It’s a trend that has only been picking up steam in the COVID era: companies are moving many of their core operations to the cloud. And, if they’re already using cloud-based computing, companies are expanding their reliance on outsourced, off-site processing power, leaning more and more on providers like Amazon (AWS) and Microsoft (Azure) to do this.

With this new paradigm comes a lot of potential cost savings and convenience for companies of all shapes and sizes. However, it also comes with its fair share of security risks. As the cloud computing landscape increases in its complexity, approaches to data security need to adapt as well.

Mission Critical IT Systems is Colorado’s source for state-of-the-art IT and cybersecurity services, and it’s part of our ethos to continually educate our community on the evolving security threats we all need to contend with on a daily basis. In that effort, we’re exploring five of the most prominent and potentially devastating security risks that you need to know about in 2022 and beyond.

#1: Increasingly Sophisticated Malware

Any time data is transmitted to or from an internet-connected datastore—whether the purpose is to store that data, use it for some type of computation, or something else—there is the possibility that the data could be intercepted by nefarious software programs known collectively as malware.

One of the more common forms of malware we’re seeing in 2022 is ransomware. Ransomware is software developed with the expressed purpose of extorting money from victim companies using the threat of leaking or destroying critical data or data structures.

So far in 2022, some notable ransomware victims include Nvidia, the government of Costa Rica, and Toyota. This just goes to show that no matter how big or small your company is, malware and ransomware can make its way to your digital doorstep.

#2: Data Loss

In a recent survey of businesses that operate using cloud-based computing, a whopping 66% of them reported being seriously concerned about data loss. This worry is absolutely justified, too; after all, handing over the storage and control of your data to a Cloud Services Provider (CSP) is inherently fraught with at least some level of security risk.

cloud computingIf there is a breach or attack on the side of the CSP, suddenly your data could be compromised and there’s nothing that your IT team can do about it. To address this, businesses should utilize specialized cloud security capabilities that are unique to the way they integrate their operations with their CSP.

#3: Reduced Network Operations Transparency

As mentioned above, moving to the cloud can be a huge relief for companies of all stripes. But, when you offload any part of your workload or digital assets to the cloud, you also stand to lose some visibility into your network.

That is, unless you’re diligent about monitoring your network infrastructure without having to rely on cloud-based network monitoring, logging, or administration. This isn’t always easy, as many CSPs just presume you’ll be ok with them assuming control over large swaths of your network. Before agreeing to this, be sure you thoroughly understand the risks involved, and if you’re not sure, contact us for assistance.

#4: Falling Out of Compliance

It’s not surprising that alongside the increasing use of cloud-based computing there has also been the tightening of regulatory compliance requirements.

Industry standards entities like GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS release more and more stringent compliance codes every quarter. It’s not enough to simply stay abreast of these ongoing compliance changes—cloud-based businesses need to adapt to them, lest they fall out of compliance and lose favor within their respective markets.

This means constantly evaluating who can access data within your organization and what they can do with that data once they have it. Secondarily, having routine compliance audits conducted by a third party (preferably twice a year) can go a long way in maintaining peace of mind when it comes to regulatory compliance.

#5: Insecure APIs

Application Programming Interfaces (API) allow authorized applications to access cloud resources and data. API vulnerabilities are becoming a bigger and bigger cloud-based security risk in 2022. Among these vulnerabilities are broken user authentication, security misconfiguration, improper asset management, and insufficient logging, just to name a few.

The most successful approach to addressing insecure APIs is to always use an API gateway with a Phantom Token Approach for OAuth tokens.

Need Help Understanding Your Security Risks? Contact Us Today.

At Mission Critical IT Systems, we’re passionate about protecting you from the ever-growing list of security risks in the world today.

To learn more about how we can help you, contact our team now.