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Top cloud security risks: trends and the future

Jul 26, 2022

6 minutes read

The transition of the business online and the transfer of staff to remote work has further accelerated the digital transformation and the growth of the cloud computing market. To survive in a highly competitive environment, you must introduce advanced solutions into work processes. And this means that cloud technologies in 2022 will continue to develop. Investments in development and operation will grow, and demand for offers among consumers will increase. The focus will be on cloud computing security. So what are the cloud security risks this year?

Information security in the cloud is generally provided the same way as in local data centers but without the cost of physical servers and a team that supports their constant operation. Using the cloud to host data, applications, and other assets offers management, access, and scalability benefits. The cloud environment allows a business to scale up the necessary capacity quickly, but when it comes to scaling IT infrastructure, information security often fades into the background. Still, cloud security risks will be a severe problem in 2023.

Using cloud solutions and local infrastructure does not exclude cyberattacks from intruders looking for ways to access corporate networks. Preventing data leaks and theft is critical to maintaining customer trust and company reputation, not to mention possible financial losses.

The need to comply with administrative requirements imposed by regulators also forces many companies operating in the cloud to ensure the proper level of information security. In case of non-compliance with the standards, they will have to pay considerable fines when facing cloud security risks.

What are the security risks of the cloud computing?

According to a Gartner study, 80% of all information leaks from the cloud will be due to misconfiguration or internal company problems, not provider vulnerabilities. IT organizations will need to pay attention to internal business processes and personnel training in security basics.

Today, 64% of companies consider cloud infrastructure more secure, but 75% take additional protective measures against cloud security risks. For example, 61% of customers resort to data encryption, 52% maintain a policy for managing identity and access to information systems, and 48% conduct regular system checks.

However, it is not so crucial for attackers where exactly the data is located: on virtual or real machines, their goal is to gain access at any cost. Therefore, you can use the same tools as in the company’s data center to protect data in the cloud. Experts identify three main areas of security: data encryption, data access restriction, and the possibility of data recovery in case of an emergency.

In addition, experts advise taking a closer look at the API. Open and insecure interfaces can become a weak link in data protection and the main reason for the vulnerability of cloud platforms.

Why is cloud security important?

Cloud services are used in business, science, healthcare, and private life. In almost every action on the Internet, one way or another, we use services from the cloud. The large volumes of data each person and company generate need to be stored. Therefore, the issue of cloud service security is a priority for both the service provider and customers.

Top cloud security risks in 2023

There are four types of most dangerous security risks:

Incorrect configuration of security settings is the leading cause of data leakage from the cloud environment. Suppose the cloud infrastructure is not designed correctly. In that case, there are risks of insecure access to resources, compromised credentials, excessive permissions, disabled logging or lack of monitoring, and unrestricted access to ports and services.

Many companies need to become more familiar with cloud infrastructure security and use cloud solutions from different vendors: private, public, or multi-cloud, each with its own set of vendor-provided security controls. Misconfiguration or lack of security controls can expose an organization’s cloud resources to attackers.

Denial of service. The functioning of the cloud environment directly depends on the connection to the Internet. However, such an infrastructure is particularly vulnerable to distributed denial of service (DDoS) or denial of service (DoS) attacks.

Attackers can flood a company’s cloud network with significant web traffic, making resources inaccessible to customers and employees. The more the company services and applications are hosted in the cloud, the actions of intruders can cause more damage.

Data leakage. Insufficient protection can allow an attacker to gain direct access to confidential company information and lead to data leakage from the company’s local network and the cloud infrastructure. It is also one of the crucial security risks in cloud computing.

Data leakage, in turn, can damage the company’s reputation and cause distrust among customers and partners. Violation of data confidentiality is also associated with financial costs in the form of sanctions from regulators and customers affected by the leak. Another risk is the loss of the company’s intellectual property (know-how, own developments, technologies, product models, etc.), which will affect the launch of a new service or product on the market with competitive advantages.

Account hacking. Hacking (compromising) an account is one of the most severe cloud security risks since company employees only sometimes have sufficiently complex passwords and occasionally use one password for several reports. As a result, an attacker with a single stolen password can access multiple systems and business logic, data, and applications. Sometimes, account-specific infrastructure components can be compromised.

What is cloud security?

Cloud security is a section of cybersecurity dedicated to protecting cloud computing systems. It includes protecting privacy and data across all network infrastructure, online applications, and platforms.

How to prevent cloud security risks

Use multi-factor authentication. In addition to entering a corporate login and password to access corporate systems in the cloud, it is recommended to set up more stringent user authentication to avoid cloud security risks. When authorizing, employees need not only to enter a domain name but also to use authenticator tokens. It will provide a higher level of security when working in the cloud.

Build a strong relationship with a cloud provider. When switching to the provider’s cloud infrastructure, it is necessary to ensure that the provided environment is secure and meets the information security standards, for example, the ISO/IEC 27001 standard, which regulates the requirements for an information security management system to avoid security risks in cloud computing.

Take care of data security in case of threats. Develop a contingency plan. Backups should be performed according to a schedule with a minimum RTPO and an optimal data recovery life cycle. You can also use the disaster recovery service, which allows you to switch to a disaster site with a dedicated repository in case of threats.

The market for information security solutions is constantly growing

The problem of data leakage can become a powerful argument in favor of abandoning the company’s products. It is the leading reason organizations protect sensitive data regarding the quality and functionality of their services. Data safety is changing all services: household financial accounting programs offer a complex authentication system, and banking applications care about free protection against scam calls.

Analytics and machine learning

To solve the problem of cloud security risks, you can pay attention to AI tools. Artificial intelligence and machine learning frameworks to automate data protection simplify routine tasks. However, they will soon be used to ensure security in public and private cloud infrastructures.


Andras Cser, vice president of Forrester Research, is sure that it makes no sense to encrypt all data. To ensure security, a specific policy must be introduced, for the preparation of which specialists can be involved. It is necessary to find out what data is in the cloud, where the traffic goes, and only then decide what information should be encrypted.

Before strengthening security measures, it would be helpful to calculate their feasibility: for example, compare the cost of introducing such measures and possible losses from information leakage. In addition, you should consider how encryption or user access and identity management will affect system performance.

Data protection can be carried out at several levels. For example, all data that users send to the cloud can be encrypted using the AES algorithm to ensure anonymity and security. The next level of protection is data encryption in the cloud storage server. Cloud providers also often use multiple data centers to store data, which positively affects the integrity of information.

Infrastructure monitoring

When migrating to the cloud, many customers face the need to implement a new security strategy as firewalls and virtual networks have to be reconfigured.

According to research conducted by SANS, the customer concerns are tamper-proofing vulnerabilities (68%), application vulnerabilities (64%), malware infections (61%), social engineering and security breaches (59%), and insider threats (53%).

At the same time, experts believe that attackers will almost always be able to find a way to hack the system. Therefore, the main task is to ensure the attack does not spread to other vulnerable links in the chain. This is possible if the security system blocks unauthorized communication between workloads and prevents illegitimate connection requests.


Another approach that can improve the reliability of the data center is integrating security systems with DevOps practices. This helps you to accelerate the pace of application deployment and change implementation. The adaptive security architecture provides integration with automation and management tools, making changes to the security settings part of the continuous deployment process.

In cloud infrastructure, security is no longer considered separate from development and deployment and is becoming an integral part of continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD). This can be provided by tools such as the Jenkins plugin, which makes code and security checks a standard step for quality assurance.

Cloud and information security services from a single provider

Business placing information systems in the cloud is increasingly seeking to receive comprehensive protection services: for example, setting systems inside firewalls, building a secure channel, a secure connection using cryptographic algorithms, ensuring data security at the level of information systems by installing appropriate tools protection against unauthorized access, anti-virus protection, protection within the framework of the implementation of the detection and intrusion prevention circuit, and others.

The priority is the protection of personal data

The bulk of requests for IT infrastructure is related to the security of personal data. When transferring personal data to the provider, the customer, based on the processing order, may require appropriate confirmation that the data will be processed for a specific purpose, to a certain extent, within a specified period, using a particular set of protection measures.

Protection both inside and out

One of the trends suggests that when developing services, the issue of cloud security risks is raised at a very late stage when the product code is written in such a way as to prevent vulnerabilities from appearing. Then, users receive information security solutions that have been developed as static and dynamic analyzers, component and dependency analyzers, image scanners, etc. New areas appear, such as DevSecOps and Application Security, whose task is to monitor the security of code and CI/CD.

System certification

Another critical trend is the compliance of services and infrastructure with information security requirements defined by national law or international standards. The product’s end-users, especially in B2B and B2C, understand the importance of security and demand it from their contractors. The most popular confirmation method is compliance certification or attestation from an authorized organization.

Data safety as a service

The development of managed services is one of the general trends in the cloud market. External experts execute the complex tasks if in-house specialists lack the knowledge. 

IT services for infrastructure system administration are pretty popular, assisting with migration from dedicated servers to the cloud. Similar services appear in the field of information security. Setting up network security, choosing the proper infrastructure, and optimizing the portfolio of information security solutions is difficult for a single group of security professionals. And if a company cannot maintain a permanent staff of such specialists, Managed Services in the field of information security can be a good solution.

The market for cloud systems that provide infrastructure, platforms, and services is growing by tens of percent annually. Information security issues are becoming paramount for commercial and government customers who decide to place some of their resources in the cloud. Today, the issues of cloud security risks and building user confidence concerning providers offering services within the framework of cloud technologies are a priority in terms of the future development of cloud computing.

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