The state of cloud security is improving — or, at the very least, it isn't backsliding. But as cloud technology grows more prevalent and more complicated, security teams are going to need to keep innovating with improved controls and integrations.
So say the experts with SANS Institute, which just put together its first comprehensive review of cloud security practices since 2017. On a positive note, SANS analyst and instructor Dave Shackleford says responses show that cloud security stances are improving.
"The news was not all doom and gloom. I was pretty excited by some of the results that came back this year because there are some shifts happening that tell me the security industry is really starting to step up," Shackleford says.
Nevertheless, increased penetration of the cloud, increasing attacker awareness of expanding opportunities to target cloud resources, and the acceleration of use of new cloud technologies are all making it tough to rest on those laurels.
"The attackers have figured out that there's a lot of cloud surface area to approach and attack," Shackleford explains. "At the same time, we've got people trying to make use of new platforms and new technologies within those platforms — things like Kubernetes, S3 buckets, and so forth."
As a result, the survey shows a big uptick in unauthorized access by outsiders into cloud environments and assets — impacting 31% of organizations so far this year compared with 19% two years ago. The good news is that while organizations are still struggling to gain visibility into cloud environments, that situation has improved. Whereas in 2017 55% of organizations complained they were frustrated by trying to get low-level logs and systems information for forensics, that has decreased to 30% of organizations today.
To offer more insight into the report's findings, Dark Reading cherry-picked some of the best charts from the report to offer an overview of the highlights.