11.3.2016

 security-in-the-cloud

 4 Top Security Concerns

Everyone today knows about “The Cloud” because it’s taking over our activities from email to binging on Netflix, but many people are unsure of the security side of the cloud. There are many threats and sources of confusion.

To help you get a handle on security needs and learn what to look for when choosing a cloud partner, we’ll investigate four of the biggest cloud security concerns.

  1. Data Breaches

Data breaches are at the top of every list of cloud concerns, because their impact can be overwhelming. Target, for example, had a breach where it lost information for 110 million people, which may have included payment information. If it cost target $1 to notify each person and provide them with ID protection and monitoring, then the loss would be $110 million before it paid staff or an outside company to investigate the cause of the breach.

The $110 million could quickly increase in an order of magnitude when all the costs, fines, brand damage, potential criminal charges, loss of business and more are added.

Cloud environments face many data breach threats because they’re connected to the internet at large. This means there’s an avenue for any outside party to attempt to access the platform. Cloud services are only as good as their data protection. Without strong security, they will likely lose money in the immediate and long term, placing a company at risk of significant harm.

Top ways to increase security are to adopt multi-factor authentication, limit access points for the most secure information, continually enhance encryption technology and review access regularly.

  1. Hacked Authentication of Stolen Credentials

Hackers aren’t always geniuses sitting in a basement writing binary on grainy monitors. Sometimes they’re simply in the right place at the right time, and other times they are masters of the conversation, able to overwhelm professionals through social engineering.

All of these methods can lead to found or stolen credentials, which open your information completely. When someone is able to access your system with authenticated credentials, they gain the run of the data — and it can be extremely difficult to pinpoint whenever this intrusion occurred and who was responsible.

You can limit this concern by adopting two-factor authentication that pairs a user with a device and requires multiple inputs for safety reasons. This can be as simple as requiring security questions even when calling IT to get a user name or creating a single repository of credential data with checks that may include visuals, photos and more.

Each deployment’s requirement set is unique to the brand.

  1. Data Loss

The loss of information from a cloud intrusion can destroy a brand, especially since most cloud providers require storage of data in a publically shard cloud. If someone infiltrates your systems and steals customer information, then deletes it permanently from your accounts, you’d be placed in a very tricky situation. Not only would you have to explain the intrusion to your customer, you’d be put in a place of asking for the payment information again, giving each person the ability to say “no.” The request coming hot on the heels of the data loss makes that “no” all the more likely.

Another scenario is that you lose the information about when your subscribers are due to renew. You may be forced to ask them for records or give everyone a year of free service (if you offer an annual subscription) to avoid double-billing.

The good news is that many cloud service providers, like Optimal IdM, offer their own redundancy options for keeping your data safe. It’s also typically easy to create your own backups with local storage that are harder to access. Hackers would need to take significant time to target these backups, increasing their exposure without increasing their reward, so it’s less likely that they will be pursued. Better yet, Optimal IdM provides a private cloud scenario doesn’t require data to be synched.

  1. DoS

Denial of Service attacks are as old as the internet. They, unfortunately, are making corporate rounds because of cloud systems. They are low-tech but successful because most platforms and websites aren’t designed to handle large amounts of traffic or to look for malicious activities across an incredibly large number of site visits.

Not only does a DoS attack typically knock a website out of commission, but it also uses a very large amount of processing power and bandwidth on the application side. That cost is passed on to the customer, and it can quickly increase.

Your cloud provider will likely offer some DoS protection, but you should always check and see about the safety it offers on smaller scales, such as those that target a web server or a known database vulnerability.

How to Answer Cloud Security Confusion

The OptimalCloud is our answer to the top security concerns for cloud platforms and their access. We use a single sign-on (SSO) architecture that limits the availability of credential losses and hacking.

Our robust platform also supports the latest in firewall technology, so you can run full internal protections and offer proper protections from each of your cloud applications but still rely on The OptimalCloud to keep user authentication secure. You’re not limited in safeguarding your offerings.

Tags

  • The database in which all of your organization’s sensitive identity data is stored.
  • A digital ledger in which digital transactions are recorded chronologically and publicly.
  • Securely managing customer identity and profile data, and controlling customer access to applications and services.
  • The means of linking a person's electronic identity and attributes, stored across multiple distinct identity management systems.
  • A legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the EU.
  • The policy-based centralized orchestration of user identity management and access control.
  • An authentication infrastructure that is built, hosted and managed by a third-party service provider.
  • A security system that requires more than one method of authentication from independent categories of credentials to verify the user's identity for a login or other transaction.
  • A global provider of innovative and affordable identity access management solutions. 
  • Managing and auditing account and data access by privileged users.
  • Tools and technologies for controlling user access to critical information within an organization.
  • An authentication process that allows a user to access multiple applications with one set of login credentials.