Originally published by New Context.
Whenever someone approaches me with the option of hearing the good news or bad news first, I typically try to predict whether the gist of the report is dire or if the good news will outweigh the bad. Based on this prediction, I will request one or the other first, expecting the last to be the most important or at least overshadow the former to some appreciable degree.
When it comes to cloud security, the same strategy can be applied. Any cloud deployment or architecture that hopes to be secure from the myriad threats that exist in cyberspace must rely upon good cyber threat intelligence, which is detailed knowledge of the types of threats that your digital assets may be susceptible to and their sources. However, it is at least as important—and probably more so—to know what strategies and tools are available to mitigate the risks posed by the threats. Therefore, we’re taking a look at some of the most important cloud security trends, bad and good.
Bad Cloud Security Trends
A number of sources, including a report by Oracle and KPMG, point to not only the increasing migration of enterprises to the cloud, but also to the reliance on cloud services for the protection of business-critical data. This makes managing 3rd-party cyber risks one of the most essential focuses of your organization’s security activities. In addition to 3rd-party concerns, it may be surprising to learn that internal actions—or the lack thereof—are increasingly the source of breaches.
Security threats are becoming more sophisticated, and organizations themselves may be inadvertently aiding security breach trends in the following ways.
Trend #1: Insecure APIs
The ability to transfer data with APIs is the backbone of successfully operating in cyberspace. Therefore, good API management is central to any secure cloud deployment. However, insecure internal APIs or tools can expose your organization’s resources to attack.
Trend #2: Insider Attacks
Even more nefarious are intentional attacks by those with security credentials to access your resources. These threats are almost impossible to detect in advance; therefore, the most effective mitigation may be a zero trust infrastructure that follows the principle of least privilege: employees are only given access to what is necessary for as long as necessary. Care must be taken here, however, as this approach may have negative effects upon your team culture that could impact operations and productivity.
Trend #3: Zero-day Exploits
It is also likely that enterprises and other organizations will encounter zero-day attacks or exploits. A zero-day vulnerability is a breach that exists, but is not known to the entity that is vulnerable. Zero-day exploit refers to the time between the discovery of the vulnerability and it being exploited. If the vulnerability persists for a period of time before detection by the entity, it is referred to as an n-day (number of days before discovery) vulnerability and/or exploit—depending upon whether an intruder has taken advantage of it or not.
These three trends describe threats that may be on the rise in the short-term and warrant consideration. Fortunately, there are also mitigation trends to help shore up cloud security.
Good Trends in Cloud Security
In order to keep pace with the ever-widening number of cloud security threats, enterprises must also seek to develop new strategies and tools for mitigation. Here are three trends that are worth noting and implementing.
Trend #4: Proliferation of Cloud Service Access Brokers
Cloud Service Access Brokers (CSABs) or Cloud Access Service Brokers (CASBs) are points of enforcement for security policies. At these points, which are placed between your users and security service providers, your security policies are enforced. CSAB providers are increasingly being leveraged for risk management, security policy enforcement and regulation compliance at times outside of their region of control.
Trend #5: Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) Growing in Popularity
Another measure that may add robustness to your cloud security is bring your own key, or BYOK, capability. With this method, encryption and key generation rests with you, minimizing access opportunities and therefore improving data Security. This is supported by web services such as Azure, AWS and GCP.
Trend #6: DevOps ⟹ DevSecOps
The most significant trend in cloud security is the incorporation of security into the DevOps lifecycle of application development. This integration is optimized by incorporating security into all stages of the development cycle and continually upgrading threats, compliance regulations, and new software versions.
Using Good Cloud Security Trends to Your Advantage
As the trends above illustrate, the cloud security horizon will continue to be mined with known threats and new, more sophisticated ones. However, new cloud security trends for mitigation will continue to emerge to lessen their impact. The best of these will adopt and incorporate security considerations continuously.