The Era of Cloud Computing: Advantages & Risks

Sep 01, 2019

The Era of Cloud Computing: Advantages & Risks Image

The era of cloud computing is among us with a majority of organizations adopting the cloud to operate their business. Cloud computing allows businesses to access resources, such as data storage, servers, and applications through the internet allowing employees to work remotely from anywhere or on any device without losing access to their organization’s resources. Although this sounds entirely beneficial, there are security risks of cloud computing as well. It’s important to understand the advantages and risks that accompany cloud computing and how to protect your company in this new era.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is inevitable and it’s important to understand how this can benefit your business. Simply put, this is just another method of improving your operations and streamlining your company. In addition, it is also another area to examine when it comes to gap and risk assessment of your cyber security. So, how does this help your business? Advantages of cloud computing in organizations include:

  • Greater access to resources and flexibility for employees, which results in higher levels of productivity and efficiency.
  • Reduction of costs, thus saving money on having to run and establish a data center.
  • Data storage and backups, which prevent permanent data loss of business assets.
  • Access to AI tools and capabilities that provides organizations greater insight into their business.

It’s forecasted by Gartner that the public cloud market will grow to $320 billion by 2022. Currently, only 20% of businesses’ workloads are running in the cloud. One of the biggest concerns in cloud adoption is data security. David Schatsky, Managing Director at Deloitte, recently discussed the following regarding data migration to the cloud as a challenge when it comes to security:

 

“A lot of times, one of the first things companies do in the cloud is migrate existing apps, workloads, and the data they operate on to the cloud. The security model in the cloud is rather different, and sometimes data and assets need to be secured in a more granular way, so data classification is part and parcel of a prudent migration to the cloud.”


With that being said, it’s more important than ever to evaluate your cyber security and how it interacts with new technology, such as the cloud. So, what security risks of cloud computing should you be aware of when moving forward with your company?

An employee enjoying benefits of cloud computing.

Security Risks of Cloud Computing

Before organizations begin to consider moving to the cloud, they’ll need to think about hiring the skillset needed to take full advantage of the cloud, its resources, and how to properly secure information. Some of the top cyber risks that are involved in cloud computing to be made aware of include:

  • Immature Security Practices – This includes failing to use encryption or multi-factor authentication, misconfiguration, or lack of visibility into cloud workloads. To avoid the likelihood of a cyber-attack or even vulnerability due to human error, employing security tactics such as strong password management and two-factor authentication can make all the difference in your cyber security.
  • Insider Threats – As the name suggests, this a threat that manifests within your organization. This could include negligence and risky user behavior, such as sensitive data being stored improperly in the cloud. Implementing a strong cyber security culture can help mitigate this threat and keep your data safe. 
  • Access Control – You should have full control over maintaining control over your cloud environment. This includes preventing unauthorized use of your cloud resources through cyber security best practices and ensuring data privacy.
  • API Integrations – While these integrations can be useful and convenient, beware of where you are getting them from. Managing and verifying these integrations, especially when they come through third-party software providers, is a top priority for protecting your company from cyber risks.

Additional risks are highlighted in the recent report conducted by the Cloud Security Alliance Top Threats to Cloud Computing: Egregious Eleven, which surveyed 241 industry experts on security issues in the cloud industry and highlights the top eleven cloud security concerns:

  1. Data Breaches
  2. Misconfiguration and Inadequate Change Control
  3. Lack of Cloud Security Architecture and Strategy
  4. Insufficient Identity, Credential, Access, and Key Management
  5. Account Hijacking
  6. Insider Threat
  7. Insecure Interfaces and APIs
  8. Weak Control Plane
  9. Metastructure and Applistructure Failures
  10. Limited Cloud Usage Visibility
  11. Abuse and Nefarious Use of Cloud Services

Understanding, monitoring, and protecting your business against these risks is a top priority in the new era of cloud computing. Focusing on both the pros and cons helps to give your company a complete picture of what cloud computing entails.

An employee working to avoid security risks of cloud computing.

Embracing the Future of Cloud Computing

Migrating to the cloud can bring value to your organization in many ways. Taking proactive steps to risk management and the protection of your data will help prevent and mitigate future cyber incidents and data breaches from ever occurring. By weighing the benefits of cloud computing against the security risks you can get a clear understanding of the necessity and the precautions that come with it. Approaching cloud computing from a cyber security standpoint allows you to understand the full scope of how this can benefit your company. With the help of an experienced company like Secuvant, moving forward to the cloud is easier than ever. Secuvant’s monitoring capabilities through our Managed Detection and Response platform can allow you to have peace of mind that threats are being detected, investigated, and mitigated 24/7 by a team of security analysts who know cyber security, as well as the ins and outs of the cloud. Our experienced team is here to help you every step of the way in order to make the transition as smooth as possible while continuing to protect your business from any cyber threat. Learn more about our services by speaking with one of our security professionals today by contacting us at contactus@secuvant.com or calling us at 855-732-8826.