Is Cloud-Native Security a Must?
Read this post to explore why it is imperative to follow the best practices in your cloud journey to ensure business continuity.
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Change is the only constant and is inevitable. IT landscape has changed over some time in the cloud technology space. Enterprises are moving towards cloud-native areas and containers, Kubernetes, serverless frameworks. Cloud-native technology has brought many benefits for enterprises, from managing the infrastructure, deployments, and scalability in public, private and hybrid clouds. This transition is helping enterprises apply cloud-native rationales in their software development to increase productivity, agility, and saving cost radically, but it brings obstacles simultaneously. There is a saying: "The greater the barrier, the more glory in overcoming it."
Evolution of Cloud
With the agility in IT Systems, decisions also change across time. For example, earlier on, we had an era of on-premises servers where businesses were maintaining their servers, and now the same companies are moving to the Cloud. Every time we go through these kinds of changes, the whole strategy of that business changes. Let's try to understand it via one example; if today I am using Azure Cloud and my complete tools, the process revolves around it; but what if tomorrow, the business decides to move to AWS? At that time, will my decision still hold? Do I need to start from scratch? With cloud-native, this decision is easy because now businesses need not worry about these changes as cloud-native provides that freedom. If cloud infrastructure is well designed and architectured, it will show resiliency/elasticness against the outages or downtime.
What Is the Challenge?
Any new, rapidly developing technology involves many challenges, including security, monitoring, data management, and networking. The #1 concern and challenge that advert in all surveys is security. You should choose what is best for you! There are proactive and reactive ways to have security in place and many tools and practices available to secure your cloud posture.
What Shall We Do?
I have mentioned some of the checks that will help you protect your cloud deployments. First and foremost, we need to run regular scans and tests on cloud environments to be up to date on all the security flaws in our environments to take proactive actions.
Static Checks: Have benchmarking and vulnerability assessment
Run Time Checks: Dynamic Threat and vulnerability assessment and Run time protection for your workloads
Compliance Needs: To have better visibility into your cloud posture, have proper compliance and audit tools.
Automated and embedded Security controls in Software Delivery: To mitigate the vulnerability exposure
How Might You Be Impacted?
You might have heard the most common attack in recent times that is Supply Chain Attacks. Another sophisticated attack finds the weakest link in the complete supply network and impacts business continuity. There is no restriction for this attack on industries, and any industry can get affected by this attack, whether financial, the oil industry, healthcare, information technology, etc. Attackers are adding malicious content in the invasion process and getting better at successfully hiding any malicious activity/content. Enterprise Security teams need visibility and control to prevent this kind of attack.
If you are in the IT industry and following the CI/CD process to build your artifacts, you might get attacked by Supply Chain Attack that you might not be aware of yet. While making the application, we try to use many open-source products to move faster with our development and avoid reinvention of the wheel. Still, in the process, we generally miss the security flaws in those open source projects that open the door for attackers to exploit the business.
The weak point in your CI/CD process is exploitable. I have captured a couple of weak links you might have that might come from an attacker or inside your process itself:
- Hidden malicious content by an attacker in artifacts
- Misleading artifacts that are like phishing
- Not followed least privilege access
- Open exploitable vulnerabilities in the system
- Not scanned open source code inside your application
- Not up to date software
- Not very well defined cloud governance and best practices
To summarize the details I mentioned, it is imperative to follow the best practices in your cloud journey to ensure business continuity. Cloud security is not optional, but a must-have for any organization. Most of the services that you might be using today are on the Cloud. A few of the services may include Netflix, Uber, Amazon, Ola, and Financial Banks. The list is vast, which means the attack vector is also extensive unless organizations are proactive to this necessity of securing cloud posture.
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