15 Cloud Security Trends and How to Avoid Security Breaches in 2018

15 Cloud Security Trends 2018 –

Security breaches are fast on the rise. According to the San Diego-based non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), the number of U.S. data breaches tracked through June 30, 2017, hit a half-year record high of upto 29% from the same period in 2016. The ITRC anticipates that at the current rate, there could be a 37% annual increase in the number of breaches in 2017 compared to 2016.

Security issues continue to be an issue with technology. Cloud solutions are no exception to this precedent. The data breach of credit reporting agency Equifax, resulted in the exposure of millions of sensitive personal information including people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, driver’s license numbers, and credit card numbers. There have been reports of security breaches on the UIDAI platform. Bank breaches are an increasingly common occurrence, mostly due to the adoption of open banking practices that leave the user more vulnerable than ever.

Technology research and advisory firm Gartner expects worldwide information security spending to reach $93B in 2018 compared to $86.4B in 2017, while its peer IDC expects the global revenue for security technology to reach $101.6B in 2020.

Here’s an indepth look at 15 cloud security trends and what you can do to avoid them in 2018.

  1. Insider Attacks

Over the past year, the data breaches at credit reporting agency Equifax, and health insurance firm Anthem Inc, were down to the human factor – insider misuse or human mistakes. These breaches clearly demonstrate that building even the most robust external defense is insufficient, since employees and contractors possibly pose an even bigger threat to cybersecurity than hackers do.

The 2017 IT Risks Survey by Netwrix discovered that many organizations still struggle to gain visibility into user activities within their IT environments. This often leaves the organizations vulnerable and , helpless against insider breaches. Organizations are realizing that the unauthorized activities of users who have legitimate access to their systems and data can result in even more harm than sophisticated attacks from the outside.

Moreover, as Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigation Report notes, employee data theft can take months or years to discover. The growing challenge of ensuring data security and integrity, as well as proving compliance with industry regulations, will make organizations shift their focus to insider threats and pay more attention to what users are doing in their critical systems.

  1. Human Error

The human element remains the weakest link in cloud security. In cloud computing, the human error risk multiplies, as misappropriated/compromised credentials are able to play havoc with significant cloud data and applications. Phishing, frauds and other social engineering forms usually enable cyber hackers to steal these credentials and potentially hijacking cloud user accounts.

Weak defense not just allows more attacks, but can also lead company users to make errors that  can cost the entire enterprise. CASB solutions are one of the best antidotes to guard against threats coming from human errors. IT departments should also provide enterprise security education to users, deploy strong use policies and also apply cloud security practices. 2018 will also see the further increase in the use of BYOD mobile devices, which necessitates the utilization of good cloud security tools.

  1. Ubiquity of BYOD Devices/ IoT Challenge

The rising phenomenon of BYOD adopted by many enterprises and devices incorporating IoT technology are not secure enough. Personal data becomes vulnerable in the process. Default passwords and faulty communication methods are at the center of faulty security apparatus. Breaches of privacy due to the use of Internet of Things devices that have next to no inbuilt security, will continue to rise in 2018.

  1. Advanced Analytics for better cloud security

Many enterprises use multiple security products such as Security information and event management (SIEMs), antivirus software and data loss prevention (DLP) tools. Such solutions generate humongous data, which makes spotting critical signs that predict data breaches like the proverbial search for the needle in a haystack. To gain a better understanding of what is happening across the IT environment, organizations need advanced analytics tools that can process data from multiple sources and flag threats to sensitive data. The growing adoption of technologies such as User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) will enable organizations to establish stricter control over their IT infrastructures and better understand vulnerabilities, so security holes are fixed before data breaches occur.

  1. Tailored Security solutions

The global cybersecurity market is evolving constantly, while solutions that address similar pain points differently are also growing rapidly. While the need for data protection grows stronger by the passing day, the days of a one-solution-fits-all approach are behind us. Each organisation is different in IT infrastructure needs, size, capability, industry and budget. Security vendors now have to offer more personalized security solutions that empowers organizations to implement solutions tailored to their unique requirements. What this also means for smaller software providers is that they can now compete with larger but less flexible vendors, by providing more customised offerings.

  1. Continuous Monitoring

In 2017, Gartner proposed a Continuous Risk and Trust Assessment Approach (CARTA), recognising that security is a continuous process of regular review, reassessment and adjustment, rather than a set-it-once-and-forget-it thing. In 2018, this approach has the potential to become more a mainstream strategy for organizations, better defining how they evaluate and mitigate cyber-risks. Proper real-time assessment of risk and trust in the IT environment enables companies to make better decisions regarding their security posture. This helps organisations make the correct calls in granting additional access rights to the right individuals only after carefully studying the history of their actions in order to avoid privilege abuse.

  1. Blockchain

Blockchain technology has emerged as an innovative approach to addressing the increasing volume and sophistication of cyber threats to security strengthening. Data is stored in a decentralized and distributed manner, which means that instead of residing in one location, data is stored as an open source ledger in Blockchain. This blocks mass data hacking and enables organizations to prevent data tampering, since other participants in the blockchain network would be immediately alerted to any ledger changes. Blockchain is a major technological leap in the security of sensitive information and has the potential to become a major security technology, especially for highly regulated industries such as financial institutes and law firms.

  1. Detection versus prevention

The IT security industry’s focus is seeing a definite move towards real-time threat detection. Going forward, there will be sharper focus on detection as more money will flow into security detection through Deep Learning and Machine Learning-based threat discovery models. While organizations should continue to do the basics right, they should quickly deploy tools that can promptly detect threats by mining through large network-based data sets.

  1. DevSecOps

DevOps emerged as a successful recent model to keep up with the ever-growing need to deliver software systems at a high pace. Focus on application development alone isn’t sustainable as building security in parallel is critical for this model’s long term success. Expect the focus to move from DevOps to DevSecOps in 2018. The online integration of tools to check for security flaws in code, even as it is being developed will be the highlight of the year 2018.

  1. Determining responsibility

Some enterprises incorrectly assume that the job of securing their data and workloads present on the cloud is the responsibility of cloud service providers. The latter’s obligations are restricted to what is detailed in their contracted service-level agreement. Data retention, security and resilience remain the responsibility of users only. Firms need to check cloud provider’s model of shared responsibility and take necessary steps towards enterprise cloud security.

  1. Perils of Shared Technology

Enterprise security is often compromised by cloud models like Software-As-A-Service, where cloud providers provide service scalability by shared platforms, without altering existing software much.

These infrastructural components supporting cloud services are not necessarily designed for actual use cases in multi-customer application or multi-tenant architecture. T often results in shared-technology-vulnerability that can be well exploited by all provisioning models.

  1. Ransomware Attacks

Cyber criminals will move towards less traditional, more profitable ransomware targets including high net-worth individuals, connected devices, and businesses, even as vendor defences, user education, and industry strategies will counter traditional ransomware campaigns. Cybersecurity firm McAfee argues that that organisations must augment machine judgment and the speed of orchestrated responses with human strategic intellect. This will help firms understand and anticipate cyber attack patterns.

Ransomware technologies will find extended applications to cyber sabotage and disruption of organisations, even as business rivals seek to inflict greater damage. In turn, this trend will spawn new variations of cybercrime business models as well as the expansion of the cyber insurance market.

  1. Serverless apps: reduce costs, while increasing attack surface areas

Serverless apps are a growing fad given their convenience of use but they are also vulnerable to cyberattacks exploiting privilege escalation and application dependencies. Such apps have further vulnerabilities to attacks on data in transit across a network, and potentially to brute-force denial of service attacks, in which the serverless architecture fails to scale and incurs expensive service disruptions.

  1. The Information Wars

Data is the new oil and information wars have become a dominant aspect of cybersecurity with theft of personal data that leaves people in vulnerable states. The presidential elections of the United States of America brought to the limelight cyber security issues of the even the presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Where an attempt to humiliate an opponent or make confidential controversial data public, information wars are here to stay.

  1. Boosting Security with ML and AI

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are the future for winning the war against cyber criminals. Machine learning models that predict and accurately identify cyber attacks swiftly are the most powerful weapon in the arsenal of cyber security professionals and will continue to be trained and honed.

To conclude, defending the company’s private, public and hybrid cloud resources will be the primary focus for all startups, SMBs and large enterprises in 2018. It is the company’s responsibility to safeguard their users from cyber threats.The minimal approach to security and compliance will no longer hold good for safeguarding cloud resources. A comprehensive cloud management platform like Botmetric can perform real-time scan for cloud compliance to identify risks and security violations, assess and mitigate vulnerabilities and balance multiple cloud compliance policies like PCI-DSS, HIPAA, CIS etc. under a single pane.