Overcoming Cloud Computing Security Challenges to Extract Maximum Cloud Benefits

9 September 2021

Inherent cloud security risks are often highlighted as a reason to be wary of the cloud altogether. We think the challenges present a unique opportunity for users to enhance overall business security.  

Cloud computing is currently one of the hottest topics in the fields of computing and IT. Businesses and nonprofit organizations all leverage cloud computing services to save resources and improve efficiency. Among businesses alone, more than 70% now operate, at least in part, on the cloud.  

Cloud computing is also an excellent productivity booster. It enables online collaboration and facilitates remote work, both of which can significantly boost worker output. 

Unfortunately, cloud computing also presents new cybersecurity challenges that may threaten to reverse all the tasty benefits. While it helps companies, organizations, and small businesses access critical solutions and resources, cloud computing is characterized by some gaping cybersecurity holes that make it more challenging to maintain overall enterprise security. 

So, how can SMBs and SMEs overcome these cybersecurity challenges to enjoy the benefits of cloud computing? Let’s find out.

Top Benefits of Cloud Computing 

Let’s begin by explaining some of the critical benefits of cloud computing. Businesses that invest in cloud computing stand to gain in the following ways:

  • Reduced IT Costs

Moving to the cloud reduces the cost of managing and maintaining business IT processes and systems. Rather than purchasing expensive bespoke software and hardware, the business can use cloud-hosted services. 

  • Scalability

All businesses want to grow. But expansion often requires additional IT resources, including more storage space, faster processing power, and increased network bandwidth. Cloud computing gives you access to extra IT resources with the click of a button. 

  • Collaboration 

Collaboration is the heart of every organization’s project strategy. You expect employees to work together on projects for faster delivery and increased productivity. Cooperation also helps foster the spirit of togetherness. Cloud computing is currently one of the most important tools for business collaboration. 

  • Business continuity 

Protecting your data is critical for business recovery and continuity. For instance, imagine what would happen if you encountered a disaster, such as a flood that swept through the entire neighborhood or a fire outbreak! Cloud computing would allow you to access all your data again for business continuity. 

The Security Challenge 

Unfortunately, as beneficial as it may be, 65% of digital enterprises say they aren’t entirely sold on cloud computing because of one major issue – security. Imperva highlights some of the top cloud security concerns among users. They include:

  • Data breaches

A study conducted by the Ponemon Institute recently concluded that over 50% of organizational security measures for cloud computing are inadequate. After evaluating all scenarios, the study found that overall, data breaching was three times more likely to occur for businesses. 

  • Hijacking of accounts

The unprecedented growth of cloud computing in the business world has opened a whole new set of issues for hijacking. For example, attackers can not use employee logins to remotely access sensitive information stored in the cloud. 

  • Malware injection 

Malware injections refer to scripts or code embedded into cloud services that serve as “valid instances.” These scripts run as SaaS and are often designed to be viewed as part of cloud services running within the cloud platform itself. 

  • Abuse of cloud services 

Finally, the proliferation of cloud computing has been a massive blessing for small and medium enterprises. These entities can now take most of their systems and data online to save valuable resources and cut operational costs. However, the widespread adoption of cloud computing similarly makes it easy for hackers and cybercriminals to set up their operations on the cloud and execute their attacks more efficiently. 

How to Turn it Around 

Although the above are real threats that could decimate your business, you can minimize the risk to take greater advantage of the many benefits of cloud computing. We recommend the following considerations:

          1. Establish your risk exposure 

The first step to countering any security threat is to determine how much you’re exposed to. In the digital space, this is also known as cybersecurity assessment or risk assessment. It identifies cybersecurity risks, analyzes potential impacts, prioritizes the risks, and determines the best solutions for each risk. 

          2. Protect your data 

Protecting the data which is stored in the cloud must be a priority for every business. Begin by selecting a cloud provider with strong data security features. Even better, use cloud solutions to encrypt your data. We’d also recommend you administer access management to prevent the data from landing in the wrong hands. 

          3. Know your users 

Social engineering and other cyber threats targeting employees are challenging as finding a permanent solution dependы on having a loyal, knowledgeable workforce. Experts recommend consistent user training to ensure your employees understand the priority of implementing strong passwords and the dangers of sharing work devices or using public Wi-Fi, among others.        

          4. Secure your apps 

 Apps are a prime target for hackers and cybercriminals, who now use advanced technologies such as SQL injection to go through organizations. Some of the best remedies for app security in the cloud include scanning all apps before use, testing apps for vulnerabilities as part of app development, and maintaining a healthy app development environment. 

          5. Protect against network-level access 

Finally, we’d like to advise businesses to invest more in network-level security. Cybersecurity basically means protecting each layer of the organization’s computer system. Some of the solutions that work exceptionally well here include network access control, firewall protection, and using virtual private networks. 

Summary 

Though a massive challenge,big-data security threats shouldn’t be the reason not to migrate to the cloud. Indeed, cloud computing security hazards are nothing compared to the risk level of traditional, in-house computing. 

As long as you implement standard security protocols, you can thwart most threats to turn the cloud into a productive and incredibly beneficial environment. Contact Nix Solutions for any questions.