The Urgent Need to Enhance Cloud Data Security In 2023

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As the digital landscape evolves, cloud computing has become integral to modern business operations. According to an International Data Corporation (IDC) report, global cloud infrastructure spending will likely increase to $118bn by 2025. The prevalence of this technology compels more businesses to realize its potential benefits and invest in it. However, the growing cloud adoption comes with increased risks of data breaches and other types of cyber-attacks. In this environment, organizations must remain aware of the potential cloud security risks and practice measures to defend themselves. 

The Evolving Cloud Threat Landscape

Thales’ Global Cloud Security Study for 2022 found that during the past 12 months, 45% of businesses have experienced a cloud data breach or failed to perform audits, which was 5% from the previous year. 

Securing data in the cloud has become a daunting task for organizations, mainly because of the shadow data. Such data is often produced daily during testing, cloud migration or accessing unauthorized cloud services and apps. As the shadow data is unregulated and may contain sensitive information, it’s easily exploited and stolen by cyber-criminals. The shift to remote working and the adoption of hybrid and multi-cloud platforms results in less visibility and more data management issues. This in turn leads to more security gaps, allowing cyber-criminals more opportunities to attack cloud infrastructure. 

Cloud misconfigurations are another prime reason why ensuring cloud security is challenging. Attackers are always looking for misconfigurations because they are an entry point to access cloud assets. One recent example is Toyota, where over two million customers’ data got exposed due to misconfigurations in its cloud storage systems. 

APIs are the weakest link in the security chain, which may leave the cloud environment vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Statistics also reveal that 52% of cybersecurity experts regard insecure APIs as a significant cloud security threat. Many cloud applications and services rely on APIs for functionalities like authentication and access. However, these interfaces come with security flaws, such as misconfiguration, that hackers can easily exploit and access sensitive data. 

To combat these threats, organizations must implement best practices for cloud security and consider adopting emerging technologies like blockchain. 

Best Practices to Maintain Cloud Security

Securing the cloud database is necessary, with more businesses moving their operations to the cloud environment. By implementing the following measures, organizations can safeguard their sensitive data, mitigate the risk of data breaches, and strengthen their cloud security posture:

  • Integrating identity access management (IAM) solutions and a zero trust approach is a great way to strengthen cloud security. It grants users minimum access and permissions to perform their jobs and prevents unauthorized access to the cloud network and other resources.
  • Invest in application security tools like SAST, DAST or IAST that provide a deeper insight into cloud-based applications by detecting vulnerabilities and potential attack vectors and resolving the issue promptly. 
  • Establish cloud security policies that outline the rules and guidelines for data encryption, access control, API designs, incident response, audits and penetration testing. These policies define organizations’ security objectives and ensure a consistent approach toward security. 
  • Conduct audits and penetration tests to detect and remediate vulnerabilities within the cloud environment. Also, it ensures that organizations comply with relevant data protection laws and that appropriate measures are taken to protect cloud data and resources.
  • Adopt data security posture management (DSPM) approaches that provide greater visibility across the cloud platform and ensure cloud data security through practices like data encryption, access control, vulnerability management and user authentication. 
  • Use security monitoring tools and techniques like intrusion detection systems (IDS), security information and event management (SIEM) and cloud-native solutions like cloud access security brokers (CASB), cloud security posture management (CSPM) and cloud-native application protection (CNAPP). They monitor the cloud environment for unauthorized access, abnormal behavior and suspicious activities. 
  • Perform regular cloud data backups and store them in offsite locations. 
  • Educate employees about existing and emerging cloud security threats and effective ways to mitigate them. 

Is Blockchain Technology the Future of Cloud Computing?

Due to digitalization, blockchain technology is not limited to cryptocurrencies and brings other business opportunities. One such disruptive innovation is using blockchain technology in cloud computing. The rise of blockchain technology holds immense importance in reshaping the future of cloud computing and is a viable alternative to traditional centralized cloud architectures. In contrast to the centralized storage systems that depend on multiple servers hosted within a centralized database that are easy to hack and manipulate, decentralized storage entails data distribution across multiple computers connected via the peer-to-peer (P2P) network.

Leveraging blockchain technology in cloud computing helps organizations to manage data, reduce costs and improve the transparency and security of their data. For instance, blockchain-based identity solutions help users get more control over their data or provide access on a need basis. It enhances data protection and privacy while ensuring a seamless authentication and authorization process. Similarly, this cutting-edge technology can optimize and streamline different cloud-based processes, such as smart contracts, enabling automated agreements and eliminating manual intervention. This way, organizations can increase their efficiency and reduce costs. 

With organizations exploring and adopting blockchain solutions, it’s expected to witness significant advancements within cloud-based systems, resulting in a more secure digital environment. 

Final Words

Cloud security is vital in mitigating potential risks and threats and maintaining an organization’s brand reputation. Embracing blockchain technology is the best way to minimize these risks and ensure maximum safety. Additionally, using IAM and cloud-native tools helps ensure robust security within the cloud environment. Along with these solutions, it’s also important to practice basic security measures like backing up and encrypting the data, creating cloud security policies, and training and educating employees about cloud security threats. 

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