Posts Tagged Cloud Security

Cloud Computing Security: Challenges & Solutions

Cloud computing is a vast term that covers a wide range of technology resources that are delivered “as-a-service” via an internet connection. The cloud services include software-as-a-Service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). All these cloud computing models provide a different level of service, control, and responsibility.

When switching to a cloud computing model, business organizations need to be aware of the following cloud computing challenges:

  • Potential Loss Or Theft Of Intellectual Property: IP represents competitive advantages for a business, so a loss of IP may have a tangible impact on the business’s market share. Fraudsters may use this IP information to create fake products and cheaper processes since they don’t cover research & development costs.
  • Regulatory Compliance Violations: Cloud computing service providers may not meet the strict regulatory compliance standards of the industry. It can lead to compliance violations for businesses availing these services.
  • Reduced Visibility Of Cloud Environment: Some Cloud Service Providers do not provide visibility into the cloud environment. This problem is more intense in SaaS solutions because PaaS and IaaS solutions offer more visibility. After all, in these cases, users are expected to do their configuration and management for the cloud environment.
  • Lateral Attack Spread: If defense-in-depth controls of a cloud environment are not strong enough, it can be easier for an attacker to spread from one workload on the cloud to the next. Thus, multiple databases or apps can be compromised quickly during a breach.
  • Increased Complexity Of Security: Businesses that work with multiple cloud service providers have to face several different complicated cloud security processes. For example, one CSP may require multi-factor authentication using text messages, while another CSP may use a different authentication method. It increases process complexity making it difficult for users to access various cloud solutions in their day-to-day workflows.

Solutions To Cloud Computing Security Challenges

  • Limit Cloud Computing Vendors: Different Cloud Service Providers may have different security tools and processes, making it difficult for businesses to manage their cloud solutions. This challenge can be handled by trying to limit the cloud computing vendors. Companies should try to source as many cloud solutions from a single vendor as possible.
  • Verify Your Access To Information: Visibility into the cloud environment is vital for ensuring cybersecurity. So, verify the level of access to information that Cloud Service Provider would offer. With greater visibility into the cloud environment, businesses can more easily track and control security.
  • Verify Security SLAs: Verifying security SLAs (Service Level Agreements) before signing an agreement with CSP helps to ensure that the service provider will meet the industry’s cybersecurity standards and protect the business from extended service disruptions.
  • Consult A Cybersecurity Expert: Get assistance from cybersecurity experts before switching to the cloud computing model.

We, at Centex Technologies, help businesses in switching to cloud computing. We offer IT consulting services for educating businesses on their cloud computing requirements and ensuring cybersecurity. For more details on challenges & solutions related to cloud computing security, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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Best Practices For Cloud Security

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Different Areas Of Cyber Security

Cyber security strategies aim at protecting any user or organization’s inter-connected systems, hardware, software, and data from cyber attacks. Absence of stringent cyber security strategies can offer an opportunity for hackers to access the computer system and network and misuse organization’s data such as trade secrets, customer data, etc.

In order to formulate an efficient cyber security strategy, it is imperative to pay heed to all areas of cyber security.

Following are different areas of cyber security:

  • Critical Infrastructure Security: This area of critical infrastructure security consists of cyber-physical systems that modern societies rely on. Some examples of such systems include electricity grid, water purification, traffic lights, shopping centers, hospitals, etc. Hackers can attack the vulnerable infrastructure systems to gain access to connected devices. Organizations which are responsible for managing the infrastructure systems should perform due diligence to understand the vulnerabilities for society’s safety. Other organizations which are not responsible for the systems but rely on them for some part of their business operations should develop contingency plans to be prepared for any cyber attack or network breach that can be launched via an infrastructure system.
  • Application Security: It is one of the most important areas of cyber security strategies of an organization. The branch of application security uses both software and hardware methods to tackle external threats that can arise in development or implementation stage of an application. As applications are majorly accessible over network, they are highly vulnerable. Thus, it becomes highly important to include application security in cyber security strategy of an organization. Types of application security include antivirus programs, firewalls, and encryption programs. Application security techniques ensure that unauthorized access to applications is prevented. Also, these techniques can help organizations in detecting sensitive data sets and implementing relevant measures to protect these data sets.
  • Network Security: This area of cyber security guards an organization against unauthorized intrusion of internal networks due to malicious intent. Network security protocols inhibit access to internal networks by protecting the infrastructure. For better management of network security monitoring, network security teams use machine learning to flag abnormal traffic and issue threat alerts in real time. Common examples of network security protocols include multi-level logins, password security, etc.
  • Cloud Security: Cloud security is a software-based security tool that monitors and protects organizational or personal data stored in cloud resources. Increasing use of cloud services has made way for stringent cloud security strategies.
  • IoT Security: IoT devices can be highly vulnerable and open to cyber security attacks for numerous reasons including unawareness of users. Threat actors target IoT’s data centers, analytics, consumer devices, networks, legacy embedded systems and connectors. So, organizations have to implement stringent IoT security protocols.

For more information on different areas of cyber security, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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Common Malware Entry Points

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The Risks Of Cloud-Hosted Data

With the increasing need of improving efficiency and reducing latency, most organizations are opting for cloud-based services. However, there are some risks associated with using third party cloud hosting services. These risks may have an impact on various aspects of business which could have financial, legal and technical implications.

Some of the common risks associated with cloud-hosted data are:

  • Consumer Visibility & Control: As the operations of an organization are transitioned to the cloud, it results in shifting of some responsibilities to CSP (Content Security Policy), which may lead to organization losing visibility or control over certain operations and assets. For example, network based monitoring and logging, limits an organization from accessing the details about its own application or data which should otherwise be easily accessible to the IT department. Thus, it is important to thoroughly ask the cloud service provider about various cloud hosting models and the level of control available before transitioning the operations.
  • Unauthorized Use: In order to inculcate user-friendly approach, some cloud hosting service providers may allow self-service to the users. This gives end users the authority to add more services without seeking necessary permission from the IT department of the organization. The lack of extra security increases the chances of addition of malicious links or code in the application and use of unsupported software, which can lead to enormous security breaches. This makes it important to understand access levels and service specifications provided by cloud hosting company.
  • Cloud Data May Be Compromised: Most of the business applications use APIs (Application Programming Interface) to manage and interact with the cloud services. If there are any vulnerabilities in API security, hackers may access and attack cloud resources and data of an organization. Compromised organization assets can be further used to perpetrate attack against other linked customers.
  • Exploitation Of Software Vulnerabilities: A shared cloud hosting service is simultaneously used by different organizations. Thus, it is important for the service provider to maintain clear separation between the resources of different cloud hosting users. If the infrastructure fails to maintain this separation, it leads to the risk of cloud data leakage. This loophole provides the hackers a chance to access the cloud resources and assets of an organization to launch a successful data breach.
  • Stolen Credentials: If organization’s credentials are compromised, hackers can easily take over the entire application which could result in Identity Theft attacks, deleted information, defamation of application interface, etc.

The risks associated with cloud-hosted data may lead to financial losses. Also, the cyber-attacks resulting from these risks mark a blow to the reputation of an organization. Thus, it is important to choose a cloud-hosting model and service provider after thorough diligence.

For more information on managing the risks of cloud-hosted data, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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