Cloud Security Tips: How to Prevent Hackers from Breaching Your Cloud
Recent data system breaches at Oracle and Sage remind us all that the continuous threat of criminal hacking of cloud security systems is not abating. Rather, it’s becoming routine. Business managers, lawmakers, and computing professionals must understand the motivation behind this activity if they want to protect business interests and thwart attacks effectively. Perhaps the biggest challenge is that the hacking community is a diverse and complex universe—a large variety of skilled players and several motivators. Only by understanding the motives of criminal security hackers is it possible to profile computer crimes. With solid profiles and some basic cloud security tips in hand, security professionals can better predict future activity and install the appropriate safeguards.
The majority of security professionals are likely to devote far more time to analyze the technical and mechanical aspects of cybercrime than to the social and psychological dimensions. Of course, dissecting malware, examining hacker tools, and analyzing their code is critical. However, in order to comprehend the nature of the cyberthreat, security professionals must behave more like criminal investigators. We no longer live in a world of egotists and script kids. Thugs of the highest caliber can now be found in almost every industry. As a result, it's critical to understand their motivations and signatures, as these point to their targets and reveal their methods of operation.
When considering your business context, it's critical to ask yourself frequently, "What exactly are the means, motives, and opportunities for potential criminal hackers of my business computing systems?" Getting a solid answer to this question is the key to identifying your most vulnerable assets and developing a security plan.
1: The Sage Breach
Sage Inc. announced earlier this month that hackers had gained access to sensitive customer information, including the names, addresses, and bank account information of a few hundred UK customers, by using an internal login. At this point, it's unclear whether the hackers gained access to everything required to cash in on their attack. The Sage attack, however, is just the latest in a string of high-profile hackings in recent months, with victims ranging from enterprise IT vendor Oracle to cryptocurrency Bitcoin and even The College Board, the makers of the ACT exam.
Many IT and computing system analysts believe that the top three hacker motivations are financial, corporate espionage, and political activism. The remainder of this article examines the financial motivation in depth before assisting you in determining the best approaches to securing your cloud computing assets.
2: Financial System Hackers
Since they cause the most damage and are frequently featured in the news, you're probably most familiar with this type of hacker. The motivation here is clear: make money the easy way, by stealing it. Financial system security hackers range in size from a few lone actors to large cybercrime organizations, which frequently have the support of traditional criminal organizations. Each year, these thieves defraud consumers and businesses out of billions of dollars.
These threats extend far beyond the hobbyist community and reach a high level of sophistication. All criminal attackers are immersed in a complex underground economy: a massive black market where participants buy and sell toolkits, zero-day exploit code, and malware botnet services. Massive amounts of private data and intellectual property are for sale—highly valuable data stolen from victims. The sale of web exploit kits such as Blackhole, Nuclear Pack, and Phoenix, which are used to automate drive-by download attacks, is a recent market trend.
Some financial system hackers are opportunistic in their targeting of small businesses and consumers. Larger operations go to great lengths to analyze large corporations and specialize in one or two industry verticals. In a recent attack on the banking and credit card industries, a well-organized group was able to pull off a $45 million global heist from an ATM—with a high degree of synchronization. Because of a previously undetected breach of some bank networks and a payment processor company, these secondary attacks were possible.
3: The Next Wake of Hackers
Malicious hacker attacks are quite common these days, and they frequently have tragic and highly disruptive consequences. Furthermore, as more internet users use cloud computing and storage, these attacks are unavoidable. This raises additional concerns about combating the effects of hacking, which will become increasingly important in the future. The question of whether basic cloud security tips are sufficient to prevent hacking threats is still being debated. After years of industry debate, it was discovered to be the same problem in a different location. As a result, if businesses can develop dependable security and recovery methods, cloud computing can be a serious consideration. Most importantly, the flexibility, accessibility, and collaboration afforded by cloud computing can far outweigh and mitigate the risks to your data security.
Many cloud computing users believe that their data is safe because of their cloud vendor's security measures. Hackers, on the other hand, use code-cracking algorithms and brute force attacks to obtain passwords, and they can also access data transmissions that are not properly encrypted.
Do you have a solid infrastructure, processes, and procedures in place to ensure reliable, high-security backups of your sensitive and business-critical data? If you can't confidently answer this question, we invite you to continue reading as we examine various aspects of a top-tier cloud backup service.
Your cloud backup service should encrypt all data to ensure that it is completely unreadable by unauthorized users. Only when you decide to retrieve your data should it be possible to decrypt it. This means that data should be transmitted only via the SSL protocol and that strong passwords are required for information access and decoding.
No system is impenetrable to hackers, but the greatest advantage of using a cloud backup service is the high level of preparedness for recovering from a hacking event. Cloud backup service providers reduce data threats by enabling full recovery of all business-critical data to its original state in a matter of clicks. These backup companies replicate your cloud data and store it in a separate cloud, reducing the possibility of data loss due to natural disasters and other threats to an infinitesimally small amount.
4: Modern Cloud Security Tips
Rock-solid facilities. Today's best cloud application management solutions include backups as standard features. Look for a service provider with strong, high-security data centers that use precise electronic surveillance and multifactor access control systems. Its environmental systems must also be designed carefully in order to minimize the impact of any disruptions to operations. Furthermore, multiple geographic locations and extensive redundancy combine to provide a high level of resilience against virtually all failure types, including natural disasters.
Protection from the bad guys. The best providers not only offer extremely strong physical protection for your backup data, but they also secure everything with extensive network and security monitoring systems. On all accounts, their systems include critical security measures such as distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection and password brute-force detection. Additional security precautions may include:
Secure access and data transfer – all data access and transfers go through secure HTTP access using SSL.
Unique users – identity and access management features to allow you to control the level of access.
Encrypted data storage – encrypt your backup data and objects using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256.
Security logs – extensive, verbose logs of all activity for all users of an account.
Native Support – Native support for multiple platforms and systems including MongoDB, MySQL, and Linux/Unix/Windows files.
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