Re: Biggest gotchas for empowering users in cloud?
@Marilyn - There's good news and bad news. Organizations can be proactive and deploy best practices around their cloud and infrastructure security environment.
The bad news is that bad guys are usually not far behind -- and in many cases ahead. In creating a good security platform, there are several things to consider. Compliance and regulation aside, some of the biggest mistakes I've seen revolve around lapsed policies, reactive thinking, and no security testing.
Honestly, it's the little things that can hurt a business. Forgetting to renew an SSL cert, leaving a port open, or not having proper security services running internally. Also, checking your sources helps a lot as well. Let me give you an example, a friend of mine ran an experiment as a part of some research he was working on. He built an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) of a popular penetration testing platform -- which was previously unavailable on EC2. One of his additions to the AMI was a backdoor which would basically just communicate back to his own server, indicating that somebody had turned on his backdoored instance. He could have just as easily built a reverse shell into the image. This basically comes back around to the discussion of data security, as all of your encryption keys, VPN configurations, and potentially passwords are protected by unknown controls, which are of unknown resiliency.
In creating the optimal security platform, consider best practices and also consider the target. This also means constant testing and log keeping. There are a lot of proactive things you can do around security that will certainly help.