So many organizations are interested in cloud computing that the global cloud computing market size is expected to grow from $371.4 billion in 2020 to $832.1 billion by 2025. The massive interest in the cloud is easy to understand considering how many benefits this innovative way of delivering computing services offers.
What’s not always as easy to understand are the security challenges associated with moving sensitive data and important workloads to a network of remote servers hosted on the internet. The problem is that underestimating or not being able to adequately deal with these challenges can have disastrous consequences.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the top 5 cloud security challenges faced by organizations of all sizes.
Challenge #1: Insufficient Visibility and Control
Physical machines are relatively easy to keep under control thanks to their visibility. The same can’t, unfortunately, be said about most cloud environments.
As soon as users start saving data beyond physical hard drives and individual departments begin adopting cloud applications that best meet their needs, maintaining control of cloud assets becomes a real challenge. Insufficient visibility and control can then lead to compliance, governance, and, of course, security risks.
The solution? Keep end-users from adopting cloud solutions on their own by providing an official channel to go through. This will keep the risk of uncontrollable shadow IT down, but it won’t eliminate it entirely. To do that, you also need to implement auto-discovery technology through API to have an inventory of all your cloud assets.
Challenge #2: Non-Compliance with Industry Regulations
Complicated regulatory compliance requirements such as CMMC, NIST, HIPAA, PCI DSS, GDPR, and FISMA have become part of the game for all organizations. A failure to comply with them can be costly and, in extreme cases, even devastating.
What organizations don’t always realize is that cloud platforms don’t always comply with all relevant industry regulations.
Fortunately, this troubling cloud security challenge has a simple solution: verify all cloud service providers before partnering with them. Since regulatory compliance requirements evolve at a fast pace, we don’t recommend you rely on information published on the internet because it could be outdated. Instead, personally get in touch with each solutions provider and conduct a brief assessment.
Challenge #3: Cloud Security Breaches
According to cloud security company Ermetic, almost 80 percent of US companies have suffered at least one cloud security breach over a period of 18 months. Security misconfiguration of production environments, lack of visibility into access in production environments, and improper identity management and permission configurations were the top leading threats.
Cloud security breaches are dangerous because they expose a huge quantity of sensitive data and cause an instant loss of customer trust.
To protect your organization against them, you need a multi-pronged cloud security approach that includes ongoing end-user cybersecurity awareness training, data encryption in transit and at rest, password best practices, rigorous vulnerability testing, and more.
Challenge #4: Insider Threats
When employees become able to access cloud services from anywhere and any device, insider threats multiply. An insider threat is a security risk whose origin can be traced to a user's legitimate access to company assets. Such a threat manifests itself when the user, whether maliciously or unintentionally, uses the access to harm to the organization.
Alarmingly, more than 34 percent of organizations around the globe are affected by insider threats annually, and the number is expected to keep increasing as more and more organizations make the shift to remote work.
To defend yourself against insider threats, you need to recognize their signs, which include frequent security policy violations, abnormal access requests, the use of unauthorized storage devices, sudden changes in behavior towards coworkers and others.
Challenge #5: Lack of IT Skills
Cloud services are so easy to implement that organizations sometimes overestimate their IT skills and end up with an environment that’s way too complicated to keep secure.
Since hiring an in-house IT team is costly, time-consuming, and inflexible, organizations that would like to embrace cloud computing without stretching themselves thin and risking not being able to solve the cloud security challenges described in this article should find a Managed Service Provider (MSP) or Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP).
Aligned Technology Solutions knows what needs to be done for organizations to reap the benefits of cloud computing without increasing their risk of a costly data breach. Our cloud services are built on platforms with robust, layered security, and are paired with around-the-clock monitoring. Our capable team can get you in the cloud quickly and painless, and all you need to do is to contact us.