There’s been a growing trend towards the use of cloud computing services. According to a report by Gartner, the cloud services market will grow 300% faster over the next two years compared to traditional information technology (IT) services.

If you’re planning to jump on the bandwagon by purchasing and using IT services for your business, though, you should be aware of its potential security risks. Cloud computing leverages the resources of remote servers, so you won’t have physical control over the hardware used to store and process your business’s data. As a result, it may pose several security risks that can lead to data loss or data theft when ignored.

DDoS Attacks

Cloud services are susceptible to distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Not to be confused with a DoS attack, a DDoS attack is a form of spam in which an attacker sends an excessive number of requests to a server. Servers can only handle so many requests at any given time, and once they’ve reached this limit, they’ll buckle under pressure.

If a server is connected to the internet — as opposed to a private network — it can be targeted with a DDoS attack. Cloud servers, of course, are always connected to the internet, making them susceptible to this security risk.

Outdated Software

Another potential security risk of cloud services is outdated software. Cloud services are powered by servers, all of which contain software. At the bare minimum, a cloud server needs an operating system as well as virtualization software. If any of this software is outdated, a hacker may leverage a known vulnerability to access your business’s stored data.

You can still use a cloud service to process and store your business’s data, but you’ll need to make sure the server has up-to-date software. Otherwise, it could spell disaster for your business’s data.

Brute-Force Attacks

Since cloud services are accessible through an online login form, they are susceptible to brute-force attacks. A brute-force attack is a common cyber threat that plagues cloud services. It involves a hacker trying to guess the username and password of an online account, such as that of your business’s cloud service.

For protection against brute-force attacks, consider using multi-factor authentication (MFA). With MFA enabled, a hacker won’t be able to log in to your cloud service account even if he or she guesses your username and password. MFA adds another layer of authentication to the login process, such as verifying a PIN, to minimize the risk of brute-force attacks.