cloud threats blog

The Most Common Cloud Threats You Need to Know About

Working out how best to optimise the Cloud could propel your business forward and make everyone’s life a lot easier.  

Are you sure that you are optimising your Cloud solutions effectively – and more importantly, are you sure your processes are good enough to keep your business safe? 

Being aware of the different threats that face every business who are using the Cloud will highlight any areas that you might need to work on. Solving these issues now could save you time, money and a lot of headaches in the future. 

Data Breach and Data Leak – the major Cloud threat. 

A data breach, or leak, is the main goal of an attacker. A hacker is after any kind of sensitive data, whether it be photographs, names, healthcare information, financial records, client base or any intellectual property.  

Data breaches only really happen when there is a gap or blind spot in a company’s cloud security processes. If there is a gap in your cloud protection, then data may leak to places where it is not supposed to be. When your data is vulnerable like this, it can be accessed by the public or even sold or held for ransom.  

Even if you can recover your data and locate the gap in your cloud protection without any harm being done, the event could still damage your company’s reputation with clients. 

How does a data breach happen?  

The Cloud will store your data under multiple levels of access. Ordinarily, it’s not easy for hackers to get in and extract data stored on the cloud. However, if the hacker has identified a vulnerability through someone they know, or on a device – they will exploit this weakness. 

When they identify this spot of weakness, they will target the individual based on clever tactics and hooks. This includes finding out their interests, looking through their social media etc. to make the attack as personally relevant as possible. 

Through this attack, the victim is tricked into giving access to the company’s network through one of two ways:  

  • Technological: the hacker will install malware on a victim’s computer without them realising. 
  • Social engineering: the hacker will persuade someone to provide their login credentials, usually through a threat or a scenario that appears trustworthy. 

When the hacker has access to the system, they take advantage of this and can exploit any area that they choose. These vulnerabilities can not only cause leaks, but also data loss of sensitive information, either by human error or malicious attacks. 

Here are 3 common Cloud threats worth knowing about to avoid data breaches: 

1. Poor Access Management  

In the cloud, issues with identity and access management pose a very high risk and may include unauthorized access, stolen credentials, insider misuse of credentials, and more. 

If your access management has any issues with security, this poses serious potential threats to your company. You will be leaving yourself at a very high risk to unauthorised access, stolen credentials and more. 

Hackers tend to target access because this will open the door to everything for them. Unauthorised users can read, modify, delete data and release malware from the inside if there is inadequate protection of credentials. 

Storing access detail in plaintext is a clear example of poor access management. This data is easy to manipulate, access and infiltrate. Last year, Facebook admitted to storing hundreds of thousands of user passwords in plaintext. Thankfully there were no breaches, but it raised a lot of red flags that we can all learn from. 

2. Insider Threats 

You may think that insider threats are not an issue of concern at your company. However, it’s important to remember that not all insider threats are malicious. Some organisations sadly do have disgruntled employees who intentionally cause security issues for their employers, but often it just comes down to human error.  

Human error is one of the leading causes of cyber-attacks. A cleverly worded email from a hacker could fool the best of us on a busy day in the office. Having secure procedures in place will minimise the risk of human error and limit the damage that employees can do. 

Application user interfaces (APIs) enable interaction with cloud storage systems. These are usually used by both your employees and the staff of your cloud service provider. If you APIs have security vulnerabilities, any member of staff could accidentally, or intentionally, open the doors for a cyber-attack. 

3. Misconfigurations of Cloud Hardware  

Another threat that arises from insecure API cloud security is having a misconfigured cloud hardware or storage.  

Similarly to the other threats, this is usually just caused by oversight and a lack of thorough cloud security audits.  

The most common types of misconfiguration are:

  • Default settings of standardised access management and data availability 
  • Unauthorised people accidentally getting access to sensitive data 
  • Mangled data access which leaves confidential data out in the open with no authorisation required.  

It’s far better to be prepared than to be left vulnerable to Cloud threats. 

Thankfully, most Cloud threats can be prevented and solved by efficient auditing, fore planning and thorough processes.  

When your cloud provider provides Managed Cloud Services for you, any blind spots should be exposed, and the appropriate software installed to protect your data. 

At Tiedata we have a team of dedicated Cloud experts who are on hand to answer any questions or concerns that you might have.  

Let’s start protecting your staff, customers and data today.  
Book your Microsoft Cloud Assessment to find out what your next steps should be. 

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