Cloud Security Trends: Our Predictions for 2021

Posted on May 4, 2021 Backups & DR

Cloud computing is growing quickly, but is it secure? Read more about cloud computing security in 2021: what are the challenges, risks, and advancements?

Cloud computing has never been more vital than it will be in 2021. With millions of workers around the world working from home due to the ongoing pandemic, people need fast access to company data. 

Cloud computing security is going to be very important this year as companies search for ways to keep their data secure. Here are some of the cloud computing security trends that we predict for 2021.

Attackers Will Exploit the Work From Home Trend

In 2021, many workers continue to work from home due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Many firms have even permanently shifted a lot of their staff to work from home. This dramatic shift in the work environment is the perfect opportunity for hackers. 

In 2020, many companies were under pressure to implement work from home solutions as fast as possible. This means that companies were not too concerned with creating a secure work platform — they just wanted things up and running.

This means that there are a lot of security vulnerabilities in companies’ IT systems that they might not be aware of. This will enable hackers to find security vulnerabilities in the system and break-in. 

Furthermore, hackers might also use this unprecedented situation to try and use social engineering tactics. Everyone is out of their comfort zones, working with new systems, in new locations — the perfect environment for a social engineering attack.

For example, an attacker might call up a worker pretending to be from IT support. They may say that they need the worker’s cloud username and password due to problems with the new system.

Under normal circumstances, that worker might not fall for such a trick. But, COVID-19 has turned everything upside down, so, they’re much more susceptible.

Your company needs to avoid security issues in cloud computing as a result of working from home. You can do this by making sure your company culture focuses on security at all times.

Expect More Ransomware

Ransomware has been a very popular form of malware in recent years, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change any time soon. Ransomware extorts companies by encrypting files and demanding payment to unlock them. 

Generally, the attackers will demand payment via a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. At the beginning of 2021, Bitcoin has surged in value. This makes a ransomware attack potentially very lucrative. 

A ransomware attack on your companies cloud could be potentially devastating. Thankfully, there is a straightforward solution. With a robust backup system, you make yourself effectively immune to ransomware attacks. 

A ransomware attack is no threat at all if you can simply roll back your data. This means it’s vital for you to keep multiple backups of all your company’s cloud data. You might consider storing it on a separate cloud service and on a physical medium. 

You should also have an automated backup system in place. It’s no exaggeration to say a ransomware attack could potentially bankrupt your company. With these kinds of stakes, there’s no excuse not to back up your files in 2021.

Crypto-Mining Attacks

Did you know that it’s possible to “mine” for cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin using computing power? When mining cryptocurrency, you set your computer to work solving complicated algorithms. Eventually, this will earn you currency. 

As Bitcoin has surged in popularity, the amount of computing power needed to successfully mine coins has gone up significantly. This means that it’s no longer viable to mine coins on a modest home setup. 

This has led to mining “farms” that utilize 100s of computers at once. The downside to this approach is that it takes up huge amounts of power. It’s no surprise then that hackers have tried to find ways to earn coins without using their own resources. 

Hackers can hijack other people’s computer systems and set them to work mining cryptocurrency on their behalf. Cloud data centers are popular targets because of the sheer amount of processing power available. 

The price of cryptocurrency has surged this year so expect more people to try and get in on illegitimate crypto-mining. If you want to avoid your company being a victim, make sure you’re running high-quality anti-virus software on all your workstations. 

Expect More Security Regulation

Cyberattacks such as ransomware attacks have cost governments billions of dollars in the last few years. This is because ransomware attacks targeting the cloud computing services used by critical institutions. For example, ransomware attackers hit American schools and hospitals. 

It very likely that governments will enact new legislation that will prevent these kinds of attacks from being successful. For example, governments might require cloud computing services to use end-to-end encryption. This is because attackers can’t encrypt files that have already been encrypted.

These changes will likely be positive for companies who use cloud computing, but you may experience some issues in the early days of new regulations. 

Customers Will Care More About Their Privacy

People have often been quite relaxed about the information they put up online, but in 2021, this is starting to change. Users are becoming more aware of online privacy issues. This means they’re more likely to want to see companies taking measures to protect their privacy.

For example, customers might want to know that any messages they send will be protected by end-to-end encryption. Customers may turn away from businesses that don’t offer these kinds of privacy protections. 

You should make sure that your own company is taking privacy-protecting measures. You should also make sure that the customers are aware that you’re taking them.

Companies Need to Handle Unprecedented Data

One of the key security issues in cloud computing is the issue of massive amounts of data. As cloud computing services grow, there is so much data being stored that cloud computing companies can’t possibly hope to review it all. 

It’s possible that companies will start to shift the “burden of proof” onto users. This means that it will be the customer’s responsibility to demonstrate that the content they upload is legitimate. 

Cloud Security Trends Will Increase Investment

While many companies and actors have resisted cloud-based computing, they are now starting to see the potential. It’s thanks to cloud computing that many businesses have been able to continue functioning throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The pandemic has shown that cloud-based technology has become a critical infrastructure for a lot of industries. In 2021, cloud security trends show companies starting to spend more cash to safeguard their cloud systems. 

The increased focus on cloud-based solutions also means that hackers are stepping up their game. According to The McAfee report, attacks on cloud accounts shot up by 630% in 2020. 

It’s clear that if you want to protect your business and your clients, you’ll need to invest more in cloud computing security in 2021. 

Expect AI-based Solutions

One of the main questions of the year is how to deal with the massive amounts of data created by cloud-based working. AI-driven solutions just might be the future. 

In the next year, look out for AI-based solutions for searching and organizing your corporate data. These AI programs will be able to identify anomalies in your data, as well as organize your data in real-time. 

Having too much data available can be paralyzing when it comes to decision making and analysis. AI solutions will enable your workers to focus on the important data that truly matters. 

There Will Be Exploits Based on Legacy Systems

You can also expect to see a wide range of exploits based on outdated legacy systems. When systems stop being supported by the developer, there’s no one to patch out holes in security.

This means that connecting any kind of outdated system to your cloud is incredibly risky. Faults that can be exploited by hackers are frequently discovered in hardware and software systems. Usually, these are quickly patched by the developer. 

When patches are no longer being produced, it becomes riskier to use a system. The longer a system has been unsupported, the more exploits and security vulnerabilities will be discovered.

You should avoid these issues by always using up to date systems. Be proactive about updating your hardware and software. Don’t wait for a system to become obsolete before you replace it. 

An Exciting Year for Cloud Computing Security

As you can see, it’s set to be an exciting year for cloud computing security. The COVID-19 crisis means that many societal changes have been accelerated. Reliance on cloud computing has surged in the last year, creating unprecedented opportunities for hackers. The question of cloud storage vs cloud backup is ever-present as we focus more on overall security.

Some of the cloud security trends can be used to benefit cloud security for companies by keeping track of upcoming trends, organizations can build out strategies for mitigation thus helping them stay ahead of the threat curve.

Don’t put your entire company at risk and make sure you work with a cloud storage provider who takes security seriously

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