Common Cloud Misconfigurations that can Plague Your Enterprise and How to Prevent Them

Cloud security breaches news dominated in 2019, and there were around 5,183 breaches in the 3rd quarter of 2019, leading to exposure of 7.9 billion records

Common Cloud Misconfigurations that can Plague Your Enterprise and How to Prevent Them

Cloud security breaches news dominated in 2019, and there were around 5,183 breaches in the 3rd quarter of 2019, leading to exposure of 7.9 billion records

27 April 2021 Tuesday 12:04
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Common Cloud Misconfigurations that can Plague Your Enterprise and How to Prevent Them

Cloud security breaches news dominated in 2019, and there were around 5,183 breaches in the 3rd quarter of 2019, leading to exposure of 7.9 billion records. According to cloud security experts, cloud misconfigurations are one of the main reasons for security breaches. Here are some common cloud misconfigurations that can plague your enterprise.

S3 Bucket Access Is Unrestricted

S3 bucket refers to public cloud storage resources available on Amazon Web Services. An S3 bucket is similar to a file folder on your computer, which stores data and descriptive metadata. Allowing unrestricted access to any bucket in the cloud gives everyone permission to list objects within the bucket.

According to experts like sonraisecurity.com/use-cases/cspm/, unrestricted access or public access to the S3 bucket is one of the common cloud misconfigurations that put the cloud account, hosted applications, and data at risk.

It also allows everyone to upload/delete objects, download objects, view object permissions, or edit permissions. Cloud security standards recommend administrators limit access of buckets to particular cloud accounts only.

S3 Bucket Access Control Lists Are Misconfigured.

S3 bucket access control lists, also known as ACLs, are used to manage access to buckets. Each object and a bucket have an associated ACL that acts as a sub-resource. The access control lists hold essential information like which cloud accounts or user groups can access the S3 bucket. The ACL also determines which type of access each user or group of users has.

S3 is an essential element in the cloud configurations, which determines access to the cloud resources. Misconfiguration of the S3 bucket means a user with maleficent intentions can access the cloud resources though the user role does not give such access permission. S3 ACL misconfiguration would enable hackers to control significant cloud resources and put all applications and data at risk.

IAM Policies Are Misconfigured or Not Configured

IAM stands for Identity Access Management. The cloud access policies are linked to IAM identities. IAM policies set the permission for every action performed by the user on the cloud platform. When the admin creates an IAM user, he assigns a username and password to the user to access the cloud account and access the cloud resources. The IAM policies are configured in three ways.

  • Identity-based policies where permissions granted are specific to identities(usernames)
  • Resource-based policies are similar to S3 bucket policies where the resource list the permissions a user or group of users has to the component resources. The resource-based policies are also linked with IAM role trust policies where the user job role defines what kind of resource access can be granted.
  • Permission boundaries refer to the managed policy for an IAM role. This policy defines maximum permissions an IAM role can have at any given time.

HTTPS and NON-HTTPS Ports Have Unrestricted Access

Cloud platforms have interconnected objects that share data during normal business operations in the cloud. According to cloud security experts, the HTTPS and non-HTTPS are essential nodes in the cloud environment which can also serve as an entry point to hackers. Experts say no object in the cloud should have unrestricted access to HTTPS or non-HTTPS ports.

The HTTPS ports support most web services. These ports also host other services like a remote desktop connection for databases or management. Unrestricted access to HTTPS ports means hackers can enter your cloud system and gain control over crucial resources.

Non-HTTPS ports are generally used for general Internet traffic, which does not need any encryption. Unrestricted access to non-HTTPS ports means hackers can interpret all incoming and outgoing data from non-HTTPS ports, thereby compromising the cloud platform's security.

How Can Cloud Misconfigurations Be Managed?

Cloud Security Posture Management tools offer administrative and configuration controls through security guard rails. These security tools continuously monitor connected objects, network traffic, and other vital parameters of cloud computing.

CSPM provides the IT staff with clear insights into the cloud infrastructure through intuitive dashboards. The security tools can perform an automated assessment of the entire cloud landscape against compliance and security standards to prevent data loss due to cloud misconfigurations.

The CSPM solutions also work to reduce operational complexity by automating resource management in multi-cloud environments. It can automate alignment to compliance guidelines supporting PCI, HIPAA, CCPA, and GDPR compliance standards. It can also provide detailed reporting related to security and compliance audits.

To sum up, a cloud account has hundreds of configurations that change with time. It can be a challenging task to manage every configuration manually. CSPM automatically monitors the cloud infrastructure for misconfigurations and can fix them without manual intervention, thereby reducing the workload on the IT staff.

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