How big is the Cloud?

Between 2020 and 2021, cloud user bases grew significantly because, during the pandemic, businesses went digital. By 2022, 94% of all businesses will use cloud services, and a typical business can manage 1,000 or more virtual machines simultaneously in virtualized environments and in public clouds. At the same time, thousands of Software Design Infrastructure (SDI) devices and components are connected and distributed across a global cloud infrastructure. It is predicted that by 2025 there will be more than 100 zettabytes of data stored in the cloud.

One Zettabyte = 1 billion terabytes = 1 trillion gigabytes – That’s the same amount of storage as a thirty -one billion two hundred and fifty million 32 GB smartphone

Digital cloud identities

With the increasing use of the cloud, apps, objects and devices, the number and variety of identities an individual needs to track has exploded. A person is no longer a unique identity. Almost everyone who uses computers or accesses the Internet today has some form of digital identity. This can be a combination of an email address and password, their Internet browser history, their purchase history, and their credit card information on file with a store. lines, or identity attributes stored in an Identity and Access Management (IAM) system. Typically, a person can have more than 15 identities scattered across social media accounts, apps, cloud services, mobile, and physical devices.

One of the biggest problems associated with the cloud is too much identity. Instead of having several networks, the cloud has hundreds of thousands of identities representing their own individual perimeters. Because there are so many, tracking and protecting these cloud identities is an endless large -scale inventory process where users are constantly being added and removed. Moving to the cloud without proper identity management measures only exacerbates the problems of on -premises identities.

The global use of the largest cloud storage service gives an idea of ​​the number of identities stored in the cloud. In 2018, Google Drive surpassed one billion users, while the global Google Workspace cloud platform reached 2 billion users by 2020. The second most popular cloud storage service, Dropbox, is also very popular with over 700 million users. If the 3.7 billion people who use these cloud services also have at least 15 cloud identities, that represents a minimum of 55.5 billion cloud identities, or more than seven times the population of the planet. Here are the number of user identities for the largest cloud service:

  • AWS (Amazon Web Services) – Over 1 million active users
  • Dropbox – 15.48 million paying users
  • Google – 2 billion users
  • Microsoft Azure – 715 million users
  • iCloud (Apple) – 850 million users

Risks of Cloud Computing

While cloud computing has many advantages, as it provides companies with practical, scalable services that are immediately accessible to its users; Risks are also associated with the cloud:

  • Unauthorized access: Common cloud security issues include unauthorized access due to inadequate access controls and misuse of employee credentials. Contributing factors for authorized users include administrators and lack of proper visibility into rights, management, and administration. Insecure APIs and unauthorized access are the leading vulnerabilities affecting cloud security.
  • Data loss or theft: When you store records and data on someone else’s server, you are entrusting your data to the provider. However, this does not mean that you have waived or completely shifted responsibility for your data if it was lost due to a system error or stolen by cybercriminals. Cybercriminals can hack into servers or malware can make data unreadable by humans and software. In many cases, this data can no longer be recovered, so data loss prevention is an important tool.
  • Denial of service or distributed denial of service attacks: A denial of service (DoS or DDoS) attack is an attack that aims to shut down a machine or a network, and make it inaccessible. of the users it intends. This can make systems inaccessible to users and seriously interfere with business operations.

Cloud Identity Security

As users, we are more responsible for generating the content and data that creates our online identities. With 88% of cloud leaks reported to be due to human error, what can companies do to help people stay safe when using the cloud?

Establish an identity control panel: Passwords are often the only barrier between a cybercriminal and your sensitive information. Attackers can use certain programs to guess or “crack” passwords, or more than simply phish credentials. We advise users to follow NIST guidelines on updating passwords, which are usually done once a year or when compromised. However, to really help reduce the spread of credentials, organizations must implement a global authentication authority to define access policies and implement the concept of using SSO for all, within practical which are its limitations. SSO (and even passwords) should be used along with compensation controls such as MFA and risk signals.

Opt for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Verifications: Use MFA for login whenever possible. If passwords are compromised, having this additional layer of security will reduce the risk of cybercriminals stealing passwords to log into accounts. In addition, adding a layer of intelligence using risk signals will help reduce the MFA burden.

Control Privileged Access: Secures and manages administrative consoles and titles as well as secrets such as built-in credentials, keys, tokens, certificates, and API keys for human and machine identities.

File encryption: Ensures that all important files are encrypted. To read an encrypted file, the user must have access to a secret code to enable decryption. This means that only an authorized user can see it, even the software vendor. This excessive level of security will make it difficult for any potential attacker.

Machine Identity Security

People are only part of the cloud: As cloud adoption accelerates, an explosion of non-human worker identities has been seen. Machine identities act intelligently and make decisions on behalf of people’s traditional identities: they can be bots, no server functions, or infrastructure code. Due to the rise of digital transformation, there are now more non -human identities than human beings. Machine identities play an important role in digital innovation, helping organizations measure workloads and increase productivity. However, the rise of machine identities increases risks, and more than 79% of organizations report experiencing an identity-related security breach in the past two years. According to the second annual State of Machine Identity Management Report, 50% of respondents said their organization is likely or likely to experience machine identity theft or misuse over the next two years.

How to protect machine identities:

Acknowledge all your identities and inventory them at all times.

Determine the actual permission of each of your identities and constantly monitor any changes made.

Ensure that identity security solutions are in place and configured to manage and manage privileged identities that are not human.

According to Aubrey Turner of Ping Identity, ” With an estimated 4.2 billion digital duplicates on the net, we need to be more vigilant when it comes to protecting our identities online. It is reported that 88% of cloud breaches are due to human error and if we follow the steps we detailed above, we can help companies avoid major data breaches committed by cybercriminals. Based on these predictions, we can expect that the future of business will be fully integrated into the cloud, and if we are vigilant now, we can be prepared for what is to come. “.

About Ping Identity:

Ping Identity provides smart identity solutions for the enterprise. We enable businesses to achieve the security defined by the Zero Trust identity and more personalized and streamlined user experiences. The PingOne Cloud Platform enables customers, staff and partners to access cloud, mobile, SaaS and on-premises hybrid enterprise applications. More than half of Fortune 100 companies choose us for our expertise in identity, open standards, and partnerships with companies like Microsoft and Amazon. We provide flexible identity solutions that accelerate digital business initiatives, delight customers and secure business with multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, access management, smart API security, directory and data governance.

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