It’s all about agility and flexibility when it comes to operating in the public cloud. The public cloud is where “the rubber meets the road” of digital transformation, as enterprises and DevOps teams focus increasingly on distributing code and functionality as rapidly as possible.
According to a 2021 Radware survey, “Protecting APIs & Securing Applications So Business Can Thrive”, the public cloud now hosts 70% of production apps. As a result, ‘cloud’ security is gradually becoming associated with cyber security.
Because of the quick and dynamic nature of cloud environments, companies should consider specific security risks as they benefit from the cloud’s flexibility. Identity and access management in the public cloud, in particular, is a concern.
By definition, workloads hosted in the public cloud are now remote. All-access is granted through a remote connection, which is made possible by the public cloud hosting provider’s methods and APIs. Administrators no longer have physical access to their resources, and they should rely on remote access to do so. Hackers, malevolent actors, and other unauthorized third parties, on the other hand, can use the same standardized protocols, APIs, and access methods to gain access to those same resources.
As a result, workload security is determined by who has access to it, as well as what kind of access they have. Furthermore, securing permissions and identity and access management (IAM) in the public cloud is the first step in safeguarding enterprises from threats.
So let’s take a closer look at each challenge to see why it’s such a problem:
Plethora of permission
Permission and access control is a vital IT security concern regardless of where a company’s servers are located, but the cloud complicates things. This is because the demand for greater agility and flexibility often drives the migration to the cloud. The cloud makes it simple to spin up new resources, deploy new code, and speed up development processes, resulting in a shorter time to market.
However, security suffers as a result of this agility and flexibility. Cloud administrators frequently provide users vast access in the name of expediency, allowing them to complete tasks quickly. In practice, most users only use a small part of the permissions given to them, and none of them are necessary for their job. If these user credentials get into the wrong hands, attackers will have unrestricted access to sensitive data and resources.
Misconfigurations in IAM
Many businesses are subject to cloud misconfigurations, which are another source of risk, due to the speed of cloud operations and the confusion surrounding who is accountable for certain aspects of security.
Many businesses avoid IAM because of the numerous configurations and potential hazards that surround it, such as password policy, logging, user authentication misconfigurations, and reporting gaps, and so on.
Industry research also supports these concerns. According to Gartner’s Managing Privileged Access in Cloud Infrastructure research, 75% of cloud security breaches will be due to poor identity, access, and privilege management by 2023. This adds to the difficulty of maintaining and monitoring for malicious or unauthorized access to infrastructure or applications.
Exposure to the public
The next concern is asset exposure to the general population. This refers to workloads that have been accidentally exposed due to a lack of sufficient or any security measures. Moving assets to the cloud put them “outside” of direct reach. As a result, one of the most pressing issues is preventing public exposure of such assets and ensuring that only authorized persons have access, and no one else.
Migration to the cloud, on the other hand, is typically motivated by a need for greater agility and flexibility. As a result, companies don’t always properly control access to their systems.
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