Quick Summary

This blog highlights the top 20 cloud security threats and emphasizes the critical cloud security risks to keep on your radar in 2024. Learn about these threats and discover how to enhance your defenses to address these risks effectively.

Table of Contents


The global cloud security software market is projected to reach $37 billion by 2026, highlighting the urgency for robust security measures. Safeguarding your organization from cloud security risks is essential for maintaining business continuity. It’s crucial to grasp the primary security threats and dangers associated with cloud computing to achieve this effectively.

While cloud computing has its advantages, it also brings new risks. Because data is stored remotely, it becomes a target for cyber threats due to its accessibility and interconnectedness. As more businesses migrate to the cloud, accidental data exposure and loss become more common.

This blog equips you with the knowledge to combat the top 22 cloud security threats and risks in 2024. Read on and secure your valuable data in the cloud!

Top 13 Cloud Security Threats Every Business Should Watch

Have a look at the top-in-the-line cloud security threat that you should look out for

1. Zero-Day Exploits

Zero-day exploits refer to software vulnerabilities that catch security teams off guard, leaving them with “0” days/no time to create a patch or fix an issue. They are associated with terms like Vulnerability, Exploit, and Threat.

  • Zero-Day Vulnerability: A hidden flaw in software that attackers can exploit using malicious code.
  • Zero-Day Exploit: The method attackers use to exploit the vulnerability and attack a system.
  • Zero-Day Attack: When hackers use malware to take advantage of a vulnerability before it is patched.

According to 2024 Attack Intelligence Report

  • 53% of mass compromise events in 2023 were due to zero-day vulnerabilities.
  • 23% of widespread threat CVEs in 2023 and early 2024 were from orchestrated zero-day attacks.
  • 36% of widely exploited vulnerabilities in 2023 occurred in network edge devices.
  • 60% of vulnerabilities in network and security appliances are targeted as zero-days.

2. Data Breach

A data breach occurs when sensitive information is taken without your knowledge or consent, posing significant cloud security threats. Attackers highly value data, making it the primary target of most cyberattacks. However, data can be vulnerable to theft due to cloud misconfigurations and insufficient runtime protection.

The severity of a data breach varies depending on the nature of the stolen data. Personally identifiable information (PII) and personal health information (PHI) are often traded on the dark web and used for identity theft or to launch phishing attacks. Other confidential data, such as internal documents or emails, can be exploited to damage a company’s reputation or manipulate its stock price. Regardless of the motive, data breaches remain a significant threat to cloud services companies if their cloud security posture management isn’t adequate to protect their cloud infrastructure.

According to IBM’s 2023 Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average data breach cost in 2023 was $4.45 million, a 2.3% rise from the $4.35 million reported in 2022.

Data Breach Report

3. Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)

An Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) is a long-term, sneaky cyberattack where an intruder secretly enters a network to steal sensitive data over time. Unlike quick attacks, APTs involve the attacker staying in the network, moving between systems, and continuously searching for valuable information to steal and sell. Unlike quick attacks, APTs involve attackers staying in the network, moving between systems, and constantly searching for valuable information to steal and sell.

Mitigating cloud security threats associated with APT attacks require more planning and skill than regular attacks. The attackers are usually skilled cybercriminals who target important organizations. They invest significant time and money in identifying weaknesses within the organization.

The main goals of APTs are:

  • Spying to swipe secrets or intellectual property
  • Committing cybercrime to make money
  • Hacktivism is when hackers attack for a cause
  • Causing damage or destruction.

4. Insider Threats

An insider threat arises within the organization, often from a current or former employee directly accessing the company’s network, sensitive data, and intellectual property (IP). Insiders can exploit vulnerabilities in cloud infrastructure or misconfigurations in cloud services to compromise data integrity or confidentiality. They may also understand business procedures and regulations, enabling them to carry out an attack.

Two categories of insider threats exist.

  • Malicious insider threat: It occurs when an employee deliberately causes harm by misusing their access privileges.
  • Negligent insider threat: Employee accidentally compromises security through careless actions.

5. Cyberattacks

A cyberattack occurs when individuals like cybercriminals, hackers, or other digital adversaries attempt to enter a computer network or system.

Their goal is typically to alter, steal, destroy, or expose information. Common cyber assaults aimed at businesses encompass malware, phishing, Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, SQL injections, and assaults directed at Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets. Also, these cloud security threats present risks, with attackers exploiting vulnerabilities or misconfigurations in cloud services.

Cookie poisoning in cloud applications occurs when someone alters or adds harmful content to a cookie, which is a small file stored on a user’s computer by a website or web app. Cookies contain user preferences and browsing history, often personalizing the user’s experience. In cloud apps, cookies may include login information, so attackers tamper with them to gain unauthorized access, which poses a significant concern in the context of cloud security threats.

7. Data Loss/ Leakage

Cloud services pose a significant risk of data loss, which can occur for various reasons. In network extortion or ransomware incidents, hackers encrypt an organization’s cloud-stored data and demand payment for decryption. The data could face permanent deletion if the ransom isn’t handed over. Data loss can also happen during system migration, where errors may occur during the transition to a new environment or backup process.

Additionally, information sharing increases the likelihood of data loss or compromise. The cloud makes it simple for users to share files and applications, whether within or outside the organization. However, a single negligent or malicious action can lead to sensitive data ending up in unauthorized hands, raising concerns surrounding cloud security threats.

8. Hackers and Insecure APIs

Hackers and insecure APIs present a major risk to cloud computing. As cloud services function online, APIs serve as the primary communication method. Therefore, safeguarding interfaces and APIs from external users is crucial. However, certain cloud services accessible in the public domain are vulnerable, as they may be accessed by third parties. This vulnerability increases the risk of hackers exploiting these services to compromise or damage your data. These cloud security issues exemplify the persistent challenges posed by cloud security threats.

Hackers and Insecure APIs

9. User Account Hijacking

User Account Hijacking is a significant concern in cloud security threats. Cloud applications typically rely solely on login credentials, usually a username and password, for authentication. This poses security risks that are less concerning in on-premises setups or if additional verification, like user location, were implemented.

Phishing schemes, such as fraudulent emails, can trick users into revealing their credentials on seemingly trustworthy websites. Moreover, many users need help to handle their credentials securely, often using weak passwords or storing them unsafely. These practices make user accounts susceptible to brute-force attacks, allowing hackers to gain unauthorized access when successful.

User Account Hijacking

10. Denial of Service (DoS) Attack

Denial of service (DoS) attacks represent a critical aspect of cloud security threats. These attacks happen when a website’s resources flood, stopping users from accessing it. These attacks disrupt cloud services by flooding the computer processing unit (CPU) with numerous attack packets, making the network unusable. As a result, computer operations stop, and access to documents and files is blocked until the excessive traffic is resolved.

11. Lack of Visibility

Cloud-based resources belonging to an organization are situated beyond the company’s internal network and operate on infrastructure not owned by the organization. Consequently, conventional methods for attaining network visibility are often inadequate in cloud settings, and some organizations may need more dedicated security tools tailored for cloud environments. This shortfall can impede an organization’s capacity to oversee and safeguard its cloud-based assets from potential threats, highlighting the challenges posed by cloud security threats.

12. External Sharing of Data

The cloud is designed for seamless data sharing. Many cloud services offer features like email invitations or shared links, allowing easy access to shared resources. While convenient, this simplicity also poses a significant security risk. Link-based sharing, often preferred for its ease, complicates access control. Links shared publicly can be forwarded, stolen, or guessed, leading to unauthorized access. Moreover, revoking access to a specific recipient of a shared link becomes impossible with this method, underscoring the complexities of cloud security threats.

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13. Malware

One of the major cloud security threats lies in the ease of access and resource sharing facilitated by cloud-based applications and services. While this simplicity is advantageous, it also opens the door to heightened risks of malware deployment. Malicious actors exploit the constant movement of files within and beyond the cloud to infiltrate cloud environments and inject harmful code. Once introduced, this malware can rapidly spread, causing widespread damage across different network sectors.

9 Cloud Security Risks You Should Not Ignore

Let’s look at the cloud security risks that you should always be aware of to ensure the better functioning of your business.

1. Unmanaged Attack Surface

An unmanaged attack surface in cloud security risks refers to the collection of digital assets, devices, systems, and applications within the organization’s IT infrastructure that are not identified, inventoried, monitored, or secured. These unmonitored assets can create weaknesses that attackers may exploit to gain unauthorized entry into a network, possibly resulting in data theft, operational disruptions, or additional attacks.

Unmanaged Attack Surface

2. Human Error

Gartner states that, by 2025, human error will account for 99% of cloud security failures. Human error is always a risk when developing business applications, and this risk increases with public risk usage. The ease of use of cloud services may lead individuals to utilize APIs without adequate oversight, which could result in security vulnerabilities. To mitigate these cloud security risks, establish strong controls & create procedures to make the right decisions.

Human Error

3. Unauthorized Access to Data

Contrary to an organization’s internal infrastructure, their cloud-based configurations are positioned beyond the network perimeter and are accessible directly from the public Internet. Although this accessibility benefits both employees and customers, it also facilitates unauthorized access by attackers. Poorly configured security measures or compromised credentials can allow attackers to gain direct entry, possibly without the organization’s awareness.

The latest threats to be aware of are

  • AI-Powered Phishing Campaigns
  • Exploiting API access vulnerabilities and broken user authentication
  • DNS Tunneling
  • Cloud or network hopping
  • Compromising third-party service providers

Shocking Facts

  • Trello: 15 million user data scraped and posted on the dark web in January 2024.
  • Bank of America: November 2023 ransomware attack exposed data of 57,000 customers.
  • Indian Council of Medical Research: In October 2023, a security breach exposed the health records of 815 million Indian citizens.
  • Ontario Birth Registry: Unauthorized access in September 2023 led to health data exposure for 3.4 million individuals.
  • Norton Healthcare: In May 2023, an unauthorized intrusion led to the disclosure of personal data belonging to 2.5 million patients.

4. Misconfiguration

Security misconfiguration poses significant cloud security risks when security settings aren’t correctly set up, leaving systems vulnerable to cyber-attacks. This can happen in any computing system, software, or network infrastructure, often due to default settings or overlooked configurations.


5. Vendor-Lock in

Transitioning between cloud service providers can pose cloud security risks due to the potential for significant expenses and complexities, possibly resulting in vendor lock-in. Therefore, businesses should consider this risk when selecting a cloud provider and ensure they have a Cloud strategy for transitioning to a new provider if necessary.

6. Data-security non-compliance

Non-compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS, which safeguard sensitive data, poses significant cloud security risks for companies, leading to severe consequences. To adhere to these regulations, organizations may need to set up a segregated part of their network that is k accessible only to authorized personnel. Access restrictions are imposed to ensure compliance standards are met.

Failure to comply with regulations can result in penalties and fines, posing significant harm to the business. Unfortunately, not all cloud service providers comply with industry security standards. Introducing a cloud-based service without ensuring compliance with applicable legal standards can lead to significant security issues.

7. Inadequate Identity and Access Management

Access and identity management control is critical in mitigating cloud security risks by controlling who can access specific documents in the cloud, where they can access them, and which devices are allowed access. It ensures that only authorized users can access specific documents, specifies where users can access them, and determines which devices can connect to the network. Access and identity management also strengthen cloud security because they help prevent unauthorized people from accessing important data. Access must be managed correctly to ensure critical data ends up in the hands of the right people.

8. Data and Privacy Contract Breaches

Businesses must adhere to customer data and privacy agreements and follow government regulations. These agreements explain how the company keeps, stores, and shares customer information with other companies. If customer data is compromised while stored in the cloud, it could constitute a breach of contract. Violations of these agreements may lead to legal consequences, impacting customer trust and the company’s reputation.

9. Shadow IT

Shadow IT refers to data that isn’t managed by a company’s IT or security teams. It includes unauthorized IT resources like cloud services, servers, and hardware. This phenomenon occurs in agile environments, where teams quickly acquire IT resources without following proper procedures. While shadow IT is common as businesses adopt cloud services, ignoring its cloud security risks can lead to data breaches.


Staying updated on cloud security threats and risks in 2024 is essential for protecting your organization’s valuable data and maintaining uninterrupted business operations. By understanding these threats and dangers, you can implement robust security measures and protocols to mitigate them effectively. Investing in reliable cloud support and maintenance services can further enhance your organization’s resilience against emerging threats and ensure optimal cloud infrastructure performance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When utilizing cloud services, it’s crucial to consider risks such as unauthorized access, data breaches, insecure interfaces, insider threats, and compliance violations.

Protecting cloud-stored data involves strategies like robust encryption, access control mechanisms, thorough monitoring of access logs, and implementing multi-factor authentication.

Multi-tenant cloud environments pose unique challenges like shared resource vulnerabilities, potential data leakage between tenants, and the risk of lateral movement by malicious actors within the shared infrastructure.

Strengthening your cloud infrastructure necessitates consistent software updates, network segmentation implementation, robust firewall and intrusion detection systems, and frequent security assessments and penetration testing.

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