What Are The Security Risks Of Cloud Computing? (2021)

Ajay Ohri


Cloud computing is a combination of software and hardware-based computing resources delivered as a networked service. This model of IT-enabled services enables us anytime access to a shared pool of applications and resources.  These applications and resources are accessible using a simple front-end interface such as a Web browser. Every technology, before its progress, implementation, stabilization, and maturity, all the business models, especially the small-sized businesses, need to be aware of the same before adopting cloud computing in its operations. We can get the awareness of that what are the security risks of cloud computing from the below brief.

With cloud computing, companies can scale up to massive potential instantly without needing to invest in new infrastructure, trained new personnel, or license new software. Without incurring high costs for building large data centres internally, Cloud computing will particularly benefit small and medium-sized business setups. IT ecosystem will be used efficiently and cost-effectively as per business needs with the assistance of cloud computing.

Despite its many benefits, Cloud computing has certain risks in terms of security.

Security Risks of Cloud computing

  1. Confidentiality
  2. Integrity
  3. Availability
  4. Privacy
  5. Data Stealing
  6. Weak Identity Management and Access Management
  7. Application Security

1. Confidentiality

Preventing the data from unauthorized disclosure is referred to as Confidentiality. The cloud works on public networks. Unauthorized access to information will lead to public embarrassment and legal repercussions. This will lead to security threats in cloud computing.

Therefore, Data should be kept confidential from unauthorized access. The use of encryption and physical isolation will enable the system to keep the data secret. The basic approach to attain confidentiality is encrypting the data before placing it in the cloud by using TC3(Total Claim, Capture, and Control).

2. Integrity

The prevention of unauthorized modification of data and ensuring the high quality, correct, consistent, and accessible data is referred to as Integrity. There is a high risk of modification after all the data is moved to the public cloud. If the data integrity is lost then, it can create various legal and financial problems for the organization.

Good data integrity is the basis of all the service models. Digital Signature and Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) strategies are some of the methods to preserve the integrity in Cloud computing. The most direct way to enforce integrity control is to employ a cryptographic hash function. For example, a solution is developed as an underlying data structure using a hash tree for authenticated network storage.

3. Availability

Prevention of unauthorized withholding of data is referred to as Availability. It ensures data backup. Besides, availability also ensures that they meet the organization’s continuity and contingency planning requirements.

However, availability can get affected on a temporary or permanent basis. RIsks in cloud computing include temporary breakdowns, sustained and Permanent Outages, Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, equipment failure, and natural calamities that can affect the risks partially or completely.

4. Privacy

Privacy is also considered as one of the important issues in the cloud. The privacy issues are embedded in each phase of the cloud design. It includes both legal compliance and trusting maturity. 

There is a need to understand various laws and regulations that impose security and privacy duties on the organization. This can potentially impact Cloud computing initiatives such as demanding privacy, data location and security controls, records management, and E-discovery requirements.

By understanding security risks in cloud computing, Cloud Service Providers (CSP) need to implement a control monitoring function coupled with an external audit process. It is the responsibility of the cloud suppliers. They should protect the data and supply it to the customer in a very secure and legal way.

5. Data Stealing

In a cloud, Data stored anywhere is accessible in public form and private form by anyone at any time. In such cases, an issue arises that is data stealing. Some Cloud providers do not use their server, rather than use the server from other service providers. In that case, there is a probability that the data is less secure and more prone to lose from an external server.

If the external server gets shut down due to any legal problem, financial crisis, natural disaster, or fire, then it will create a huge loss to the users.

Therefore, a backup policy such as Continuous Data Protection (CDP) should be implemented to avoid any issues with data recovery in case of a sudden attack to reduce the risk of cloud computing,

6. Weak Identity Management and Access Management

The critical success factor for Cloud providers is to have robust federated identity management architecture and internal strategy in the organization. There are certain issues associated with Identity and Access Management. It is simple to access due to which hackers can easily hack the identity and accounts.

One recurring issue is that organizational identification and authentication framework may not naturally extend into the public cloud. Using Cloud-based “Identity as a service”  providers may be a useful tool for outsourcing some identity management capabilities and facilitating federated identity management with cloud providers.

Identity Management and Access control provide secure authentication and authorization to an organization. Identity management provides trust. It shares digital attributes between the Cloud provider and organization, ensuring protection against hackers.

7. Application Security

Security Threats in cloud computing relating to application security will still apply when the applications move to cloud platforms. If there is unauthenticated access to the application, then it can make the application vulnerable.

The service provider should have complete access to the server with all the rights for monitoring and maintenance of the server. This will prevent Cloud computing from a security breach. Infected applications need to be monitored and recovered by Cloud security drivers.


Cloud computing has come up with various facilities for ease of doing business activities. However, Cloud security challenges and risks in cloud computing cannot be neglected. In-depth Analyses of are security risks of cloud computing will provide the solutions to cope up with them. Close monitoring after implementing various measures is also required so that any deviation can be discovered earlier. Security threats in cloud computing are on the increase. Therefore, security controls should be developed to prevent security risks like data loss, social engineering attacks, etc. 

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