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The Security of Cloud Applications
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jwdtx
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jwdtx,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/11/2019 | 1:43:30 PM
Citations Needed
The author makes a number of claims about the superiority of security in a cloud environment, but fails to provide citations with hard data. The recent Magecart attacks against 17000 AWS sites is an example of how organizations are struggling with securing cloud apps. Contrary to the author's assertion that serverless apps will improve application security, WhiteHat Security has reported that DevOps teams are producing code with more vulnerabilities than teams building "monolithic" web apps.
hsolow
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hsolow,
User Rank: Author
7/11/2019 | 7:55:36 PM
Re: Citations Needed
Hey @jwdtx,

Thanks for your feedback. 

The Magecart attacks are an interesting point, but I think that drawing conclusions about application security from the issue of S3 public bucket misconfiguration is somewhat spurious. I agree that there are specific areas like this one where better processes and defaults are needed to put these attacks behind us. Overall, however, cloud seems to still be on top. (See https://resources.infosecinstitute.com/where-is-your-data-safer-in-the-cloud-or-on-premise for example).

When it comes to my claim that serverless stands to make application security better, this is something we at Protego have spent a lot of time on. The ability to apply fine-grained IAM role decisions are the function level, for example, is an incredibly powerful tool. Yes, you need tools and automation to keep up, but if you do, you have made a huge leap forward.

Finally, you seem to have conflated DevOps with serverless. I don't contest that the move to DevOps has brought a renaissance of bad habits. In Protego we see an increase in susceptibility to SQL injection in many customers' applications, for example. But organizations do DevOps on-prem, with EC2s, and with containers, as well. The move to serverless, on the other hand, create new opportunities to do better at defending these challenges and limiting their blast radius.

Let me know if I've won you over... :-)

Hillel
jwdtx
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jwdtx,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/11/2019 | 8:55:56 PM
Re: Citations Needed
Thanks for the response, Hillel. This is some of the information I desired. Whether on prem or in the cloud, it seems everyone is struggling to develop secure applications and protect their data. Being a security professional, I guess I am naturally skeptical. Cheers!
tdsan
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tdsan,
User Rank: Ninja
7/14/2019 | 8:11:46 AM
Re: Citations Needed
 

This also depends on if it is SaaS, IaaS or PaaS, if the user is responsible for a lax security environment at their site, IaaS will also be lax as well (ask Accenture Federal Services and Attunity). But if SaaS is used and the vendor is responsible for the environment and application (i.e O365, SalesForce, VMware Airwatch), then there are much more stringent controls because the large cloud environments have adopted FedRAMP security practice. FedRAMP has initiated more stringent cloud aspects by looking at the systems from top down (auditing is part of the FedRAMP montra). They look at numerous areas that may not be part of onsite cybersecurity practices - continuous monitoring, application and system inventory, SIEM implementation, WAF, NGFW and hardware inventory, private key management, admin document mgmt.).

Todd


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