Last update: January 2022

4 mins to read - 2021/12/22

3 Cloud Computing Security Threats to Watch Out for and Their Solutions

Cloud computing has become the default method of computing for most apps and nearly the entire mobile engagement industry. If you can access your data backups from any system at any given time, it is likely because of cloud computing.

Not only has this service made data more accessible, but it has also simplified many tasks by creating software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms like Salesforce and AWS. Consumers can now sell, analyze, and research products through cloud-computing products using big data analytics. 

However, as we have explored in previous articles, as technology and our dependence on it evolves, cloud computing falls short in many ways. Particularly in terms of data security. Hackers around the world are well aware of the growing reliance on cloud-based technology, and as such this means that centralized cloud servers filled with trillions of pieces of consumer data are targets, and highly vulnerable. 

Below, we will take a look at the 3 main threats inherent to cloud computing, and ultimately how device-side computing provides a solution.

Download our Data Security Whitepaper to learn more about OpenBack’s innovative approach to data privacy:

1. Cloud Computing Is Vulnerable to Data Breaches

It’s impossible to find any industry nowadays that doesn’t leverage user data to provide a more personalized service.  Masses of data get exchanged between employees, employers, and clients. And in most cases this data is stored in a centralized cloud server. If there is no security surveillance, hackers can easily read the shared information. Personal identifying information (PII) and other sensitive information is then vulnerable to being accessed, removed, or abused in other ways. 

And of course, the larger the cloud server, the more of a target it is. This means that larger servers will have to allocate larger budgets towards security and protection.

2. Cloud Computing Has Poor Backup Systems

Often people create poor backup systems for data, which store everything on a hard drive or some other single location. This just creates the same problem as mentioned above, and hackers will seek out these treasure troves of personal data. They will search for the weakest point in your website’s security, and exploit that. 

The answer to this is dispersed data storage, where data is stored in multiple different servers. Many businesses use automatic cloud servers as a solution. This, however, is only a stopgap in the implementation of edge computing, which we will look at below. 

3. Cloud Computing Misconfiguration and Flaws in Access Management

When your entire storage, access, and processing depends on a single cloud server, a single glitch or misconfiguration can send millions of businesses and consumers into disarray. These moments of chaos can be very costly for businesses that need to be online 24/7. They also provide key points for hackers to organize an attack on user data.

What’s more, risks to data security can come internally as well. When cloud companies require people to adopt centralized cloud-based systems, this means employees can access a company website’s directory or accounts without having the necessary security clearance. While all companies should take the required steps to ensure that only the employees who absolutely need to access consumer data are able to, and that employees who leave the company are stripped off their ability to access such data, in practice this is an oversight that management often lets slide. And this again potentially leaves trillions of data points vulnerable to unknown characters.

Solution #1: Install an SSL Certificate

One way to deal with data breaches is by installing a Secure Socket Layer or SSL certificate. An SSL encrypts a website’s connection so that data gets passed in an encrypted format instead of plain text. It creates a secure network where data can be passed without interception from hackers. 

This certificate is essential in protecting sensitive information, and is a mandatory requirement by Google and the Payment Card Industry. This means that without an SSL, your website can neither rank on the top of the SERP nor accept payments from clients and customers. 

A single domain SSL cert can only protect a single domain or subdomain, whereas a multi-domain SSL cert can protect multiple domains and subdomains up to 101 FQDNs.

If you run a webshop with multiple level-one subdomains that you need to secure, such as payments, product pages, payments, etc., under the main domain, you should go for the wildcard SSL certificate. This single cert affords unmatched security to an unlimited number of first-level subdomains under the chosen primary domain. If you are searching for affordable options in this segment, we suggest investing in a Rapidssl Wildcard SSL or Comodo wildcard SSL.

Solution #2: Device-Side or Edge Computing

It’s clear that cloud computing no longer serves to fulfill the complex and evolving demands of the digital world as it exists today.

Device-side computing, or edge computing, is a means of distributing computing power so that all data processing takes place directly on the individual devices. This improves on cloud computing in many ways. Primarily, it means all the security risks we explored above no longer exist, as there is no longer one large, centralized server storing trillions of pieces of data. Rather, there are millions of devices storing much smaller caches of data – hardly worthwhile for hackers to try to target every single one.

In addition to providing a solution to data privacy concerns, device-side computing also streamlines data processing, removing time lags or delays that are inherent to cloud servers. With the cloud server, which essentially functions as a middleman, removed from the process, data doesn’t have to travel anywhere. With data leveraged directly on-device, this enables reliable delivery and real-time reachability for a whole new tier of digital industries, particularly mobile engagement.

To learn more about the potential device-side processing has for optimizing your mobile engagement  campaigns, get in touch with one of our experts for a free demo of the OpenBack mobile push notification platform.

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