The high volume of data flowing between organizations and cloud service providers generates opportunities for accidental and malicious leaks of sensitive data to untrusted 3rd parties. Human error, insider threats, malware, weak credentials and criminal activity contribute to most cloud service data breaches. Malicious actors, including state-sponsored hackers, seek to exploit cloud service security vulnerabilities to exfiltrate data from the victim organization’s network for profit or other illicit purposes.
In general, the features that make cloud services easily accessible to employees and IT systems also make it difficult for organizations to prevent unauthorized access. However, the security challenges introduced by cloud services have not slowed the adoption of cloud computing and the decline in on-premise data centers. As a result, organizations of all sizes need to rethink their network security protocols to mitigate the risk of unauthorized data transfers, service disruptions and reputational damage.
Cloud services expose organizations to new security threats related to authentication and public APIs. Sophisticated hackers use their expertise to target cloud systems and gain access. Hackers employ social engineering, account takeover, lateral movement and detection evasion tactics to maintain a long-term presence on the victim organization’s network, often using the built in tools from the cloud services. Their goal is to transfer sensitive information to systems under their control.
Cloud services have transformed the way businesses store data and host applications while introducing new security challenges.
Attackers have two avenues of attack to compromise cloud resources:
When a main administrative account is compromised, it is far more detrimental to the security of the cloud network. With access to an administrative account, the attacker does not need to escalate privileges or maintain access to the enterprise network because the main administrative account can do all that and more.
This poses the question: How can the organization properly monitor misuse of CSP administrative privileges?
It is no longer enough to identify a suspicious login attempt to protect your cloud network. Modern day, sophisticated hackers are able to access an account through social engineering exploits, such as phishing. It is now essential to monitor the behavior of accounts that are already logged into and detect any suspicious activity.
The five main best practices to improve cloud security include:
Cloud security threats differ from traditional network threats in a few ways:
Cloud security compliance ensures that cloud services comply with specific regulatory and industry requirements. It is essential to maintain compliance with these industry requirements and guidelines.
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