Cloud computing is a term that many find somewhat confusing. There are many components that makeup cloud computing, such as private, public, and hybrid. We also have the delivery models of software, infrastructure as a service, and a forever increasing and expanding list of technologies, that use a wide variety of cloud classifications.
Trying to keep up with all the different innovations and opportunities that hit the market, can be somewhat difficult to keep track of. It is even more of a drag when attempting to keep on top of things, such as the current challenges, particularly those aimed at the security sector, in its relation to cloud computing and its availability in the market space.
In this particular article, we will be covering a number of the biggest trends for cloud computing, for this year and the following years to come.
- A massive increase in scale and velocity of account compromises
Roughly a third of all organizations have some kind of potential cloud account compromise, based on research. There are indications of an increase in the number of potential compromises, with organizations needing to enforce much stronger governance measures, along with access hygiene policies. All enterprises should have the correct mindset, one that looks at what will happen and how they intend to combat it, rather than resting on the hopes that nothing will ever happen. To do this, there must be the implementation of monitoring, to both detect and respond to user activities deemed suspicious, based on reported data.
- An Increased Awareness of Unauthorised User Access Controls
You will find that there is a vast array of root accounts, which lack multi-factor authentication (MFA). This means, when a hacker is able to get into it, they literally have full access to all the accounts on the system. It’s for this reason, why organizations want to implement additional access control measures. Ideally, measures that are robust, so that they prevent such authorized access. Organizations should question the reason why such root access is required to begin with.
- Improvement in Vulnerability Management
When an organization opts to move its workload over to a public cloud, it is given an immediate advantage over its competitors that are still using on-premises systems. This advantage is primarily in the area of vulnerability management, as the infrastructure of those cloud services are being constantly updated, which ensures your work is backed behind the strongest and latest security measures. However, companies must also do their part, by identifying vulnerable hosts, reports have shown that almost 25% of organizations have hosts that are missing critical updates for the full utilization of their cloud service.
- Lack of Cyber Laws
Many governments around the world have called for new stringent measures that will provide reliable security for businesses and customers that are on these cloud services. One event, in particular, the 2018 UNESCO Internet Governance Forum is a prime example, but there still is no consensus on the subject matter. Around the world, what we find, is a perceived difference in the area of access violation, security, protection against cybercriminals, and intellectual property rights, so international companies have no choice but to conform to the different regulations across the globe.
Diversity and uncertainty are two things that have an adverse effect on cloud security, due to the geographic diversity of the locations these data centers are situated in, and of course, where users may access them from. Additionally, there’s an increased demand for transparency, due to privacy awareness from the end-user. Whereas the customers of these cloud computing services may have only an elementary understanding of the security measures and security performance of the infrastructure that makes up the cloud.
From the point of view of the organizations, this particular trend means that government regulation, cloud security, and end-user privacy will all have a big part to play in IT investments and strategy. Organizations within the E.U. alone has spent in excess of $9 billion, just to prepare for the new GDPR regulations that were put in place, employing half a million new data protection agents.
Big international companies will soon require an increased level of cloud security in order to better respond to the following:
- New security rules and regulations.
- An increasing amount of cybercrime.
- Improvement in both privacy and security awareness amongst the end-users.
- Crypto-jacking attacks will decrease
The number of crypto-jacking attacks in the cloud has decreased due to the value drop in cryptocurrencies, combined with the improvement in detection infrastructure. This is information based on research data. Only around 10% of organizations were found to have experienced an increase in such activity, within their own private cloud setups. This means, that these companies will be able to take the necessary steps now, in order to better prepare for the inevitable second wave, when it does eventually occur.
- New Automation Tools
When we look at vulnerability management, what we witness are organizations that have moved to the cloud, due to the obvious advantages that it provides. However, that does not mean the cloud isn’t vulnerable, as it is, to a whole host of security issues. The types of vulnerabilities we’re talking about, include remote work logging, OT and IT convergence to APIs that are insecure, and misconfigured systems. All of these challenges are capable of making a situation worse. In order to eliminate these risks, some form of identification needs to be put in place. In enters the automotive tools. As they help in identifying and eliminating both static and dynamic vulnerabilities. Something they are able to do readily and consistently, over long periods of time.
- Go for BYOD Policies
BYOD simply refers to Bring Your Own Device. Though, you’ll find that both BYOD and IoT are two things that are taking over workplaces nowadays. The complications that they present are also increasingly on the rise. The many benefits associated with these policies, all come with their own set of issues. So, in order to combat this situation, organizations are forced to create a BYOD policy that is robust, able to account for these issues. To start, they can allow only devices that have been authorized and meet a specific specification. They may also want to hire additional staff that is fluent in the various systems that they permit.
About Author :
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website.