Cloud Security Risks: Vulnerabilities and Misconfigurations

Cloud Security Risks: Vulnerabilities and Misconfigurations
Image Courtesy: Unsplash

Vulnerabilities and misconfigurations in cloud systems can pose significant security risks. That is why organizations must continuously monitor and secure their cloud systems to prevent these risks from being exploited. 

Even though zero trust is on the top of the priority list, there is a lack of proper enforcement of least privilege access rights, which is an essential component of a zero-trust architecture. Moreover, most of the granted permissions aren’t used, creating opportunities for attackers who steal credentials.  

This highlights the importance of proper implementation and enforcement of least privilege access controls to ensure the security of cloud systems.  

ALSO READ: What’s Next in Cloud Security Evolution 

Container Images Pose High Vulnerabilities and Misconfigurations 

Currently, there has been an increase in percentage of container images for high or critical vulnerabilities. But despite organizations being aware of the risk, balancing the need to address vulnerabilities and maintain a fast pace of software releases is a challenge. 

A common reason why these vulnerabilities still persist is due to prioritization and bandwidth issues. A lot of container images in production have critical or high-severity vulnerabilities. Furthermore, security and DevOps engineers are faced with a large number of vulnerable images, making it challenging to address all of them in a timely manner. 

But by focusing on these vulnerable packages in use, enterprises can prioritize their efforts on a smaller subset of fixable vulnerabilities that pose a true risk. 

Java Packages Pose the Most Risk 

Java has the highest number of vulnerabilities exposed at runtime, making it a particularly vulnerable package type. Although Java may not be the most popular package type across all container images, it is the most commonly used package type at runtime. This makes it a crucial area to focus on in terms of vulnerability mitigation. 

Role of Misconfiguration in Cloud Security Incidents 

While vulnerabilities are a concern, misconfigurations are still the primary cause of cloud security incidents. This makes misconfigurations a significant area of concern for organizations.  

Gartner predicts that by 2023, 75% of security failures will be due to inadequate management of identities, access, and privileges, up from 50% in 2020. This further underscores the importance of proper configuration management in ensuring cloud security. 

Overcoming Risks With the Shift-Left and Shield-Right Concept 

Following both a shift-left and shield-right strategy can be an effective approach to ensure the security of software applications.  

By shifting security left and involving security considerations in the early stages of development, potential security issues can be addressed and prevented before they become more difficult and costly to fix.  

The shield-right approach involves implementing security controls and mechanisms to monitor running services in production, providing an additional layer of protection against security threats.  

These two approaches complement each other to provide a comprehensive and proactive approach to software security. 

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment