Cloud computing plays an integral role in many businesses and organisations across the world.
From resilience to regional power cuts to reduced IT costs and flexibility of work practices, there are many benefits of cloud computing. Internal security breaches in cloud computing can affect millions of users, though, which is why internal website security is vital.
60% of internal security threats are caused by human error, and healthcare, local government, and education sectors are 3 of the most commonly breached organisations.
As sectors like energy, transport, and finance adopt cloud computing into their companies, security becomes even more essential.
To get ahead of potential internal threats against your company, take a look at these top 5 internal security breaches that occur in cloud computing.
Table of Contents
1. Social engineering and hijacking accounts
One of the most common methods for making an internal security threat is by playing on the vulnerability of your employees. Many people are not only unaware of the dangers of internal threats, but also, the means in which hackers attack.
Many employees are more than willing to reveal just enough information over the phone, for example. Some even offer their passwords upon falling for the phishing phone call made by a cyber attacker. They fail to recognise phishing emails too, especially those that might refer to specific members on the team or details about a current project.
If ALL your employers aren’t aware of the many ways in which hackers manipulate and attain information from the inside, then your company is inevitably at risk.
Sometimes a hacker gains access to a staff account. Once they make that step, the likelihood of them gaining access to all the secure data at your business increases significantly.
Every employee account should only be given access to what they need to do their jobs.
2. Malicious cyber attacks
No one wants to believe their employees have it out for them, but it’s an unfortunate truth that causes a significant number of cyber-attacks every year.
Sometimes, the most likely perpetrator is someone with privileged system access, such as IT or other system administrators. A skilled and malicious administrator can leave a back door open or leave programs on the network so that information gets stolen. Some might even plant the malware themselves, causing millions of dollars in damage.
The only way to protect against this kind of attack is to monitor your employees and always stay alert in case an employee becomes disgruntled or unhappy. Anytime someone leaves the company, cancel all their network access and passwords, to avoid any potential for remote access.
Be sure not to give anyone access to programs or data they don’t need access to.
3. Leaked information
Employees take information both knowingly and unknowingly on cameras, USB data sticks, and their phones.
Every company should use software to specify its policies about what devices can be connected to the network, what data can be downloaded, and when. It’s crucial to educate workers on the policies and the reasoning behind the policies.
Otherwise, they’ll find a way to work around them, avoid them, or misconstrue them altogether. In fact, the recent breach at Virgin Media was due to human error, one of the most common reasons for an internal threat.
You might want to consider blocking access to data-storage services and web-based email, like Gmail. If employees can store confidential documents to their online accounts, then an internal security threat is out of your control.
Some businesses also opt to lock down networks to prevent wireless access, except for authorised users on their authorised devices. If you lose any data over Bluetooth, it can be very hard to detect.
4. Downloading malicious content
Employees spend work time on the internet for personal reasons. They might take a break from their duties and play a quick game or check their social media accounts.
Malware and virus threats occur through those same channels, and employees often welcome them inadvertently onto the network.
Update and correct your IT systems regularly to make sure your business is protected.
Routine security downloads aren’t enough. You must update your software regularly and layer your antivirus software. Don’t just rely on one layer of protection.
5. Insecure applications
It’s possible that your system is very secure, but that your external applications are bringing you down.
Third-party services can seriously hinder internal website security. Make sure that your team takes the time to carefully discuss and consider whether or not every application is right for your network before they install it.
Don’t let your staff download any and every application they deem to be useful for your organisation. Rather, make it a policy that the IT team has to approve all applications before they’re installed on the network.
In addition to the 5 most common threats we mentioned, here are a few others to consider and look out for:
- Illegal activities
- Inadequate training
- Denial of service
- Compromised supply chain
There are plenty of practical solutions and policies you can implement to protect against internal security threats. Many internal security breaches in cloud computing can be eradicated by making clear policies and sticking to them. Here are some easy things you can do to get started:
- Train your employees
- Back up your data
- Limit employee privileges
- Test employee awareness
- Review your password management rules
- Create a backup policy that exists at the system administrator level
- Implement a concise employee termination policy
- Be careful who has access to company social media accounts
- Implement management policies and access controls
Don’t allow internal security breaches in cloud computing
Internal security threats are becoming increasingly common as hackers find new ways to breach sensitive information. Luckily, most internal security breaches in cloud computing can be easily avoided with the right policies and regulations in place.
Make sure you back up data regularly and only divvy out employee access where it’s necessary. Set defined policies for all your employees, regardless of what access they have.