The changing nature of cloud security threats

By Ariff Sidi
Ariff Sidi, General Manager & Chief Product Officer at Edgecast, talks about the changing nature of cloud security threats and how companies should respond

Now, more than ever, companies rely on tools connected to the internet to run their businesses, whether that's customer-facing online retail or workers spread across multiple locations. The pandemic fast-tracked companies’ increased reliance on digital tools because, almost overnight, employees started working remotely, and even now, many offices still have a reduced capacity. 

The primary focus for organisations was to ensure business operations continued to run as smoothly as possible while employees were dispersed. Cybersecurity took a backseat that presented an opportunity for cybercriminals to hack into businesses' software and databases and steal data. 

Web application security, in particular, has become an Achilles’ heel for organisations. With so many businesses keeping high-value personal data online, it's easy to forget that they may soon turn into a cybercriminal's treasure chest with consumers' credit card details and personally-identifying information on the menu. This increasing focus on consumer data exemplifies how risks are evolving and demonstrates that no industry is safe. 

We've seen many people share their passwords without thinking about it or using the same password across numerous sites. An experienced cybercriminal might readily exploit such errors and sell credentials to be used for identity fraud and data theft.

Almost every business has the potential to attract unwanted cyberattacks. The most common cyber attacks include:

  • Application attacks: cybercriminals take advantage of known and unknown vulnerabilities in application architecture and software code.
  • Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks: artificial traffic is used in these attacks to cause a site or service to become inaccessible or slow to respond to legitimate visitors.
  • Credential stuffing: hackers take advantage of the fact that users frequently reuse usernames and passwords across many accounts. Hackers can acquire large lists of stolen credentials on the dark web and use automation to attempt each one to get access to the target service in this type of attack.


Cloud-based solutions critical to keeping up with cyber threats 


Businesses that have a robust cybersecurity solution can't afford to drop their guard and become complacent. Cybercriminals are relentless, and they will keep attacking systems until they uncover a flaw they can exploit. Using cloud-based solutions is one of the critical ways organisations can keep up with cyber threats. Cloud-based solutions include WAF, DDoS, and bot management. Specialized hardware is traditionally deployed as the first line of defense against DDoS attacks. Still, it requires ongoing maintenance and support, and it struggles to keep up with high-volume DDoS attacks. Scrubbing services, cloud protection, and CDN security, on the other hand, are quickly becoming the favored methods to mitigate these types of attacks.

Phishing is also one of the oldest and most effective methods for obtaining account passwords, which are then used to retrieve billing and credit card information associated with the account. Web Application Firewalls (WAFs) are helpful in this situation because they assist in eliminating application vulnerabilities that hackers use in DDoS, app, credential stuffing, and phishing assaults. They defend applications by analyzing web traffic and implementing rules to server-client communications. The WAF is ideally suited to defend against app threats like SQL injections(SQLi) and cross site scripting(XSS) exploits. 

By ensuring that access policies are up to date and enforced, they can assist in the fight against API threats via mobile apps, malicious botnet attacks, and phishing attempts. WAF solutions successfully protect Internet applications from cyber-attacks. It's important to realize that these solutions are constantly changing, and no technology can eliminate all of an application's flaws. More than one sort of security is frequently required.

Bot managements could be helpful in the fight against cybercriminals. Bots are usually thought of as tools that assist individuals in self-diagnosing problems and lowering support costs for services. They have, however, become a favorite tool of cybercriminals. Hackers use bots to orchestrate DDoS attacks and handle the vast number of login attempts required for credential stuffing. More businesses are turning to cloud proxies for bot management solutions fully integrated into a cloud or CDN service provider's deployment. For the service provider, the cloud or CDN provider manages all parts of the bot management system.

Fingerprinting is one of the most used ways of bot management. The solution looks for abnormal behavior, such as keystrokes hitting faster than humanly conceivable, or if the request seems correct based on the browser the requester claims to be using. When the security solution discovers a bot, it must proceed with caution in dealing with the threat. Simply blocking the request or returning a standard error will notify the hacker that their access has been restricted.

Many modern businesses have evolved to rely on cybersecurity safeguards. Data breaches, piracy, and reverse-engineering attempts can all harm businesses. Consequently, they must engage with security professionals to identify gaps between their security priorities and preparedness and build effective security solutions to reduce the danger of personal data getting into the hands of cybercriminals.



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