Major Cloud Security Challenges and How to Overcome Them

DateJun 3, 2024

As businesses migrate to the cloud, robust cloud security measures have never been more critical. While the cloud offers unparalleled flexibility, scalability, and cost-efficiency, it also presents unique security challenges that can risk sensitive data and operations.    

From data breaches and compliance issues to insider threats and misconfigurations, the landscape of cloud security is complex and constantly evolving. In this blog, we explore the top 7 significant cloud security challenges.      

What is Cloud Security?   

Cloud security includes the controls, policies, procedures, and technologies that collaborate and work together to protect cloud-based systems, infrastructure, and data. Also, these security measures are developed to safeguard and preserve cloud-based workloads from cyber threats and make compliant regulations.    

Also, Effective cloud network security strategies involve a holistic approach that includes client identity and access management (CIAM), robust encryption methods, advanced threat detection and response mechanisms, and rigorous continuous monitoring.    

By implementing these strategies, organizations can enhance their cloud security posture, mitigate risks, and protect their critical digital assets.   

Top 7 Cloud Security Challenges and How to Overcome Them  

1.Securing Third-Party Software and Insecure APIs

Vulnerable third-party software and insecure APIs can broaden an enterprise’s attack surface by accidentally offering excessive access. Only 18% of organizations have optimal permission boundaries for third-party apps. All enterprises commission third-party apps in SDLCs, which are part of the software supply chain, and communicate with each other through APIs. If neglected or mismanaged, the software supply chain can be cautious about different cyberattacks.  

How to Overcome:  

Implement strict access controls and regularly audit permissions.  

Use API gateways and secure coding practices to minimize vulnerabilities.  

Conduct thorough security assessments of third-party software before integration.  

Implement continuous monitoring and automated security testing for APIs.  

2.Lack of Visibility

Most cloud environments combine SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS components. Companies often use hybrid models with private and public clouds, and some configure their cloud infrastructures with on-premises data centers. The sheer volume of concurrent cloud apps and technologies can overwhelm organizations, making cloud security a nightmare.  

How to Overcome:  

Use unified monitoring tools to gain comprehensive visibility across all cloud environments.  

Implement Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs) to enforce security policies.  

Establish a centralized log management system for better tracking and analysis.  

Regularly review and update your asset inventory to keep track of all cloud resources.  

3.Cybersecurity Skills Shortage

Cybersecurity is another cloud data security challenge that shortens your skills. A deficiency of cybersecurity talent often makes businesses overly reliant on SaaS products, knowledge banks, external security resources to solve cloud-native security challenges.  

This also states that its good time now for businesses to embrace shift-left initiatives and empower their developers to deal with security  

This also means that now is a good time for organizations to embrace shift-left initiatives and empower their developers to deal with security challenges early in the SDLC.   

How to Overcome:  

Invest in continuous training and upskilling of existing IT staff.  

Promote shift-left security practices by integrating security early in the development process.  

Utilize managed security service providers (MSSPs) to supplement internal capabilities.  

Foster a culture of security awareness and encourage collaboration between development and security teams.  

4.Cloud Data Governance

Data is an organization’s prime resource. Within vast banks of cloud data, crown jewels like PII, PHI, and PCI need the most robust protection and governance. Cloud data governance challenges include visibility across GCP, Azure public buckets, AWS, and managed databases, data exposure detection, understanding lineage and data fow, compliance adherence, and identifying and eliminating attack paths in cloud environments that lead to sensitive data.  

How to Overcome:  

Implement robust data classification and encryption strategies.  

Use Data Loss Prevention (DLP) tools to monitor and protect sensitive information.  

Ensure compliance with relevant regulations through regular audits and assessments.  

Utilize data discovery and lineage tools to maintain control over data flow.  

5.Shadow IT

Shadow IT can be stated as the any type of data that is not under the stewardship of an enterprise’s security team or IT. This data can be also stated as Shadow IT part phenomenon, which is not approved use of IT sources that includes IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS services, server, API.s and hardware.  

How to Overcome:  

Establish clear policies and guidelines for IT resource usage.  

Implement CASBs to monitor and control unauthorized cloud services.  

Foster a culture of collaboration between IT and other departments to streamline approval processes.  

Use discovery tools to identify and manage shadow IT resources.  

6.Handling a Rising Attack Surface

Cheap and single-click scalability is the most comprehensive benefit of cloud computing. Also, the trade-off scalability is vigorously exploring and expanding the surface of attack.  

This expansion leads to rising cloud assets volume that incorporates human and service identities, serverless virtual machines, appliances, IaC services, and data. 

These cloud assets are susceptible to various security risks, such as accidental public exposure of secrets and access keys and weak passwords and credentials.  

How to Overcome:  

Regularly perform vulnerability assessments and penetration testing.  

Implement strict access management and use multi-factor authentication (MFA).  

Automate tools are used to detect and remediate misconfigurations.  

Employ network segmentation and micro-segmentation to limit the attack surface.  

7.Multi-Cloud Security

Also, the security challenges of cloud computing include data compliance, governance, visibility, workload misconfigurations, malware threats, and IAM challenges. Also, businesses mainly accept many of these risk threats to ward off the most severe dangers with robust cybersecurity defenses. However, complications arise when adopting multi-cloud strategies, as multi-cloud environments worsen inherent cloud challenges and make cloud security a monumental challenge.  

How to Overcome:  

 Standardize security policies and controls across all cloud server providers.  

Use multi-cloud management platforms to maintain consistent security postures.  

Implement unified identity and access management (IAM) solutions.  

Conduct regular security training focused on multi-cloud environments and their specific challenges.    

Wrapping Up   

Cloud web security presents numerous challenges for organizations, each requiring a strategic and proactive approach to mitigate risks effectively. By understanding the top challenges—securing third-party software and APIs, maintaining visibility, addressing the cybersecurity skills shortage, ensuring robust cloud data governance, managing shadow IT, handling an expanding attack surface, and securing multi-cloud environments—businesses can develop comprehensive security strategies that safeguard their cloud infrastructure.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the major cloud security challenges?

The major cloud security challenges include securing third-party software and APIs, which can broaden the attack surface if not properly managed. Lack of visibility into cloud environments is another significant issue, making it difficult to monitor and manage cloud assets effectively.

How do you overcome cloud challenges? 

 Overcoming cloud challenges requires a multifaceted approach. Implementing stringent access controls and continuous monitoring can help secure third-party software and APIs. Utilizing unified monitoring tools and Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs) enhances visibility.

How to overcome the security issues to build a secure cloud platform? 

Building a secure cloud platform involves several key measures. Implement strict access controls, including multi-factor authentication (MFA) and role-based access controls (RBAC), to secure user and service identities. Utilize advanced monitoring and logging tools to detect and respond to security incidents in real-time.

What are the three main security threats on the cloud?

The three main cloud computing security threats on the cloud are data breaches, misconfigurations, and insider threats. Data breaches involve unauthorized access to sensitive information stored in the cloud, leading to data theft and exposure. 


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