In last week’s blog we discussed the Shared Responsibility Model and how it affects enterprises’ cloud security. Based on the Shared Responsibility Model, organizations are responsible for security in the cloud, which includes how they configure and use the resources provided by the cloud service providers. Falling within this realm are cloud resource configurations. Cloud configurations are complex and if not implemented correctly, can increase the risk of a data breach.
Organizations need to take cloud misconfiguration seriously and not assume that their CSP is responsible for preventing it or that traditional security solutions are adequate to protect against it. By implementing certain best practices, you can go a long way to securing your cloud-based assets.
Here are the top tips for preventing cloud misconfiguration:
- Check permission controls – Allowing users to have too much access to your resources opens the organization to risks. Apply the principle of least privilege by only giving users and service accounts the minimum set of permissions necessary to perform their needed tasks. In the cloud, you need to be concerned not just with network and ingress rules, but with IAM policies, S3 bucket configurations, and all types of access controls. It’s best to check for these configurations as early as possible, so using policy-as-code in the CI/CD toolchain from design all the way through to production is best.
- Continuously audit for misconfiguration – Configuring cloud resources properly and in accordance with internal and regulatory policies is only the first step. Ensuring that these resources stay compliant throughout their lifecycle is a bigger challenge. Organizations need to implement regular audits to check for signs of misconfiguration and to maintain compliance. Using modern cloud tools, these audits can actually be largely automated, and you can even have autonomic remediation of misconfiguration for the more sensitive and critical resources in your cloud environment.
- Implement security measures such as logging – It can be difficult to manage the number of users making changes to your cloud environment. Ensuring you have logging enabled will allow you to track the changes and help identify the cause of misconfiguration. Without proper logging, an attacker’s activities can go unnoticed until it’s too late.
- Check for policy compliance before provisioning – Organizations might have strong security policies, however, team members might not be aware of all the policies in place and might misconfigure settings from the beginning. There are security solutions that offer policy-as-code capabilities to help check configuration compliance before deployment.
To learn more about misconfiguration – the causes, consequences, and other best practices to preventing it – download A Comprehensive Guide to Preventing Cloud Misconfiguration.