eCommerce Fastlane Podcast

5 Cloud Security Risks For eCommerce Companies

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With well-known brands such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft all fighting for market share, and with the increase in remote work and broadened online services, cloud computing has become one of the most powerful computing platforms that brought a solid foundation for small and large businesses. 

As big brands use cloud computing, eCommerce companies also use it. They use it as a tool to back up essential data and enhance customer experience. Other examples of cloud usage in eCommerce include providing personalized shopping experiences and real-time inventory tracking with cloud-hosted databases and applications. 

As the use of the cloud is positively beneficial for eCommerce companies, the problem is that there are security risks like data breaches and ransomware that get stronger as time passes by. These security risks can cause a loss of reputation in front of customers, a cause for costly downtime, and a loss of revenue.  

Overall, if you want to prevent a data breach from happening, many services offer cloud security solutions for such issues. 

In this article, you can delve more into cloud security risks on eCommerce companies. 

 

1. Malware Attacks 

Malicious software, also called malware, is one of the most pervasive cloud security issues. It pervades soft spots in the cloud’s system by utilizing worms, viruses, adware, Trojan viruses, ransomware, and spyware.  

As such, cloud computing architecture usually provides different possible weak links for cybercriminals to take advantage of, such as many entities like virtual machines (VMs) and storage buckets. 

As the vulnerabilities within the cloud’s system and architecture can cause security concerns, you should also note that cybercriminals constantly refine and improve their criminal schemes to exploit the cloud whenever cloud adoption evolves. 

Likewise, the notion that malware isn’t a problem in the cloud can be seen in various security teams—mainly if they’ve already applied client-side firewalls and endpoint security software. On the other hand, malware attacks are an actual security risk in using the cloud, so these teams must put multiple layers of security designed to detect it. 

Other ways to add security measures can be by: 

  • Using multi-factor authentication and the least privilege to secure all access to the cloud systems 
  • Segment your network to ensure that cybercriminals will only negatively affect a small segment of the network whenever a malware attack occurs.  

 

2. Data Loss 

Cloud vendors take pride in collaboration and shareability as their advantages. However, sometimes cloud environments make it a lot less hard for users, such as eCommerce companies, to share data, either with the staff from within or those with third parties from the outside through direct email invitations or by data sharing through public links. 

Because there’s an ease in data sharing through the cloud, despite its benefits of becoming the cloud’s primary asset and key to working together, it still paved the way for severe issues regarding data loss. The truth is that 66 percent of organizations point out that the ease of sharing data in the cloud is their most significant cloud security concern.  

Likewise, data loss happens when: 

  • Sensitive data is in another’s possession  
  • The company owner can’t use one or more elements of the data 
  • The software is not updated 
  • The hard disk is not working as it should 

In addition, this security concern can indeed be worrying as it allows easy access to any individual who is aware of the link. Likewise, tools are also there to search the internet for these types of insecure cloud distribution. 

Moreover, data loss in the cloud could result in deleted or corrupted data, malware attacks, hardware malfunctions, and loss of access because of natural calamities for which the cloud service provider isn’t ready. And so, your eCommerce company must perform regular backups to address this concern to minimize such risks.  

Some types of data that your company must back up are: 

  • Personnel files,  
  • Financial records 
  • Property and Tax Records 
  • Computer System Files 
  • Business Administration Documents 

 

3. Undue Diligence 

Your company should take the move of data into the cloud seriously. As a third-party vendor, it’s crucial to proceed with due diligence when choosing a cloud service provider to ensure that your organization has full knowledge of the scope of work required to move to the cloud with success and efficiency. 

However, organizations are unaware of the work needed to convert to using the cloud in many scenarios and often overlook the cloud service provider’s security procedure. Undue diligence in examining the security procedures of cloud service providers can put eCommerce companies at risk of any security lapses on the cloud service provider’s part. 

Likewise, some risks that these companies can put themselves into because of undue diligence are the possibility of undergoing malware and access attacks and physical asset vulnerabilities at data centers.  

Another form of undue diligence can also be transitioning to the cloud quickly with companies failing to properly gauge and predict their service needs with a suitable cloud service provider. 

And so, to prevent this mistake, your company must be knowledgeable of any risks that can be linked with having a new direction that your company wants to put itself in. Your company must perform queries to understand the full scope of the current security practices and guidelines and data management. 

 

4. Unsecured Application Programming Interfaces When Using The Cloud 

Application programming interfaces (API) are the primary tool used for the operation of the cloud system. This process includes use by the company’s employees from within and usage by consumers from the outside through products like mobile or web applications. External use is crucial because of all the data migration that enables the service, which, in turn, provides all kinds of analytics. 

However, external API can cause illegal access by malicious actors searching for ways to exploit services and gain some entrance into the company’s essential data. Such external API increases the chance of cloud security risks. Similarly, here are some of the reasons for API security risks: 

  • Security Misconfiguration 
  • Broken Authentication 
  • Improper Assets Management 
  • Unrestrained Data Exposure 
  • Inadequate Monitoring and Logging 
  • Shortage in Resources and Rate Limiting 
  • Broken Level Authorization 

Likewise, cloud technology applications commonly interact with each other through API, and it can be alluring to put all your trust in those APIs. However, the sad truth is that companies haven’t been good in the past concerning API protection. 

Cybercriminals can exploit unsecured APIs by setting up code injections and denial-of-service attacks, which can become tools for gaining access to sensitive data. 

As unsecured APIs can be alarming, developers must create APIs with robust access control, authentication, and encryption to ensure API security. Another step is to perform penetration tests that also assist in safeguarding external attacks objecting to API endpoints and gain a preventable code review. 

In addition, it’s ideal to have a secure software development lifecycle (SDLC) to create a secure API and software. Reduce the need for solid authentication controls by implementing SSL/TLS encryption for data-in-transit and performing multi-factor authentication. 

 

5. Misconfigured Cloud Services 

A cloud misconfiguration occurs if an admin or user fails to set the security setting of the cloud platform duly. For instance, an admin could unintentionally allow unrestricted outbound access, resulting in unprivileged servers and applications communicating with each other. 

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  • Development of storage buckets with public access 
  • Weak password policy and incomplete identity access management configurations 
  • Databases with inadequate security settings 
  • Firewall rules that permitted public-facing traffic 

To note, the most usual types of cloud misconfigurations include: 

  • Mangled Data Access- happens when confidential data is excluded in the open and requires no authorization 
  • Common Cloud Security Settings of the server with standard access management and availability of data 
  • Mismatched Access Management- when a person who’s not authorized accidentally gains access to essential data 

Likewise, your eCommerce company should double-check cloud security configurations upon putting up a specific cloud server to avoid misconfigured cloud services. While it seems common sense, this action appears to be overlooked for other essential things like placing stuff into the cloud without second thoughts concerning its security. 

Another thing that one can do is examine security configurations. There are third-party tools that a company can use to check the status of security configurations on a schedule and pinpoint possible issues before it happens. 

The third step that someone can take is to employ multi-factor authentication (MFA) to minimize the chance of unauthorized access due to endangering credentials. Without MFA, a company can be vulnerable to security threats such as brute-force attempts, phishing, and stolen passwords. 

 

Wrapping Up 

The cloud has become one of the essential computing platforms that helps to provide support for small and large businesses. Likewise, eCommerce companies have seen the potential of the cloud to provide a satisfying customer experience along with other uses. 

As cloud use can be ideal for your eCommerce company, one obstacle that your company can face is the possible security risks that come alongside it. These can cause a severe negative impact that can be damaging. Some cloud security risks that eCommerce companies can encounter when using cloud computing are unsecured APIs, data loss, malware attacks, undue diligence, and misconfigured cloud services. 

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