Cloud misconfigurations are a significant concern as organizations use more cloud services and resources. Misconfiguring elements of cloud environments require only minimal oversight and can potentially expose the infrastructure and services to threats.
Cloud Misconfigurations and Their Remedies
Cloud computing is a large ecosystem of software-based infrastructure and applications. As a result, cloud control planes can become a melting pot of configuration options and organizations should be very careful. Here are the significant types of cloud misconfigurations and ways to solve them.
1. Cloud Storage
A typical cloud misconfiguration involves exposed and poorly secured cloud storage nodes. To ensure cloud storage is not disclosed or compromised, security teams should continually be on the lookout for storage nodes labeled as public, monitor all internal storage access patterns to eliminate exposed access points, and enable strong encryption and critical rotation for sensitive data.
2. Identity Access Management Policy
Among the various cloud misconfigurations, overly permissive identity and access management (IAM) policies hold a significant spot. Cloud environments usually include both human and non-human identities. Sometimes, there can be overly broad permissions that allow unregulated access to some of the assets. Centralizing identity and access wherever possible, enabling multifactor authentication, and performing regular reviews of all identity roles and policies are ways to fight this issue.
3. Images and Workloads
Misconfigured images and workloads also affect cloud users. In some cases, organizations connect workloads to the internet by mistake or or do not realize that their services are exposed, leading to attacks from external sources. To address this cloud misconfiguration issue, cloud and security engineering teams should update workload images with patches and configuration hardening controls, scan and review all workloads for vulnerabilities and ensure cloud orchestration tools and APIs are not exposed.
4. Network Access Control
Cloud network access controls that are overly permissive are another area concerning cloud misconfigurations. The access control lists defined as policies are applied to individual workloads or cloud subscriptions. To mitigate this issue, security teams should review all security groups to ensure only the network ports, protocols, and necessary addresses are permitted to communicate.
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