With technology growing in leaps and bounds, cloud-based services offer new horizons to enterprises embarking on a journey to transform themselves digitally. As per a report published by Gartner, by 2022, up to 60 percent of organizations will use an external service provider’s cloud services. The dawn of new-age cloud computing and its growing acceptance worldwide has increased the demand for a secure cloud computing ecosystem.
However, more and more businesses are leveraging cloud-based services for their endless business benefits without a stringent defense system. This imposes a continuous risk to an organization’s sensitive information as well as consumer information.
Cybercriminals are exploiting consumer identities and business data stored over cloud systems that not only cause losses worth millions of dollars but eventually tarnish brand reputation.
In this post, we’ll be highlighting the significant risks that enterprises may encounter and provide a list of measures to secure sensitive consumer and business information and mitigate the risk.
Why Consumer Identities Need Robust Security Mechanism
Amid the global pandemic, when the internet became the second home for everyone, the instances of consumer identity theft increased substantially. Whether it’s the remote working ecosystem or the adoption of weaker lines of defense while leveraging cloud services, businesses witnessed security breaches that caused them financial losses.
Moreover, employees and consumers of enterprises operating within a cloud network are on the radar of cybercriminals who exploit user credentials to sneak into the network and gain access to sensitive business data.
Here’s where the need for securing consumer identities arises.
Enterprises need to understand the importance of deploying multiple layers of security on their cloud infrastructure when it comes to securing consumer identities.
Let’s dig deep into this.
Risks Associated with Unsecured Consumer Identities Cloud Infrastructures
Since the subscription model is becoming the new normal and businesses swiftly adopting diverse online platforms to deliver digital experiences, securely managing consumer identities is undoubtedly the need of the hour.
Let’s first understand the risks that require immediate intervention:
- Broken Authentication: Several vulnerabilities come under the term ‘Broken Authentication’ where session management tokens are ineffectually implemented. This allows cybercriminals to make claims over a legitimate user’s identity, and hence, they get access to sensitive data and may exploit designated identity privileges.
- Insecure Interfaces and APIs: APIs and software user interfaces monitor and manage cloud services. The specific insecure framework used to provide APIs to the developers may leave certain loopholes that allow attackers to sneak into a network. Inadequate cloud security infrastructure design could be the real reason for this.
- Account Hijacking: The increasing reliance on cloud-based infrastructures has increased account hijacking instances. Lack of secure data transmission, encryption, and multi-factor authentication are the biggest contributors to account hijacking.
How to Secure Your Cloud Transition
Since we’ve now learned much about the risks associated with the cloud infrastructure, let’s now quickly look at the aspects that need consideration to ensure a secure cloud ecosystem.
1. Use of Risk-Based Authentication (Adaptive Authentication) and Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds a layer of security that enables secure authentication. With MFA, a user needs to provide additional details in the form of OTPs (one-time password) or need to verify their identity through a security question.
This enables a secure login session as attackers with stolen user credentials cannot log in to a network. MFA works perfectly in most of the scenarios with low-medium risks levels. But for high-risk scenarios, risk-based authentication (RBA), commonly known as adaptive authentication, is required. RBA adds another stringent layer of authentication and automatically kicks in a situation when a login attempt seems suspicious.
For instance, if a user is trying to log in into a network from a different device, or a different geographical location, or trying multiple attempts, the RBA will automatically demand authenticating a user.
2. Get a Robust CIAM Solution in Place
Securing consumer identities can be a piece of cake with a cloud-based consumer identity and access management (CIAM) solution. Enterprises that are collecting, storing, and managing millions of consumer identities must rely on a robust CIAM solution that not only offers enhanced security but eventually delivers a flawless user experience.
With CIAM in place, businesses can ensure their consumer data is secure in the cloud as well as an attempt to a security breach is made ineffective. With features like MFA, RBA, Single Sign-on (SSO), and Social Login, a consumer identity and access management solution are a game-changer for businesses on a hunt to secure their consumer identities along with a seamless customer onboarding experience.
3. Create Data Backup along with Recovery Procedure
Losing essential data could be the worst nightmare for any enterprise leveraging cloud services. There can be endless instances that can lead to data loss or theft. Businesses must put their best foot forward in analyzing the risk and creating data backup along with recovery procedures at the earliest.
One can consider relying on offline data centers that can store backup data, which can be easily accessed without any hassle. Creating backup on another cloud is yet another crucial and beneficial step that businesses must emphasize to ensure their data remains safe and secure.
Moving to the cloud has numerous benefits, but the underlying security risks can’t be overlooked, especially in an era when attackers are actively looking for weaker lines of defense.
The aspects mentioned earlier could be pretty helpful for enterprises that are about to leverage cloud services to scale business growth.
Originally published with Dzone