Data privacy and data security have become current and central issues in today’s data driven world.

Data privacy and data security are important because they dictate how companies operate their systems, communicate with customers and investors and ensure the continued success of an organization.

In proactive companies, security strategies determine how networks move data, how databases work with middleware, and how sensitive data gets distributed to authorized users.

So what are the big threats on the horizon? Cybersecurity professionals are talking about a range of growing data security issues that could have major ramifications for cloud services and database operations.

Recapping the Biggest Threats to Cloud/Online Data in 2018

Some of the biggest cloud security and data loss threats for 2018 are projected to continue in 2019. For example, 2018 saw a whole host of data breaches both large and small.

A data breach is something that IT security teams should continuously focus on because the impact can be so detrimental to a business model and creates so much liability.

Theft of customer financial and personal data is especially harmful, since customers put their trust in companies to safeguard their information from hackers.

Unfortunately, with trends like the Internet of Things gaining traction, the idea of using various attacks to spy on sensitive network traffic isn't going away anytime soon.

In the same sense, insider threats have been a big issue in 2018, and will be a major focus in 2019 and beyond.

It's a real challenge to keep data accessible to authorized users without allowing it to fall into the hands of disgruntled employees or other malicious insiders. Insider threats can compromise data and systems, in some cases, quite easily. In other cases, it’s as simple as employees ignoring key data safety rules or failing to meet protocol, where that leads to a hacker gaining access.

Wired (and elsewhere) that attack new microprocessors work on a very different model of compromising hardware rather than infiltrating systems through software. That’s something that many businesses did not see coming.

There's also the issue of insecure APIs – with application programming interfaces doing so much in regards to data movement, it's important to focus on API development and security to make sure they aren't being exploited.

Now, let's look at what's likely to be at the top of the list for IT security professionals this coming year.

Top Cloud Data Security Threats for 2019

One way to do this is to look at the top-level and most common categories of threats and attacks that experts are expecting next year. These would include:

  • Insider threats – disgruntled employees, malicious infiltrators, etc.

  • External threats – malware, data breach, account hijacking

  • Shared vulnerabilities and week internal security

  • Vulnerable interfaces and APIs

All of these are going to be significant sources of concern for companies.

Looking at each of these in depth, we can see some coming trends for the year ahead.

In terms of data breaches, professionals find it likely that many of these attacks will be directed towards mobile systems, as so much more of our data is ported onto smartphone devices.

Here's another major fear over external attacks – tech journalists are reporting on new “fileless” attacks (read more at Symantec blogs) that do not embed themselves in a particular file’s code. Instead, they reside in a part of the operating system, which makes them harder to track and harder to discover.

Then there's data loss – and there's a particularly scary word re-surfacing here for 2019 – ransomware.

Unlike other kinds of data theft, ransomware doesn't so much involve unauthorized parties getting access to the data, as it involves locking the legitimate user out. Think of a hospital or emergency center or someplace that needs real-time data to function. Ransomware operatives simply lock up that data and demand payment for its return.

One reason that experts are so afraid of ransomware in 2019 has to do with the new proliferation of what's called “ransomware as a service” – basically, some of the trickiest hackers have been able to put together a kind of build-your-own-ransomware service, allowing those with less criminal acumen to go out and lock up other people's files. That in itself makes ransomware a top concern for next year.

As for shared vulnerabilities, experts point out that cloud services leave partnering entities open to attacks when their internal security is not properly managed and maintained.

Then there's the development of the botnet, and denial of service attacks that can cripple organizations and businesses.

Again, this is about destroying functionality and keeping data from doing its important work effectively.

Security professionals scanning the horizon see new types of botnet attacks and denial of service attacks surfacing next year. There's what's called the “drive-by denial of service attack” where new systems make it easier to target a network from the outside.

It's important to note that the same kinds of issues that companies face with denial of service attacks are also brought on by natural threats – natural disasters and other emergencies can trigger the same kinds of data loss and operational failure.

Cloud Data Security: Data Protection and Recovery Solutions

The best companies and organizations are finding ways to deal proactively with all of these concerns. They're already looking ahead to 2019, identifying the top risks, and choosing technologies techniques and strategies that will keep them two steps ahead of attackers. They’re also investing in disaster recovery solutions, in order to help to mitigate damage after an attack.

In the case of insider threats, companies are looking very seriously at many different types of event monitoring.

Checking network logs and putting monitors on a network helps administrators and security professionals to spot bad activity a mile away. There's even the use of heuristics and artificial intelligence components to isolate unusual network activity and try to spot attacks.

For instance, if the system sees an unusual login at a strange hour from an unidentified device, they know to put special emphasis on that network activity. This can go a long way toward effectively guarding against many different types of internal threats.

In addressing weak internal security and shared vulnerabilities, cloud partners are tightening up their internal controls and promoting user awareness.

Better trainings, public awareness campaigns and aggressive standards can help educate the rank-and-file of employees and make sure that everyone does their part to keep the network safe. Companies want to work with trusted cloud providers, and cloud providers want the clients to have their own high security standards in place. None of this has to be exorbitantly expensive, and it’s often quite worth the effort.

As for interfaces and APIs, companies are addressing the security issues on a case-by-case basis. The threat depends on the infrastructure. One excellent example is the development of RDX cloud hosting solutions that will help to solve these pressing data protection and data recovery problems, provide solutions for assisting with business continuity and backup capabilities, and everything involved in building a cybersecurity model.

Another essential technique is called isolation. This involves taking unvetted data or network activity, and isolating it in a sealed atmosphere until it can be analyzed and inspected for signs of malicious activity. Isolation and network segmentation are top-level philosophies being used to protect firms against the kinds of attacks you'd associate with pilfered API keys or interface infiltration.

Then there's the denial of service attack. Different firewall configurations can provide a layer of security. Companies are also developing internal tools that are better able to spot the signs of an emerging denial of service attack and close off servers to very specific and targeted kinds of requests.

To the extent that internal services can learn to spot a DOS, these types of attacks will become less and less effective.

The RDX Solution

RDX cloud data protection and disaster recovery services have been built in the context of preparing companies for the cybersecurity risks of the future.

Companies with cloud components need data security - they need to protect their systems from breaches. They also need backup and data recovery solutions, so that after a natural or man-made disaster, they can get access to the archived data that drives their business. But on top of those two things, they also need business continuity. The ability to pick up after an interruption and keep the company moving forward is vital.

RDX provides a framework for data restoration: master planning for Recovery Time and Recovery Point (RTO and RPO) objectives, backup monitoring, backup re-execution and more to automate and re-inforce restorative operations.

In addition to safeguarding sensitive data sets, the RDX cloud data protection and data recovery services can help with server recovery, providing full data backups and facilitating smooth transitions if part of a system is compromised. With comprehensive backup capabilities plus recovery and failover systems, RDX ensures that even in an emergency, clients continue to enjoy full data access and real-time restoration.

The RDX service suite provides comprehensive security around database and network operations. Using a holistic view of all of those threats that imperil cloud security today, next year and beyond, RDX data protection services are a major asset to companies that want to mitigate risk in an age of rampant cyberattacks.

Make data protection a problem of the past for your organization by scheduling a consultation appointment with our team of security and recovery experts.