security issues in cloud computing

Mastering Cloud Computing: Strategies to Overcome Security Issues & Protect Your Data

In the ever-evolving digital landscape, cloud computing has emerged as a game-changer. Yet, as its adoption accelerates, so do concerns about security. This article delves into the heart of these issues, shedding light on the challenges and potential solutions in cloud security.

While the cloud offers unprecedented flexibility and scalability, it’s not without its vulnerabilities. From data breaches to system disruptions, the risks are real and varied. Stay tuned as we navigate the complex world of cloud security, demystifying its intricacies and exploring strategies to fortify defences.

Security Issues in Cloud Computing

Cloud computing represents a shift from traditional, physical forms of data storage to virtual platforms. It centralised data storage, processing, and bandwidth, simplifying access for users across a network. With a cloud service, data is no longer stored in a local system but is maintained in massive data centres located worldwide.

Various service models exist in cloud computing, each with unique features. These Service delivery models include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). IaaS provides users with the necessary networking, storage, and virtualization resources. PaaS supplies an environment for developers to create, test, and manage software applications.

Users also have the option to choose from three main cloud types based on their specific needs: Private, Public, and Hybrid clouds. Private clouds are exclusive to a single organisation or business, Public clouds are open for use by the general public, and Hybrid clouds represent a combination of both private and public clouds.

Recognizing Security Issues in Cloud Computing

Realising widespread security issues in cloud computing offers the first step towards enhancing defence mechanisms. It’s important to decode the signals of potential threats and keep the key risk areas in continual observation.

  1. Data Breaches: Storing sensitive data on cloud exposes organisations to the risk of data breaches. Hackers aim for valuable data like personal information or intellectual property. For instance, the massive hack on Yahoo in 2013 resulted in the exposure of 3 billion user accounts, showcasing the intensity of modern data breaches.
  2. Insecure APIs: Application Program Interfaces (APIs) often serve as the gateways to cloud services. Exposed APIs entail a significant risk if not adequately secured, as they can provide a path for hackers to gain unauthorised access.
  3. Data Loss: Deletion of data, whether it’s intentional or accidental, poses a tangible risk. The loss can result from simple human errors, fatal system disruptions, or even destructive attacks from ransomware. The Amazon Web Service incident in 2017, that led to significant data loss for many companies, exemplifies this risk.
  4. System Vulnerabilities: Exploiting system loopholes give hackers potential access to sensitive data and systems. These vulnerabilities can exist in any part of an integrated security defence system, for instance, poorly configured firewalls or outdated software can provide such loopholes.
  5. Account Hijacking: Account hijacking involves gaining unauthorised access to cloud accounts with an intent to manipulate data. Hijacked accounts can be used to gleanĀ 

Analysis of Noteworthy Cloud Security Incidents

Pursuing an examination into notable cloud security incidents, several instances stand out. They serve as exemplary markers for understanding the potential perils that linger in the digital cloud.

The Capital One Data Breach, occurring in 2019, epitomises the worst-case scenario when a loose guard against unauthorised access. An external hacker breached the perimeters, gathering access to 100 million individuals’ data. In effect, the bank suffered a loss of nearly $150 million and a considerable hit to its reputation.

Next, take Adobe Systems’ situation into account. It fell victim to a similar unforeseen attack in 2013. Hackers infiltrated the system and accessed over 38 million user data. Moreover, source code of several Adobe products, potentially increasing future vulnerabilities, landed in the wrong hands.

Significant incidents aren’t confined to the US alone either. Flip through incidents in other parts of the world, the CarePartners breach in Canada in 2018 surfaces. A sophisticated attack led to unauthorised access and extraction of personal health and financial data of over 80,000 patients.