Top 5 Cloud Security Concerns in 2022 & How To Avoid Them

Posted by Hunter Lynne, Security and Governance Practice Lead

May 02, 2022

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Organizations are investing in the cloud this year more than ever before, with an estimated cloud spending growth of 21.7% in 2022, reaching a total of $482 billion globally. 

With this investment, many businesses are increasing reliance on cloud services and infrastructure, which will require stronger cloud security and governance. Below, we’ll discuss the top five cloud security concerns to look out for in 2022 and beyond: 

 

What Security Concerns Are Organizations Facing in 2022? 

1. Cloud Strategy


One of the most important security concerns for businesses lies within their ability to effectively create and manage a cloud strategy plan. Without the alignment of cloud and security environments to business strategy, your organization is likely to deal with fragmentation, which can lead to negative effects on overall operations and business management. 

How To Mitigate This Risk

  • Develop a cohesive strategy. When creating your cloud strategy, ensure that the roadmap you create aligns with your organization’s business strategy for long- and short-term goals. 
  • Focus on business outcomes. When you’re making crucial cloud decisions, you’ll want to focus on the business outcomes that these changes will bring. For example, your organization may want to have a specific focus on agility, innovation, efficiency, risk mitigation, or something else entirely.
  • Update your strategy. If you’re using an outdated strategy, you’re likely losing money while taking unnecessary security risks. By ensuring that your cloud strategy is updated and aligned with business goals, you’ll be able to provide positive changes within your organization.

2. Unauthorized Access


Access management is one of the main cloud security threats for organizations, as it involves the ability to keep private information secure. With data exposure and frequent breaches happening for organizations of all sizes, organizations are concerned about their employees (either intentionally or unintentionally) oversharing data with unauthorized employees or external 3rd parties. 

In addition, some users who may be using weak passwords or no authentication have higher chances of having their data compromised. In fact, Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report found that over 80% of breaches are related to ineffective passwords. 

How To Mitigate This Risk

There are a number of ways to maintain effective access management, including: 

  • Develop reasonable policies and procedures. By governing role-based access to workloads and related cloud infrastructure through effective processes, you’ll be able to ensure unauthorized access is effectively mitigated. 
  • Deploying multi-factor authentication (MFA). By ensuring each of your users has to prove their identity to gain access, you can drastically reduce your risk of a data breach. 
  • Implementing a zero trust security model. This strategy never assumes authorization — instead, it requires consistent verification to access any documents or other sensitive information. 
  • Utilizing real-time access information. With real-time, access-based exception monitoring reporting for the most sensitive information in the organization.

3. Misconfigurations 


Change management problems can create configuration drift, which creates inconsistencies across configurations. This issue can result in settings that do not utilize best practice cloud security, causing unnecessary threats. 

Often, this is caused due to a lack of visibility and control of all resources, which leads to security and governance operational gaps. 

How To Mitigate This Risk

In order to mitigate misconfiguration risks, you can: 

  • Develop a long-term security strategy. By creating a defense-in-depth, layered controls approach to security, you can ensure your security posture is always effective. 
  • Monitor and auto-remediate issues in real-time. Manage and monitor issues on a consistent, ongoing basis. When an issue arises, use native or 3rd party tools to automatically solve the problem. 

4. Data Loss


Data loss can occur in a number of ways and, like other cloud security threats, it can be detrimental to your daily operations. 

Without regular data backups, you can incur unnecessary costs and find yourself spending an extensive amount of time backing up large amounts of data at one time. 

How To Mitigate This Risk

In order to mitigate data loss, your organization can: 

  • Build a data classification matrix. Use tags and other labels so your team always knows the value of your information, its location and other relevant information. 
  • Perform regular data backups. By performing regular data backups, you can ensure your organization has accurate, fully secured data available. 
  • Create and regularly update your disaster recovery plan. Did you know that only 54% of organizations have a disaster recovery plan in place? Having an updated disaster recovery strategy in place is crucial for helping an organization recover after an attack.

5. Insecure APIs


Many cyberattacks are being carried out through application program interfaces (APIs), including denial of service (DoS) attacks. In fact, Gartner predicts that API attacks will become the most-frequent attack vector in 2022. 

How To Mitigate This Risk

In order to secure your APIs, you can: 

  • Create an API-specific security plan. While many organizations may assume that security is built-in to their API connections, it’s important to have a strategy in place to ensure that security. 
  • Encrypt your API data. Like any encryption, this allows your data to be indiscernible to people without authorization to prevent data theft and privacy violations. 
  • Maintain consistent oversight of your APIs. Even with a plan and encryption in place, it’s important to maintain consistent oversight into your APIs to ensure they continuously are secure and properly functioning. In addition, you’ll want to watch out for any unusual or unauthorized access. 

Prepare Your Organization for This Year’s Problems — And Beyond

Instead of remedying single issues with one-time solutions, your organization needs a long-term, layered solution for cloud security. With effective cloud security management, you can create a strategy that meets the needs of your organization — but it can be difficult to know where to start. 

Download our Security Governance Checklist to discover, identify, and analyze your organization’s security risks so your business can be ready no matter what comes next.

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Hunter Lynne, Security and Governance Practice Lead

An 8-time cloud-certified professional, Hunter is passionate about finding ways to shorten the time between idea and delivery for customers. He has 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, where he lead cross-disciplinary teams to solve strategic, operational, security, risk management, compliance, and audit problems for the business.

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