Lack of Authentication is a Security Vulnerability in Cloud Computing
Maintaining cloud security isn’t a task that falls exclusively on the shoulders of providers. Security responsibilities can and should be shared between providers and their customers.
System vulnerabilities make it easier for threat actors to compromise your cloud account and steal data and assets. These breaches can cost you reputation and revenue loss.
1. Lack of Authentication
The lack of authentication is a key cloud security vulnerability that cybercriminals exploit to gain access to corporate data and resources. This allows them to steal sensitive information and use it for extortion.
The absence of multi-factor authentication also leaves privileged accounts vulnerable to hacking attempts. Without MFA, these accounts aren’t protected by two-factor authentication, making them susceptible to brute force attacks.
Employees often share sensitive information with coworkers through cloud-based collaboration tools. But, if those employees aren’t trained on cloud security, they may unwittingly expose their organizations to serious risks. They might share files that contain encryption keys, passwords or other critical data with unauthorized people or send them out to third parties via email attachments. In the worst cases, cybercriminals can hijack these account credentials to steal critical company data, sell it on the Dark Web or use it to extort their victims. That’s why implementing strong authentication measures is crucial for protecting cloud environments.
2. Insufficient Access Control
Insufficient access control is one of the top cloud vulnerabilities for attackers, as shown by the massive number of breaches in the cloud. It occurs when an organization migrates to the cloud but doesn’t understand how to secure their environment – and puts sensitive data at risk of exposure or loss.
Using brute force, password guessing or phishing, cyber criminals can get their hands on cloud account credentials, then impersonate people to steal data or money or to distribute malware and spam. This is why it’s important to ensure CASBs provide adaptive access controls, protecting against unwanted devices, users and versions of apps.
Malicious insider threats can be even more dangerous in the cloud because a malicious employee already has authorized access to your infrastructure. Unprotected, they can spread the word to their peers and cause more widespread damage. This is why you must require multi-factor authentication for all privileged accounts, even in the cloud.
3. Unmanaged Attack Surface
In the past, data was stored in a central location on premises and was protected by a robust cybersecurity strategy. However, moving to the cloud creates a different type of attack surface with new vulnerabilities, threats and risks that CIOs, CISOs and their teams need to address.
Threats like misconfiguration, password recycling and account hijacking are common in the cloud environment. When these types of attacks are successful, they can lead to sensitive information being stolen from the organization and cause financial loss, business disruption and reputation damage.
Additionally, a lack of visibility in the complex cloud environment makes it difficult to identify and prioritize security vulnerabilities and threats. Alert Logic can help mitigate these risks with managed detection and response (MDR) and an innovative, cloud-based approach to security. Learn more about our capabilities here. Or watch this brief video to see how we protect against the most critical cloud computing vulnerabilities. This includes zero-day exploits, which aren’t even patched by your IT team yet.
4. User and Service Account Vulnerabilities
Although many businesses are moving data and applications to the cloud, they must be prepared for traditional threats like malware, denial of service, phishing, and other social engineering techniques. They also face other new risks such as account takeover, a security risk that occurs when an attacker uses brute force attacks, password spraying, and other methods to gain unauthorized access to an employee’s cloud account. Account takeover can lead to data breaches, theft of valuable information, and extortion demands for a ransom.
Additionally, a common security risk is insider threats, which can occur when employees access cloud-based tools and share sensitive information with those who shouldn’t have access. Cybercriminals can use this information for phishing attacks, data loss and theft, and even disrupt business operations or install malware. To protect against these vulnerabilities, companies should create a cybersecurity strategy that includes a Zero Trust approach, prioritizing access control and ensuring that all communications are monitored, logged, and analyzed for abnormalities.