How Secure Cloud Services Are? by Myron Monets

Security issues in cloud computing is a very hot topic these days. The cloud technology is relatively new and keeps evolving. Nevertheless, it’s already surrounded by myths and facts which makes it even more interesting. The advantages of cloud computing services can bring to a business are very promising but we keep hearing about new data breaches and hacked service providers. These obstacles make it hard for businesses to decide whether this is the solution they need. Meanwhile, other modern technologies like IoT, VR and Big Data are using the cloud. To get to know more about cloud security challenges, let’s find out how do companies get hacked and what measures they take to avoid such a threat.

How the Cloud can be hacked

Attacking cloud services, hackers aim to either steal valuable information or overload access to servers so that they become inaccessible. As mentioned above, cloud technology is constantly evolving but it also means that cybercriminals constantly exploit new vulnerabilities.

Malware Injection Attacks

With malware injection attacks, there are, at least, 3 ways for a hacker to bypass authentication: SQL Injection (Sqlia), Cross-site Scripting (XSS), Command injection (CI). Each of these approaches has a different impact on the cloud which can result in data theft or even let the malice breach the cloud properties like multi-tenancy and virtualization.

To prevent this kind of attacks, a generic framework can be developed and deployed as a service. Any HTTP request should pass a detection process and a separate module would deploy a particular mechanism to prevent a particular attack (SQL injection, CI, XSS).

DoS and DDoS

Denial of service (DoS) and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are one of the most popular. A hacker or a group of hackers simultaneously try to access the service with the help of big enough number of devices infected with a virus (also called zombies). The servers simply can’t manage with such an excessive use and real users can’t use the service. This type of attacks can also be handled with. Large companies usually take a layered approach to this problem - source.

Side Channel Attacks (SCA)

By definition, SCA is an attack by third-party channels. These attacks are aimed at the vulnerability of the practical implementation of the cryptosystem. Thus, while the cloud services are deployed, all the internal processes are being analyzed by a virtual machine -  co-resident to the victim VM. Of course, there’s always a way to improve the security and in this case, better cryptographic algorithms are applied and more.

Phishing

Phishing is still very popular and the human factor is considered to be one of the top reasons a cloud got hacked. Cybercriminals use different techniques like emails, messages on social media and such to reach out to users and trick them to share their credentials. Using the same login details for different sites and services is very dangerous too. Once the bad guys break into one of your accounts, the first thing they will do is use the same set of credentials to break into any other possible account you could have in a chain reaction.

Conclusion

Cloud Security is a dark forest but it’s obvious that even if you're just another user of some services you should also know how to use the cloud and what measures you can take to increase your security. I’m sure that hackers would always find another way to attack the cloud but choosing a reputable solution like Amazon cloud services or google cloud services should give you some piece of mind. Moreover, large companies tend to hire more certified cloud security professionals and even hackers to make sure their solution is using the top-notch technologies and security measures. So, it looks like cloud services are far from being safe but they are not easy to get hacked as well. As long as cloud computing evolves, cloud security would get more and more complicated and comprehensive. In my opinion, even if machine learning algorithms would be applied, a talented hacker would also find a way in.


About the Author:

Currently, Myron is working at Mobilunity as a marketing assistant. He often interviews programmers to get a better understanding of what they do and how they do it. This gives him the ability to learn about new technologies directly from the experts. Also, Myron is interested in management and keeps improving these skills too. Writing helps him to share the experience and get some feedback from people around the globe.

 

October 1, 2018

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