan that considers the cloud provider and data privacy laws can help data breach victims recover.
2. Misconfiguration and inadequate change control
Misconfiguration occurs when computing assets are set up incorrectly, leaving them vulnerable to malicious activity. Some examples of misconfiguration include: Unsecured data storage elements or containers, excessive permissions, unchanged default credentials and configuration settings, standard security controls left disabled, unpatched systems and logging or monitoring left disabled, and unrestricted access to ports and services. – Read more