With each passing year, cyber-security reaches new levels becoming increasingly sophisticated. But as cyber-security becomes more formidable, cyber-threats and the rate of malicious attacks increase proportionately. This and the many controversial security threats in 2018 subsequently led to wide concerns regarding the volatility in cloud security. Apparently, many organizations still believe cloud security has a lot of exploitable vulnerabilities.

Despite this, cloud spending is at an all-time high according to Gartner. The report from the popular research firm found that public cloud spending in 2018 exceeded $170 billion. A little over $10 billion was spent on cloud security and management. Gartner also predicts that the number will go up by at least 20% this year.

While cloud security professionals are already coming up with great new ways to combat breaches similar to the ones that turned heads in 2018, cloud security still needs more advancements considering that the increasing complexity of cloud environments are bringing forth newer, tougher security challenges.

That said, let’s check out a few such challenges that enterprises may have to beat this year.

Cloud complexity is on a whole another level

The cloud is already a complex technology. With businesses embracing multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments more than before, cloud complexity has reached even greater levels making data storage and transfers much harder.

The benefits of a multi-cloud architecture are enticing more businesses to come forward and adopt it, though only a few of the adopters are thoughtful enough to invest in a multi-cloud management strategy. Even with a strategy in place, a multi-cloud ecosystem presents a lot of data security and data management challenges.

So essentially, businesses will be operating on a highly volatile multi-cloud environment spanning on and off-premises systems, and more than one platform. The challenge is to develop advanced solutions and devise efficient implementation strategies to not only retain some amount of control but also to stabilize the environment.

Data breaches will cost a lot

As more businesses adopt the cloud, it’s safe to assume that more critical and sensitive data will be shifted to the cloud. Hence, any potential breach would be ridiculously expensive.

According to a Cost of Data Breach study by IMB and Ponemon in 2018, the global average cost of data breach went up as high as $3.86 million. This was a 6.4% increase compared to the data breach cost in 2017.

In 2019, the stakes are higher which means the data breach cost figure is likely to go even higher. Adding to the challenge is the rising complexity of how data breach attacks are carried out. It’s not at all easy even to detect a breach.

Threats are smarter now

Modern businesses are smarter thanks to powerful technologies like AI and big data. But they seem to have neglected the fact that technology is a double-edged sword. Thanks to technology, cyber-criminals are now capable of executing smarter attacks as well; even capable of using virtual assistants and chatbots for attacks.

Cyber-criminals can now develop chatbots that can superimpose themselves on websites and bait visitors into clicking malicious links, reveal sensitive information, or download malware-attached files.

Evolving mobility & BYOD

Back in the day, enterprises stored their sensitive data in the company premises on a tightly-guarded internal server. Data management was not that hard. But such a system may sound like a thing of the past now. This is the age of BYOD.

BYOD or Bring Your Own Devices is the norm now, as employees of an organization are no longer confined like enterprise data on on-premise servers. Authorized employees can now access official company data on their personal mobile devices, and from anywhere in the world. This means the likelihood of employees accessing sensitive data over public Wi-Fi or shared networks cannot be neglected.

This in turn means that the cyber-security department of the enterprise must be capable of protecting the data that’s probably getting transferred from one continent to another.

Employees will also be utilizing convenient data transfer techniques like for instance, over Slack or Google Drive or by sharing via DropBox. An enterprise won’t be having control over such platforms, making it difficult for them to remain GDPR and HIPPA-compliant. Making the matter more complex is the looming threat of data breaches.

One approach that’s widely considered to counter such scenarios is to invest in active directories or single sign-on (SSO) identity so that all devices can be brought under one network, enabling companies to instantly shut down all devices if a threat is suspected or identified.

Things to take into account

Smarter tech apparently invites smarter hackers. And while 2019 is widely considered as the year when smarter technologies become more accessible, technology professionals have their work cut out for them. This is of paramount importance to companies that have invested in cloud computing technologies as they will soon be forced to face and overcome a number of difficult security challenges this year.

Well thought out cloud security strategies and practices, data safety planning, and diligence are probably the most important things that can save enterprises from losing millions in a data breach. Professionals using the cloud will need to exercise caution during exchanges of sensitive data. They will need to figure out stricter password policies and learn about potential phishing techniques.

Conclusion

Data breach is an avoidable scenario of course. But avoiding data breach and overcoming security challenges today will require on-cloud enterprises to invest more money and time into securing their data just in case. They will have to make sure that their employees are aware of what’s at stake with regular security awareness workshops.

Ultimately, they have to realize that ensuring cloud security is not the responsibility of one particular department in an organization. It’s a shared responsibility that demands knowledge, diligence, and dedication. If your organization has already moved to the cloud and is willing to invest in augmenting cloud security, AOT’s cloud expertise could be what you are looking for. We can ensure that your organization gets the best out of its cloud in terms of benefits and security. Get in touch with us.

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