One of the most significant challenges for business intelligence professionals is the risk of security threats posed by cloud computing. Cloud computing refers to using the internet as a service platform to deliver applications and storage capabilities, and the internet has many interesting vulnerabilities that make it attractive to cyber criminals.
One of the unique characteristics of cloud computing that makes it so appealing is that the infrastructure does not need to be based in one particular location; it can exist in the data centers of various organizations, or it can simply be located on the company's network. As a result, if a server is compromised, the entire business may be affected.
Some of the typical security risks associated with cloud computing are data loss, data spoofing and data injection. Data loss occurs when an employee's laptop is stolen or lost. The stolen information can then be used to carry out unauthorized activities such as fraud, identity theft, or even worse, malicious attacks like data manipulation. Similarly, data spoofing involves the practice of sending fake emails to collect personal information.
The other type of data loss is called data spoofing. This occurs when the employee logs onto the internet using a false password. The thief will not be able to find that the login has been changed, but the data that is stolen will still be able to be accessed elsewhere. Data injection is similar to data loss: it refers to stealing or manipulating data that is transmitted over the internet.
Data security threats can also occur when employees download files onto company computers without authorization. For example, if an employee downloads a game or application that they should not have, it can be tempting to open the file, only to later discover that the file contains a virus or other security vulnerability.
Viruses can be particularly dangerous because they work by changing a computer's registry, which can corrupt or damage files. In addition, if a virus is found on a computer, there is often little that can be done to repair the damage that it has caused. Many viruses also pose a security risk because they can track user behavior and send out other viruses if allowed to escape from the computer's safety.
Data spoofing is another form of data loss that can occur on company networks. Stealing data spoofing does not involve any viruses or other security risks. Rather, someone inside a company sets up a website that appears to be the legitimate home site for a rival company.
They may then use data that the unsuspecting employee types into the website to try and gain access to the rival company's confidential data. If the spoofing is successful, or the data is transmitted over the internet, the resulting damage may include the leaking of company secrets or the exposure of sensitive corporate data.
Data loss is an especially serious issue for businesses that rely heavily on computer systems for their day-to-day operations. A major form of data loss occurs when a company's server goes down for routine maintenance or other non-technical issues.
Without access to a backup system in place, a large portion of the company's data can be lost. Security risks may accompany this loss, especially if backup systems are not regularly maintained. Data that leaves the network represents a security risk to the company because it allows others to access data that could be secure on another network.
Because data loss represents a significant risk to a company, many companies have taken steps to protect themselves from the risk of data loss by having a strong firewall in place. This physical barrier adds physical layer of defense to the company's network.
The firewall protects company data by detecting and blocking all unauthorized data from getting through. It also can detect and stop data that is going in but is quickly discarded before it gets to the applications that it needs in order to complete its task. With a strong firewall, the risk of data spoofing or data loss is greatly reduced for a company.
Data security also includes the issue of data loss. Even when an employee deletes a file from their computer or logs off the Internet, sensitive information remains somewhere on the hard drive. When an employee loses the information, it becomes a security risk because an unauthorized person may recover the data. Companies that have been successful in the past in recovering data after an employee errs have had good tracking and recovery procedures in place.
What are the security risks associated with cloud computing? Cloud computing is a major boon to companies that need to store, manage, and share data. It has revolutionized the way information is stored and shared. But cloud computing does not come without its risks. Let’s talk about some of the major security risks of cloud computing, and how you can mitigate them.
Security Risk 1: Data Loss
It’s important to understand how data is actually stored on cloud servers. Most commonly, data is stored in a relational database. However, you don’t really need to store your data in a database. In fact, that’s where most people go wrong. What you actually need to do is keep a copy of your data off-site, on a physical server. This copy, called “the data vault,” is the safest and most efficient way to manage your data.
The security of your data will be greatly enhanced by this move. No matter how good your cloud provider may be, they cannot do everything on their own. They’re much more susceptible to being hacked by other parties. In fact, the three top providers of cloud computing have all been breached, with no shortage of customer information stolen in the process.
Security Risk 2: Data Breach
Whether you are running an ecommerce website or an online service, chances are that your data may be exposed in one way or another. The theft of data for a major service such as PayPal or Instagram can cause brand damage for the company. This is a major concern for cloud service providers, as well as for the companies that utilize them.
To minimize the risk of data loss, companies need to ensure that the security of their data is top priority. At least half of the data security risk can be reduced by effective data backup and compliance. Companies should also ensure that the infrastructure is properly secured. In fact, cloud storage services should be locked down for both customers and the cloud provider. For example, corporate data should not be accessed by customers.
Security Risk 3: Denial of Service
As with any computing service, cloud computing can be used to create a fast and reliable infrastructure for websites, businesses, and online applications. However, as we have seen in the past, even this same technology can be manipulated to cause damage and take down websites and online services. Denial of service attacks (DoS) are one of the most common forms of cloud computing security threats.
When a large number of connections attempt to access a single server, the server ends up performing poorly. These security risks can come in various forms. A DoS attack can result from a bot (or a group of bots) accessing a web server. Bots can easily be created by using someone else’s credentials to access the internet and performing DoS attacks.
Security Risk 4: Data Impersonation
If you use a cloud-based service from the open web, like Dropbox or Box, you’ll need to download your data to your machine. This involves trust. But this trust is highly dependent on two factors. First, how well the cloud-based service locks your data up. Second, how long you have had access to your account and how well they know who you are.
In addition to the authentication factor, the cloud-based service that you’re using may use old-school methods, like post-password authentication. As a result, the service you’re using may make calls to a cloud-based service that they’re not privy to. In this case, your Dropbox will ask your accountant to enter you into their cloud-based solution, to confirm your identity and see your accounting data.
Security Risk 5: Data Tampering
Data tamper-proofing is the process of making sure that sensitive data is not tampered with. If you are storing or sharing highly confidential data, or if you don’t want to share data with outsiders, you should be sure that the data is not tampered with. It is vital for the security of cloud computing data to be tamper-proof. For example, if you are storing a secret for a client in the cloud, you should be sure that it cannot be accessed by any outsider.
You should also store your data in a location that is absolutely secure, such as in a vault, or at a remote server. The idea is to keep the data completely protected so that it cannot be accessed by anyone, anywhere. Some companies use encryption, but it is not always foolproof and is susceptible to hacking.
Security Risk 6: Data Spoofing
We have all seen the stories about IT workers doing strange things at their workstations. They will plug in a USB drive, then type in a unique code that a hacker will use to obtain confidential data. Or they will attach a special USB drive to the mouse and keyboard and then type in the password they know will unlock the data.
There are many ways that cyber criminals can get their hands on sensitive data. Unfortunately, they are becoming quite clever about how they do so. A good example is a cyber security researcher who recently revealed a method to prove that a legitimate cloud storage service like Dropbox was just a shell company that would host the accounts of criminals.
Security Risk 7: Data Loss Prevention
“Information Security” in a Digital World As cloud computing has become an integral part of modern enterprise software, companies are subjecting more and more sensitive information to public and proprietary networks. This has led to a major increase in the cybersecurity threats that companies need to watch out for.
Cloud-based services, such as EHRs, banking systems, and HVAC systems, are all subject to these threats. And because the data is not in the control of the enterprise, it is only in the long-term interest of the company to prevent data loss, since losing data is actually considered to be a business catastrophe. Even with all of this in mind, it is not always easy to implement proper security measures.
Security Risk 8: Data Exposure
Having sensitive data in the cloud creates potential problems for your network. These problems arise if an intruder manages to access the cloud-based files. It is essential to know and follow the best practices to ensure the security of your sensitive data in the cloud.
Software Companies do not store your information How to protect sensitive data Don’t store sensitive information on publicly accessible directories. 3 Things to Consider Before storing your sensitive data on the cloud, you need to take these 3 things into consideration: You need to backup all your sensitive data regularly. Never reuse passwords across multiple places. You need to keep your data safe from hackers and cybercriminals.
Security Risk 9: Data Injection
If you are storing your data in a cloud, be careful of data injection. Many cloud service providers expose the core of their systems to cloud administrators, who are able to perform actions on your behalf. This may be fine if you are an end-user, but can be troublesome if you are a system administrator, or if you are designing the storage space you have access to.
Because you have given your login details, cloud administrators can inject their own data into the storage space, forcing you to log in as a different user in order to perform an action. Here are a few examples of where this can cause problems: A cloud administrator can force you to log in as “Anna”, your mother’s maiden name, instead of your own, as you would be required to do.
Security Risk 10: Vendors
Vendors are another security risk when it comes to cloud computing. The reason for this is that businesses need to do their due diligence when investigating what security practices and auditing are done to ensure their data is safe. Depending on whether you're using IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS will determine where the liability line is drawn when it comes to using cloud services. Be aware of where that line is and ensure that the business has done a thorough risk analysis when moving different applications and operations to cloud services.