Top 4 Cloud Security Challenges You Need to Know

By School of Professional Advancement | Date Friday, November 2nd, 2018

Some of the most costly and widespread data breaches of all time occurred due to vulnerabilities in cloud protection. Because you rely on cloud technology so heavily, it can seem impenetrable. You upload, download and process data through the cloud, and often take it for granted that your media and information are neatly tucked away, free from prying eyes or hackers’ grasps. But when it comes to the cloud, not everything is what it seems. Organizations need to address and preempt security issues to ensure the user experience is fast, smooth, and as carefree as possible. By doing so, you accomplish two things: provide the best possible security measures, and fuel what some research firms deem a multi-billion dollar industry. Think you have what it takes to cash in on an area that serves individuals, massive corporations, and everyone and everything in-between? Here are the top four cloud security challenges you could face:

1. Migration

As the IT executive, you’ll identify a secure cloud service that’s right for your organization. The service provider will migrate operations from your current state to its platform. It’s in this process where you could experience a headache or several. The relocation of data is expensive, time consuming, and is a period of vulnerability. The late nights and quantity of bandwidth needed to migrate your system could leave other parts of your IT infrastructure open for attack. Before you migrate, run through different cyber attack scenarios with your team so that everyone is prepared for the unexpected. This fresh perspective could also help you identify other security areas that need patching and repairs that you might not have otherwise discovered.

2. Data Loss

If you experience a data breach, your company and your customers will usually still retain the compromised data. It might all be out in cyberspace for the world to see, but it still exists and it’s still yours. Imagine if the opposite happened, if the data wasn’t publicized but, rather, was completely erased, gone forever. It could be malware, it could be hackers, it could be a natural disaster that wipes out your data centers. Whatever it is, you need to be aware of server locations and disaster recovery strategy. Part of your job as head of IT need to be asking the right questions about business continuity procedures. Hurricane Florence caused almost 1 million power outages in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. It’s important to establish, test, and update your policies and procedures to ensure seamlessness in the case of flooding, electrical outages, or other natural disasters—prime times for data breaches.

3. Human Error: User

The biggest threat to the cloud may not be system weaknesses, hackers, or negligence in your IT department. It may actually be the end user. Security giant Gartner predicts that by 2020, 95% of security failures will be the customer’s fault. But you can only control the products and services you sell, not the customer’s behavior, right? Well, this is certainly a challenge but one you can still address strategically. As the top tech executive, you must be nimble and ready to pivot. Think of ways your company can take advantage of opportunities that reduce human error and promote automation. Perhaps your traditional data center is more problematic than public cloud infrastructure. If you’re in banking, maybe your online app doesn’t prompt users to regularly change their passwords and security questions, creating vulnerabilities. It’s up to you whether your customers are your biggest asset, or your worst enemy; make sure security updates are regular and intuitive so that your end users can do their part to help boost security.

4. Human Error: Insider

Not all human error can be blamed on your customers. Though not as prevalent, insider threats are definitely as costly. Insider threats are responsible for upwards of half of security breaches that take place. It doesn’t matter if the insider is malicious about it or makes an honest mistake, the consequences could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The data breaches that occurred with consumer credit bureau Equifax and professional services firm Deloitte involved insiders that exacerbated breaches that could’ve been contained. In another example, a clean energy engineer left one job for another and brought with him software that made wind turbines more efficient. The damage to the new job was reportedly worth over $1 billion in shareholder equity and 700 jobs.

Tulane University’s online Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Management program is designed to teach you how to think critically to solve high-risk technology problems and package that into a successful business model that has the ability to adapt as necessary over time. If you’re ready to solve the tough IT problems, discover the tools you’ll need at Tulane’s School of Professional Advancement.