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4 Common Cloud Security Concerns

Posted On: March 22, 2016

Topic: Cloud & Hosting Solutions

Whether public, private or hybrid, the cloud is now the most common deployment platform. In fact, research shows that around 88 percent of buyers who had a deployment preference preferred the cloud over on-premise. But even with the surge in confidence and adoption, many organizations still have concerns about security in the cloud. Cyber threats are a real and present danger and cybercriminals are hard at work trying to breach both cloud and on-premise deployments every day.

The cloud may in fact offer some benefits over on-premise deployments for security. A model of shared responsibility is introduced in the cloud between the buyer and their cloud provider. If you have done your due diligence when selecting your MSP and you have trust in them to have the protections in place to safeguard your data, there is ultimately less reason to stress over cybersecurity in the cloud.

According to the 2015 Alert Logic Cloud Security Report, an increase in cloud migration has positioned cloud environments as mainstream deployments. The following concerns are indicative of how an increase in cloud adoption in 2016 will affect your threat landscape.

A Rise in Cloud Attacks

Make no mistake – there will be more attacks on the cloud in 2016. The cause for this is not because of the cloud itself, but because there are simply more deployments in the cloud than ever before.  Applications are no more or less vulnerable when deployed in the cloud than when they are deployed on-premise. An app's is vulnerability is determined by how it was developed and the network security that surrounds and protects it.

Cloud providers often run stronger, more up-to-date security than on-premise data centers because it is their business model to offer secure computing. That means they must run the most advanced firewalls, anti-malware and intrusion monitoring tools available.

Detecting Suspicious Activity

On-premise data centers often assume that any packets that originate inside the firewall are friendly, so they concentrate their firepower on preventing intrusions from outside. However, penetrating the edge is relatively easy, and hacker tactics are increasingly more sophisticated every day. Once inside your network, hackers will lay in wait until they can execute an attack on your most sensitive assets.

Unlike traditional security, Cloud security has been developed in an age of modern threats and therefore assumes that every action could be suspicious.  

Thwarting Brute Force Attacks

With a Brute Force attack the IP address changes constantly, making it next to impossible to block. If a Brute Force attack is successful in gaining access to a system by repeatedly trying different usernames and passwords or cryptographic keys, the attacker can gain access to the network, application, or sensitive asset. This is one of the top three cloud security threats, but one of the easiest to thwart with the proper security in place.  Repeated attempts set off alerts, and cloud providers have the resources, that most on-premise deployments do not, to investigate these threats and block further intrusion attempts.

Intercepting Phishing Schemes

Trojans are one of the easiest ways to gain unauthorized access to a network and are more common in on-premise environments. Naïve users often inadvertently introduce Trojans to the network by downloading insecure apps or opening infected email attachments. These phishing schemes are rampant and companies are understandably concerned that they might become a target. A breach can mean exposure of intellectual property, trade secrets or sensitive customer or employee information. A highly publicized breach could damage the company’s business as well as the reputation of its brand. Cloud security is stronger and more up-to-date than on-premise security and less likely to fall prey to attacks that befell more traditional on-premise networks.

Moving Forward

As DevOps moves closer to the ideal of 100 percent automation, security applications will need to evolve as well. Security teams will need to change from passive monitoring roles to active engineering and development to prevent infiltration. Security applications themselves will begin to evolve to become self-learning, able to stop new threats without intervention.

AlertLogic has predicted that 2016 will be the first year that organizations will choose the cloud specifically for its security benefits. Even so, a move to the cloud cannot be taken lightly, you must plan your migration carefully and assess all of the elements to determine your path. OneNeck IT Solutions is an expert provider of hybrid IT solutions tailored for mid-market and enterprise companies and to provide high-touch customer service. Through a single point of accountability, OneNeck offers end-to-end, enterprise-class IT solutions, including cloud and hosting solutions, managed services, ERP application management, professional services, IT hardware and top tier data centers. If you’re serious keeping your data secure in the cloud, contact OneNeck IT Solutions today.