Explain Cloud Security Risks and Countermeasures
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Cloud Security Risks and Countermeasures

There are various security risks in the cloud some of the major potential risks to the security of cloud systems with efficient countermeasures for them are given below.

Risk 1 - Data Breaches

  • A data breach is a scenario where confidential, secured, private or sensitive information comes out, accessed, stolen, or used by unauthorized people.
  • It may arise because of any human mistakes, software or application vulnerabilities, or wrong security measures.

Countermeasures -

  • The best way to handle data breaches is to create an effective security program at an organizational level.
  • This security program must contain Multifactor Authentication (MFA) and Encryption.
  • MFA uses more than one method for authentication such as biometric verification, security tokens, password to verify the identity of the consumer.
  • Encryption is the process of encoding the information in a such way that only authorized parties can read messages. Still, encryption does not avoid interception, but it denies any unauthorized access to sensitive information.

Risk 2 - System Vulnerabilities

  • System vulnerabilities are exploitable bugs in programs that attackers can use to infiltrate a computer system to steal data, take control of the system, or disrupt service operations.
  • Using vulnerabilities within the components of the operating system like the system kernel, libraries, and application tools; put the security of all services and data at significant risk.

Countermeasures -

  • System vulnerabilities can be handled by the administration of basic IT processes. Such as regular vulnerability scanning, prompt patch management, and a quick follow-up on reported system threats.
  • Vulnerability scanning is the automated process of those identifying security vulnerabilities of computing systems in a network.
  • A patch is a piece of software that update a computer program and its supporting data to fix or improve it. This includes fixing security vulnerabilities and other bugs.
  • Such patches are generally called bugfixes or bug fixes, and improve usability or performance.

Risk 3 - Account Hijacking

  • It is an old method in which credentials and passwords are reused, to increase the impact of such attacks.
  • In this attacker intrudes into the user's credentials, the attacker then eavesdrops user's activities and transactions, which allows the attacker to manipulate the user's data, return falsified information, and redirect clients of users to illegitimate sites.

Countermeasures -

  • The organization should avoid the sharing of account credentials between the users and services.
  • Apply two-factor authentication techniques where ever possible.
  • All accounts and activities of the account should be monitored and traceable to the actual owner of the account.

Risk 4 - Permanent Data Loss

  • Permanent data loss because of cloud service providers' fault is a very rare incident.
  • But still, there is a little bit chance of permanent data loss in the cloud because of some unethical hackers that try to delete cloud data permanently to harm businesses and any sudden, unexpected natural calamities can destroy cloud data centers.

Countermeasures -

  • Users can encrypt data before uploading into the cloud, and then users must carefully protect the encryption key because, once the key is lost, so the data is also lost.
  • Some cloud providers distribute data and applications across multiple zones for more protection.
  • Apply various data backup measures and disaster recovery models.
  • Daily data backup and off-site storage play a vital role to avoid permanent data loss.

Risk 5 - Denial of Service (DoS)

  • It is the most common attack in which authorized users can not able to access their data or their applications.
  • When the cloud faces a DoS attack, the targeted cloud service consumes inordinate amounts of finite system resources such as processor power, memory, disk space, or network bandwidth.
  • This causes an intolerable system slowdown and leaves all authorized service users confused and angry as to why the service is not responding.
  • DoS attacks utilize large amounts of processing power, a bill the user, unfortunately, has to pay.

Countermeasures -

  • No way can completely prevent DoS attacks but some measures can reduce the risk of DoS attacks in the cloud.
  • Use DoS attack detection technology.
  • Intrusion prevention systems and firewall manufacturers now offer DoS protection technologies that include signature detection and connection verification techniques to limit the success of DoS attacks.
  • Use throttling and rate-limiting technologies that can reduce the effects of a DoS attack.
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