Top security threats of cloud hosting for 2019

By Jessie L. Morgan Monday, August 19, 2019
The trend of using cloud hosting has created many security threats for users and organizations. Let’s look at the top potential security threats for 2019

With the advent of cloud hosting, organizations and users have witnessed an enormous change in the way information, and applications are used, stored and shared. Besides wonderful advantages of cloud hosting services, the cloud has also posed several security risks and challenges that require attention from both users and service providers. How can we protect our private data in public cloud services without knowing what challenges to face?

Cloud security concerns need to be addressed to make sufficient decisions.

Being constantly aware of cloud security concerns helps cloud users make sufficient and instant decisions to protect their data and mindmap a strategy to adopt cloud hosting service. The top security threats below will help cloud users address their problems and develop ways to avoid them.

Data disclosure

Unintentional information or data spill refers to the unintentional or intentional leak of private information. A data spill can result from human or application error, hijacking, or poor security alert. The private information can be any kind of information, such as personal financial information, health data or intellectual property. As for an organization in possession of cloud-based data, the risk of data spill, though not alarming, is still constantly considered a potential concern for cloud users.

Inadequate identity and key management

Inadequate identity and access management can pose a potential threat for organizations and end users. How so? Individuals or organizations disguising as operators, developers or users can gain access to the information and data. Without sufficient identity and access management, those bad factors can read, change, or even delete data, take control of management functions, and release harmful software which can ultimately cause severe destruction to cloud hosting users.

Unprotected application programming interfaces (APIs)

Cloud users often use interfaces (UIs) or application programming interfaces (APIs) to communicate with service providers and manage their cloud hosting account. All the process of management and monitoring are carried out by these interfaces. Therefore the availability and security of cloud services greatly depend on the safety of APIs. Insecure APIs can lead to serious threats to the accessibility of users to their own cloud account. Therefore, APIs needs to be taken care of to work against accidental and intentional attempts to break policy

System vulnerabilities

Attackers and bad factors can exploit system vulnerabilities by using malfunction bugs in programs to steal system data, gain control of the system or interfere with the service operations. System vulnerabilities are extremely dangerous when they occur within what consisting the operating system. This poses a high potential risk of all services and data. The recent scandal from Intel’s security vulnerability that allowed one cloud user to gain access from others’ is an example of how multi-tenancy in the cloud system can do more harms than good.

Meltdown and Spectre, two system vulnerabilities, were found early this year in January. These two vulnerabilities allow harmful Javascript code to read content and encrypted data from memory. Meltdown and Spectre permit attackers to perform side-channel attacks and use unprivileged log-in to gain access to information from the kernel.

So far, there are still no serious exploits from Meltdown or Spectre, but there are chances that they will happen soon. The best method to protect cloud services is to ensure all the patches are in order. Cloud users should be aware of the threat and demand for higher assurance from the cloud providers.

Account hijacking

Account hijacking is no longer a surprise story with computer users, but with the advent of cloud hosting services, another threat of account hijacking is added into the list. Once hijackers gain access to a user’s account, they can easily grab information on activities and transactions, control data, release falsified information, and direct users to other sites. Stolen credentials from account and service instances allow attackers to access important areas of the cloud services, thus manipulating the availability, confidentiality of the cloud services.

Information loss

Account hijacking is not the only reason to blame if stored data in the cloud system is missing. Any carelessness from the cloud service provider or natural catastrophes such as earthquakes can lead to a serious and indefinite loss of data. Unlike cloud users who have plans to backup their data, using practices in disaster recovery and business permanence, the safety of their information is continuously at risk.

Inadequate examination

Adopting cloud hosting service requires a close monitor from executives, organizations, and end users. The lack of due diligence of cloud service providers can lead to numerous threats to private and critical data. Therefore a checklist for evaluating the services and providers is required for the success and safety of users and organizations.

Denial-of-service attack

In computing, denial-of-service attack, often known as DoS attack, is made to prevent the accessibility of intended users to their own information or resource. It is often in form of temporarily disrupting the access of services to its host via the Internet. Attackers can create a myriad of finite system resources such as network bandwidth, processor power or disk space and force the services to consume them all. Since there is not enough space to process inordinate resources, the system will eventually slow down and prevent service users from accessing the services.

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