Many organizations assume that their cloud provider is entirely responsible for cloud security. But the fault typically lies in the way cloud environments are configured or managed. According to Gartner, 90% of organizations that fail to control public cloud will share their sensitive data. Besides, 99% of cloud security failures will be the result of the customer’s fault.
Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) approach is an excellent solution for securing cloud configurations. A CSPM solution proactively identifies and remediates cloud security risks by focusing on compliance monitoring and security assessments. From including a group of reporting tools to automation, the CSPM approach has evolved in recent years.
Challenges that enterprises face while migrating to the cloud
An IaaS provider delivers basic risk assessment and configuration capabilities. But they only address their own services that don’t account for the multi-cloud and hybrid capabilities that most enterprises require. While the underlying cloud provider infrastructure is mostly secure, security slits might widen if left exposed for a longer duration. Many enterprises don’t have the process, maturity, or tools to scale or use the cloud securely, which is again a huge concern.
Practices such as internal training, incident-response that were originally built for on-premise-environments are now outmoded and are unable to support the security posture for cloud infrastructure. As per Gartner, 95% of cloud security issues will be the result of misconfiguration by the year 2020. In between trying to navigate all sorts of nuances and infrastructure management (IaaS, SaaS, PaaS, RaaS, and FPaaS), it’s difficult to keep track of what each category of tooling includes.
Defining a comprehensive CSPM approach for multi-cloud
Data breaches through mismanagement of IaaS usage are becoming a frequent affair with the widespread adoption of IaaS. The right CSPM approach automatically assesses the cloud against baseline security violations. In brief, implementing a CSPM strategy can help enterprises to spot the following typical cloud control plane issues:
- No encryption in sensitive data in motion
- Permissive or open network access controls
- Lack of sound key management (e.g. old or stale keys)
- Poor IAM policies that don’t adhere to the compliance mandates
- Accessible S3 buckets or other exposed data storage
- Zero or minimal logging enabled with the cloud ecosystem
- Zero encryption for cloud database
- Privileged accounts lacking MFA
CSPM identifies the public cloud environment footprint and enables auditing and reporting on misconfigurations. Comprehensive CSPM operations for ensuring the security of a multi-cloud environment include:
- Performing key rotations and verifying that the operational activities are being carried out as expected.
- Ensuring consistent enforcement and offering policy visibility across multiple cloud providers.
- Checking the storage buckets for misconfigurations
- Scanning compute instances for improper settings and misconfigurations
- Cross-checking asset inventory and classification
- Auditing for checking adherence to appropriate compliance standards
Best practices for cloud security posture management
To access security and compliance in the cloud, enterprises need to adopt an approach that weaves the dynamic nature of the cloud objects. CSPM Solves the security problem only if it is built with the right levers. Here are some best practices for providing foundational framework to the enterprise CSPM approach:
Align with cloud standards – Any issue can be remediated automatically by persistently monitoring the cloud’s security posture. But manual intervention is equally necessary. Enterprises need to ensure that security tools are upgraded according to the dynamic nature of the cloud environment. The usage of automated cloud security posture management solution can provide-real-tie visibility necessary for auditing the ephemeral and vast cloud infrastructure.
Execute security checks in Dev pipelines – The applications in the cloud continually spin up and down new resources every other minute and so figuring out gaps beforehand can be hectic and expensive. Organizations should define misconfigurations as a pipeline to spot violations immediately. Embed remediation step to correct configurations and continuously gather feedback for identifying breach trends.
Quantify risk to prioritize security violations – Security owners face an overwhelming amount of violation alerts in the cloud. To protect the cloud framework against breaches, enterprises should build a custom plan for selectively enabling security checks. Organizations should start with violations that impact their cloud assets first, and gradually roll out new controls to address them.
CSPM can be an excellent strategy to make the cloud free from vulnerabilities, but its execution needs to be flawless. Enterprises should make a concise route map of the challenges and obstructions that they can face in the cloud and define a well-engineered strategy accordingly. The possibilities are limitless, but so are the issues because the cloud is ever-evolving. So, IT experts need to fold their sleeves to ameliorate their systems as per the latest trends in cloud.