Cloud computing has revolutionized the way we use technology. It has made it possible for us to access information and applications from anywhere in the world.  Organizations of all sizes are using cloud computing to improve agility, efficiency, and competitiveness.

Despite the multiple benefits of cloud security, there are also security risks that must be considered before migrating to the cloud.

Data privacy and security are just as important in the cloud as they are on your own computer, if not more so due to the greater number of people who have access to it.

The following are some of the biggest security threats to cloud computing that every company must deal with before implementing a cloud computing solution or service in the business environment.

Security Threats and Risks of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has been around for several years. It is a powerful way to manage computing resources and applications, particularly on a large scale. Cloud has also allowed organizations to reduce costs and increase the performance of their IT departments.

For this reason, almost every organization has adopted cloud computing to varying degrees within their business. However, as an organization adopts the cloud, it needs to ensure that its cloud security strategy is capable of protecting against the top threats to cloud security.

When it comes to cloud computing, security is always a top concern. After all, you’re entrusting your data and in some cases, your entire business to a third party.

So what are the main security risks associated with cloud computing? Here are just a few:

1. Data Leakage

This is one of the most common threats to cloud security. This is when there is a breach of security and confidential information is released to the public. It can happen in many ways, including hacking attacks, accidental exposure by staff or contractors, and loss of physical media.

Data breaches have a number of consequences for businesses. They can lose customers who don’t want to do business with companies that aren’t secure, as well as suffer financial losses from fines and other penalties related to compliance issues.

2. Vulnerability to Cyber Attacks

Cyberattacks, or cybercrime, are a growing threat that can have a significant impact on organizations of all types. These attacks are not just limited to large corporations. Smaller companies that do business in the cloud face the same risks.

They might have an “open” cloud infrastructure (one with which they do not always follow best practices) or even no security at all. These premises are perfect targets for attackers who know how to find them and exploit weaknesses in their defenses.

3. Lack of Control

There is a lack of control over data when it’s stored in the cloud. If a hacker gains access to your account, they can steal all of your files. This may lead to identity theft or damage to your reputation as well.

One of the top complaints about cloud computing is that businesses lose control over their data when it’s stored in the cloud. This can make it difficult to comply with security regulations and maintain privacy standards.

4. Data Theft

Data theft is the biggest security risk of cloud computing. Data stored in the cloud can be accessed by anyone with the right credentials, including malicious actors.

This means that sensitive data such as customer information, financial records, and intellectual property can be stolen and abused for financial gain or for use in future attacks on other organizations.

5. Malware

Malware is a type of virus that is designed to damage or disable computers. It can also be used to collect information or steal data. Malware can be spread through email attachments, websites, or even social media.

Cloud computing is a prime target for malware attacks, as hackers can easily gain access to your systems and steal your data. Malware can also infect your devices through the cloud, putting your entire system at risk.

6. Downtime

When you use the cloud, your data is stored in a remote location. If the data center that houses your files goes offline, there’s nothing you can do to recover them until it comes back online again. This could take hours or days or even longer if there’s a major outage affecting multiple servers.

If your cloud provider experiences an outage, you may not be able to access your data or applications, which can result in significant business losses.

7. Misconfiguration

The biggest security risk with cloud computing is misconfiguration. It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re configuring your virtual machines, which can lead to vulnerabilities in the operating system or applications running on those VMs.

If a hacker finds one of these vulnerabilities and exploits it, they could access your data or even take over your entire system.

8. Accidental Exposure of Credentials

The use of cloud-based email, document sharing services (such as Google Drive and Dropbox), and other forms of collaboration among employees at organizations, have presented new security challenges.

Whenever you log into a service, your username and password are sent in plain text over the internet. Anyone with access to those packets will be able to see them and use them for malicious purposes.

9. Inadequate Due Diligence

When you use the cloud, you are putting your sensitive data in the hands of a third party. Even if this third party is as reputable and well-established, there is still more risk than with on-premise solutions.

This is because there are many more points of failure when your data is spread across multiple servers rather than being stored in one location.

10. Unauthorized Access

The Cloud is a shared resource, which means that your data can be accessed by anyone with the right credentials. While traditional IT environments have been designed to control access to sensitive information and resources, cloud computing removes this layer of protection.

The biggest security risk of cloud computing is that someone could get unauthorized access to your data. This can happen if hackers break into the company’s servers or if one of their employees accidentally leaves a door open and hackers sneak in that way.

11. Hijacking of Accounts

The biggest security risk when it comes to cloud computing is the increased opportunity hackers have to target your business. With a cloud environment, there are always servers that are accessible from any location in the world.

This means that hackers can gain access and steal data without ever having to physically break into your building or hack into your network.

Recommend Reading: What is Cloud Network Security?

How Can You Mitigate Cloud Computing Risks?

Enterprise and cloud computing are the two high-profile areas that have grown tremendously in recent years.

Both of these areas rely on cloud computing to a great extent, which opens up new opportunities for fraud and security issues involving both areas. However, it is important to have a healthy relationship between enterprises and their cloud providers.

Here are some ways in which enterprises can work with their cloud provider in bolstering security:

1. Risk Assessment

The importance of risk assessment cannot be overemphasized. It is an important step towards effective cloud computing as it provides you insights into the security architecture, vulnerabilities, and risks that may arise in the cloud.

A thorough risk assessment will help you figure out gaps in your security controls and make necessary changes to meet your business objectives.

2. User Access Control

Access control, with authentication and authorization, is the key to ensuring the security of cloud data. Proper access controls not only prevent unauthorized access and misuse of sensitive information but also ensure that there is no “mouth to ear” leakage of confidential data.

User access control is necessary to safeguard sensitive leakage by insiders. Limiting access to sensitive functions to only a select few keeps them safe from outsiders.

3. Regular Monitoring

Continuously monitoring any cloud infrastructure is a critical part of ensuring that data remains safe. The nature of the cloud allows for rapid development and expansion, which can lead to a lack of scrutiny about what may or may not happen within the system.

When you are using public or private clouds, there are more risks involved. As your company spends more time dealing with cloud computing and integrates more enterprise workloads into it, it becomes imperative that you take preventive measures to protect your most valuable assets from any cyber-attacks.

4. Automation

Cloud computing is a complex and rapidly evolving field. This can make it difficult to keep up with all the latest developments and best practices.

One way to mitigate this problem is through automation. Automated systems can help you track changes in the cloud environment; monitor for signs of compromise; and detect abnormalities that may indicate a breach or attack.

Cloud computing has rapidly become a popular choice for enterprises and service providers.

This is because it offers flexibility, lower cost, and on-demand computing resources with greater access to data in real-time, which makes it one of the hottest trends in IT today. Nonetheless, companies can never be too careful about making use of cloud computing to mitigate the risks involved.

Best Practices for Cloud Security

Cloud computing is a disruptive technology, which means that an organization cannot shelter itself from new threats. Indeed, the rate of adoption and expansion of cloud computing is such that it becomes almost impossible to monitor all threats against it.

When it comes to cloud computing security risks, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

  • Make sure you choose a reputable cloud provider with a strong security track record.
  • Take steps to secure your data before it’s uploaded to the cloud.
  • Regularly audit the security measures of your cloud provider.
  • Ensure that your business continuity and disaster recovery plans are up to date.
  • Regularly back up your data both in the cloud and on-premises.
  • Educate your employees about the dangers of phishing and other cyber attacks.
  • Use strong passwords and security measures to protect your accounts.

The security risks of cloud computing are serious but, with proper planning and precautions, they can be avoided. By following the tips above, you can keep your data safe and secure in the cloud.

Common Myths About Cloud Computing Security

Let’s debunk some of the most common myths about cloud computing security.

MYTH: Cloud computing is less secure than on-premises solutions.

FACT: The cloud is just as secure, if not more secure, than on-premises solutions. Cloud providers have a vested interest in keeping your data safe and are investing heavily in security measures.

MYTH: The cloud is less reliable than on-premises solutions.

FACT: The cloud is highly reliable and can recover from outages faster than on-premises solutions. By design, the cloud is built to be redundant and fault tolerant.

MYTH: I don’t need to worry about security because the cloud provider will take care of it.

FACT: You are still responsible for securing your data in the cloud. While the cloud provider may have security measures in place, it’s important to understand how they work and make sure your data is properly protected.

Recommend Reading: Cybersecurity Career Paths: The 2022 Guide


Cloud computing has quickly become an important part of many businesses, but with that increased reliance comes an increased risk of security breaches.

Security risks are the main concerns that businesses have when considering using cloud computing solutions like Office 365 or Google Docs.

It’s essential to understand what those risks are and how to mitigate them, so your data doesn’t end up falling into the wrong hands and your business doesn’t get hacked by someone with malicious intent.

The most important thing that you can do is educate yourself with our cloud security training on the security issues that come with using a cloud service so that you can take steps to ensure your privacy and confidentiality aren’t compromised.

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Author's Bio

We strive to provide business professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to increase work performance and drive greater return on investment for the global customers we support. Agilitics delivers customized technology and management training solutions to large corporations and government agencies around the world.