Identity Threat Defense

A Look at Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities in the Cloud

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Based on a recent survey of over 1000 IT professionals from Evolve IP, half of all IT leaders and administrators, believe that the public cloud is less secure than on-premise hosting.

While concerns over cybersecurity vulnerabilities particular to the cloud aren’t unfounded, the massive move cloudward suggests that, trust them or not, your enterprise will begin using cloud services sooner rather than later. As a result, it’s crucial that enterprises understand whether their concerns are valid before embracing a cloud strategy.

Here are a few of the biggest cybersecurity vulnerabilities currently facing cloud services, along with what enterprises can do to mitigate them:

Compromised Credentials

You’ve heard this time and again — enterprises can build a perimeter that practically bristles with defenses, but all it takes is one stolen password for that rampart to crumble. That’s as true in the cloud as it is on-premise, but cybersecurity vulnerabilities associated with cloud services are perhaps greater.

If you’re using cloud services to host a custom application, a stolen credential can be used to take over the whole environment. If you’re using a cloud service as a simple file repository, that’s potentially even worse. Imagine an attacker being able to loot an unsecured DropBox full of payroll, tax returns, or R&D. That’s the worst-case scenario.

Smart Identity and Access Management (IAM) is an important technology to consider. If you try to make your employees memorize a different password for each cloud service they use, they’ll revolt by making those passwords really simple.

Implementing SSO with a multi-factor authentication component, and proactively invoking the rule of least privileges is one way to secure credentials.  For additional safety, look into encrypting documents before they’re hosted.

Loss of Access to Data

The advent of the cloud was supposed to usher in an era of infinite data redundancy. In many ways, it has—but storing all of your backups on the cloud might still be an issue.

There are a few risks that occupy this threat tier – including natural disaster.  Back in 2011, a lightning strike hit an AWS datacenter in Ireland, and the resulting electricity surge overloaded the site’s backup generators; it took days to restore customer access to data.

A financial disaster might also send cloud customers scrambling, such as when Iron Mountain shut down its public cloud. Lastly, if a malicious actor gains access to your cloud storage solution, they may decide to spitefully delete everything there.

Hopefully, if one of the above happens to your organization, it doesn’t mean the end of the world — you just restore from other backups and move forward. Some companies don’t plan that far ahead, and others that depend on customer access to data might lose revenue while their servers sit idle.

New and Stealthy Forms of Malware

In the early part of this decade, security tools began their first mass migration to the cloud. As always, this sparked an arms race with the black-hats. Their response? The Bohu trojan— one of the first pieces of malware designed to evade cloud-hosted security by blocking an infected computer’s connection to the endpoint protection service.

Since then, a great deal of malware has been specifically designed to either bypass cloud security or infect cloud deployments directly.

This kind of malware can evade much in the way of traditional endpoint security. Rule-based detection will fail against malware that can vary its signature. Polymorphic malware tends to be so sophisticated that it triggers serious discussion as to whether traditional forms of perimeter defense — firewalls, packet filtering, IDS/IPS, and so on — are obsolete. Thus, illusive networks allows enterprises to adapt with the changing times.

Make the transition to the cloud safer by using illusive networks’® Deceptions Everywhere® architecture to minimize cybersecurity vulnerabilities and direct attackers towards false credentials and phony endpoints that lead only to their own detection.

Contact illusive networks and learn how you can use the Attacker View™ product and Deceptions Everywhere® architecture to securely navigate your enterprise to the cloud.

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