Have you ever wondered how all our lives have changed drastically with the advent of digital technologies? For businesses, digital transformation meant creating new or modifying existing business processes and permanently changing the way they engage with the customers.
Source: statista 2021
The above graphic shows that digital transformation is a leading priority among all IT (Information Technology) initiatives worldwide. By 2022, investments in digital transformation are projected to reach $1.78 trillion. Therefore, it has become imperative for businesses to modify their processes, introduce new hardware and software, train their employees, and, more importantly, implement cyber security approaches. But unfortunately, this also meant that the businesses were at elevated risk of cyber-attacks and security breaches.
As depicted by the above image, cyber security breaches have increased across several sectors worldwide. One such incident might damage its digital transformation plans, financial status, and reputation. It is alarming that in 2021, the average cost of a data breach was around $4.24 million.
Sustainable cyber security strategies lay a solid foundation for the business. It is essential to strike the right balance between bringing in innovations and mitigating risks during digital transformation. Security must be given the same pace as any other innovation. Businesses must simultaneously embrace the challenges and opportunities to accomplish an edge over competitors, as well as neutralize cyber security risks.
Types of Cloud Attacks
As more businesses move towards adopting Cloud for their needs, the attacks on Cloud security are on the rise. Let us get a brief on what are the different types of such attacks:
- Denial of Service Attacks: In this type of attack, hackers prevent legitimate users from accessing Cloud resources. They overload the system with bulk requests and thus make services unavailable to users. Also, Cloud systems try to provide more computational power and service instances to handle the high workload, making the situation more devastating.
- Malware Injection Attacks: Malware attacks occur when an infected service implementation module is added to a SaaS (Software as a Service) or a PaaS (Platform as a Service) solution or a VM (virtual machines) instance to a PaaS solution. Once the Cloud is deceived, it redirects the user’s requests to the attacker’s module. Thus, the user can carry out malicious activities. The most common malware injection attacks are cross-site scripting and SQL injection attacks. In cross-site scripting attacks, the attackers add a malicious script to a vulnerable page. In SQL injection attacks, the attackers target a vulnerable database application by injecting malicious SQL scripts into them.
- Abuse of Cloud services: Attackers use low-cost cloud services to make DoS and brute force attacks on users, organizations, or other cloud service providers.
- Wrapping Attacks: Since Cloud users typically connect to cloud services via a web browser, wrapping attacks can happen. Attackers can manipulate an XML document through XML signature element wrapping.
- Man-in-the-cloud Attacks: A vulnerable synchronization token system is targeted to intercept and reconfigure Cloud services. Thus, during the next synchronization with the Cloud, a new synchronization token will be issued that gives access to hackers.
- Insider Attacks: This attack is carried out by a legitimate user- a Cloud provider administrator or an employee of a client company with all privileges.
- Account/Service Hijacking: Hackers gain access to user credentials and accomplish account or service hijacking. They use techniques like phishing, spyware, or cookie poisoning.
- Advanced Persistent Threats: Here, attackers can continuously steal sensitive data and use cloud services without the notice of legitimate users.
5 Steps to Address Cloud Security Threats
To successfully overcome these risks, we can list five key steps that can be undertaken:
- Securing Digital Assets: In the time of COVID-19, where most of the employees are working remotely, security has taken a back seat as businesses are struggling to embrace this shift in work culture.
Lack of security protocols and measures in place has resulted in increasing cyber-attacks, data breaches, and loss of valuable assets. Furthermore, such incidents have led to unwanted expenses on companies who had no way other than to invest in damage control measures. Therefore, without any further delay, companies must invest more in securing their digital assets to protect their data, network, and remote work ecosystem.
- Cloud Security: Cloud has been proven to provide significant flexibility along with security benefits. However, it is risky when the company becomes dependent on only one Cloud service provider since it may go bankrupt, suffer a cyber-attack, or leave the market. In this situation, all the company’s systems that were in Cloud became unavailable. To counter such challenges, organizations must have a deep knowledge of using and securing the Cloud. In addition, they must thoroughly assess the cyber security level of the current supplier and simultaneously think about whether the formats and solutions of this supplier are compatible with other suppliers or not.
- Developing Skills to Operate Novel Technologies Securely: For digital transformation to succeed, technical and non-technical staff must acquire new skills. In addition, enterprises must be aware that cyber-attacks happen due to untrained employees and lack of security awareness. So, organizations need to train and re-train their employees on cyber security measures regularly.
- Innovative Approaches to Cyber Incident Management: In case of any crisis, the company must be resilient enough to keep the operations going. So, it must continuously improve the business continuity and incident response plans. Hence, companies must give crisis management training to all the staff.
- Outsourcing Cyber Security Tasks: Since digital transformation is a continuous process, it can be complex, and might expect substantial investments for a company. To mitigate these challenges, businesses can outsource the job to expert organizations that can help embrace digital transformation securely. These organizations possess the required capabilities and experience, expensive hardware, and software. Moreover, they can help the company avoid common mistakes and address cyber security issues.
Thinking what your course of action should be?
Since Cloud and multi-cloud drive digital transformation, confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data are important. Here are a few steps on how to secure cloud infrastructure:
- Enhance the security level in Cloud by accessing data flows and privacy requirements.
- Cyber security must be strongly aligned to business goals.
- Choose the right cloud partner which provides security consulting services and is an expert at it.
- Understand the challenges that hybrid workplaces pose and enhance security measures to counter the same.
- Due to several new ways of working, many new threats emerge. So, overcome them by identifying vulnerabilities.
We at CloudThat can help
Considering the increasing number of cyber-attacks on the Cloud, it is essential to prioritize Cloud security. To the organizations looking out for experts in Cloud security, CloudThat is a leading provider of Cloud training and consulting services. We can help strengthen your Cloud infrastructure by addressing all your security concerns. To know in detail about the services and solutions we offer, reach us today!
Due to the COVID19 situation, many businesses have gone remote. This means that they transfer their valuable data to Cloud – Experts predict that around 60% of them will be using external provider services by 2022. The World Economic Forum recommends that organizational design supports cyber security. This makes way to millions of jobs in cyber security. Explore How to build your career as a Cyber Security Analyst in 2021. The good news is that CloudThat has launched a new cyber security course under IoT. Join us to explore and launch an exciting career in cyber security!
WRITTEN BY Sweta Kulkarni