Would you like losing direct control over systems carrying your important data? Cloud Computing is undoubtedly a technology revolution providing amazing cloud services at a reduced cost. Cloud server hosts very low sensitive personal and critical business information and threat to such data is enough to take your breath away. Before you think of shifting your data to a cloud system, do check some security threats of Cloud Computing based servers.
Attack from anonymous Cloud Server users
Service providers offer ready to use cloud services both free as well as paid. By paying a small amount ‘anyone’ can register and use cloud services. Hackers often register and plant malicious codes and viruses, anonymously. Cyber attackers use new technologies for launching dynamic attack points, CAPTCHA solving farms, password, key cracking and more. Many Cloud Service providers are known to host botnets and/or their command and control centres, downloads for exploits, Trojans etc. Such adulteration of malicious code with genuine and good data can be very dangerous and pose serious security threat to user cloud data.
Technology Issues with Cloud Server
There are flaws in cloud based servers that may allow inappropriate level of interaction with other systems. Cloud service providers often provide low quality and cheap services to reduce the overall cost. Data can be manipulated if the components on which this infrastructure is based were not designed for that. It’s just like using a weak tyre in your new car!
Security Attacks: Malicious codes and Account Hijacking
Malicious codes, virus and malwares are planted to cloud server by users. This code can easily infect others account due to low level of compartmentalization in several low cost cloud servers. Moreover accounts can be easily hijacked with a credible phishing site or a good social engineering approach, and the control of your account change hands. The attacker can gather information, alter data and can redirect your clients to illegitimate sites.
Lack of Transparency: Insecurity and loss of trust among cloud users
Cloud Service providers don’t provide transparency; they don’t reveal how they manage the user’s cloud data, how they grant access to assets or how they monitor them. Moreover, their process of recruitment and hiring new employees is unknown to others. Transparency is, in this case, vital to a secure cloud offering, along with compliance reporting and breach notification. Lack of transparency can be a major security threat of cloud computing as it results in insecurity among users.
Insecure API’s: Authentication and Functional Process
APIs or Application Program Interfaces are what customers use to interact with cloud services. API’s must have extremely secure authentication, access control, encryption and activity monitoring mechanisms – especially when third parties start to build on them. Insecure API can result in cyber attacks and illegitimate control over users accounts account by hackers. A similar flaw in Twitter API allowed third party apps to read tweets and profile details of users.
Threat of Data Loss: Financial and Business implications
It’s an another major security threat which could result in loss of user cloud data. Threat of data Loss seems to be the ‘worst nightmare you can ever imagine’. Server usually keep backups but -low cost servers might left you in revere with all data flushed out. Data loss can have severe impact on business, employees, partners and customer morale trust. It could have financial implication if you lose account details(personal and professional). Threat of data loss increases in cloud computing as you can lose data because of multiple reasons for which you are nonetheless accountable.
Data theft and leakage: Confidential and Sensitive data loss
In Cloud based system, resources are shared among cloud users. Due to any attack these data can easily be stolen or leaked into the hands of wrong doers. Most Cloud Service providers use low cost apps and technical features. This further increases the risk of data theft and leakage in cloud computing.
Nation and State sponsored Spying: Confidential data theft
Why a user would save data to a cloud server located in other country? With countries competing against each other, spying user’s cloud data is a very near possibility. Data containing confidential documents- related to security and nuclear projects can be read/steal by the country where Cloud server is located.
Approach of Cloud Server Owners: Loss of Reliance
In order to maximize profit, Cloud Server owners put low quality infrastructure in implementation. Low cost server can put cloud data in danger due to its limited efficiency and security. To reduce cost on manpower they hire relatively less experienced employees which are not equipped to check cloud computing security threats. Besides, flaws and vulnerabilities are often checked on temporary basis to keep the cost as minimum as possible. Such irresponsible behavior results in loss of data very important for the users.