HomeOp-edCloud Computing: A business game changer with rising risks
By Emad Fahmy
January 30, 2023 5:48 pm

Cloud Computing: A business game changer with rising risks

Enterprises face a variety of security threats
Cloud computing
Emad Fahmy, Systems Engineering Manager Middle East at NETSCOUT

The future of the digital corporate world relies on cloud computing. As more businesses move their operations to the cloud, new opportunities for innovation and growth help them keep up with the market demands. Rapidly rising expenditure on cloud services is proof of this trend. By 2025, total global spending on cloud services is predicted to reach $1.3 trillion, with a compound annual growth rate of 16.9 percent, according to IDC.

Unfortunately, this growing reliance on cloud computing also comes with substantial challenges, such as the rising threat of cyberattacks.

Read: Kuwait picks Google Cloud

Understanding the Risks


In the MENA region, expenditure on secure cloud infrastructure has consistently grown over the past two years as demand from remote users skyrocketed. In 2021, it increased by almost 41% to around $20 million, and according to Gartner, it will grow by another 35% to $36 million in 2023. Enterprises face a variety of security threats when using cloud computing. It is essential to consider each of these risks to understand how to mitigate them effectively. Some of the most widespread security risks connected to cloud computing include:

  •     Large-scale data breaches:

There is a risk of data theft when private or sensitive information is kept on the cloud or accessible through it. Enterprises must take all necessary safeguards to prevent attackers from obtaining such information, as seen by the all-too-frequent news headlines about prominent data breaches. Such attacks can have devastating consequences for a company.

  •     Lack of visibility:

Visibility is essential for efficient cloud security. However, the ability to observe end-to-end is limited because cloud-based services are situated outside the corporate infrastructure. Traditional monitoring tools are unable to provide comprehensive cloud visibility. Enterprises may find it challenging to identify and defend against cyberattacks without complete network visibility into the cloud environment, increasing the security risk associated with cloud computing.

  •     API hacks:

The use of application programming interfaces (APIs) has become essential for communication among cloud services in today’s environment of increased connectivity and automation. Since third parties frequently utilize APIs, they are susceptible to hacking, which could expose sensitive data to compromise. As a result, there is a strong need to defend against cybersecurity threats for these crucial interfaces.

  •     DDoS attacks:

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks overwhelm a server with traffic, causing it to bog down and eventually crash. DDoS attacks on cloud infrastructure can cause widespread damage to all organizations that rely on those cloud services. In some cases, DDoS attackers may demand a ransom to stop the attacks, free up now-disabled systems, and restore access to critical data. Indeed, ransomware gangs are including DDoS attacks into their methods of stealing and threatening to reveal cloud-based data, as well as encrypting cloud-based data, in an attempt to triple extort their targets.

Cloud Visibility: See It All or Risk It All


As previously outlined, companies confront distinct cybersecurity concerns associated with cloud computing. To mitigate such risks, they require end-to-end network visibility into the complete service delivery stack.

Since every application transaction is sent through the virtual or physical network, wire data or traffic flows are the most reliable source of information for achieving visibility.

To obtain holistic visibility across applications and the complete service delivery infrastructure, IT requires continuous end-to-end cloud monitoring and in-depth analysis of network traffic patterns. The key to cloud visibility is extracting, collecting, organizing, and analyzing relevant information from wire data transmitted between application workloads in the form of East-West and North-South traffic flows spanning the private cloud, public cloud, and the data center.

This traffic-based data can subsequently be used to generate smart data at the collection location. The resulting smart data, collected in real-time, offers organizations actionable intelligence, allowing IT to identify issues, optimize infrastructure and application performance, and discover risks and vulnerabilities in line with demand.

IT teams can better understand application and service availability, reliability, and responsiveness by using dashboards, alerts, and workflows to provide key metrics from the smart data analysis and information on the interdependencies between services. They can also navigate the complexities of a cloud system and troubleshoot problems in real time, reducing possible network, security, and compliance risks.

A smart data strategy provides an in-depth view of the applications and services and their interdependencies, giving IT businesses the visibility they need to succeed. By leveraging the insights of smart data while maintaining visibility and control over their hybrid- and multi-cloud systems, organizations can confidently use the strategic benefit of flexibility, agility, and scalability required to remain competitive in today’s digitally connected world.

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