Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

8/7/2017
10:30 AM
John Moynihan
John Moynihan
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail vvv
50%
50%

Risky Business: Why Enterprises Can’t Abdicate Cloud Security

It's imperative for public and private sector organizations to recognize the essential truth that governance of data entrusted to them cannot be relinquished, regardless of where the data is maintained.

The recent reports that Verizon and Dow Jones left their respective Amazon Web Services platforms exposed to unauthorized access should serve as a wakeup call to all who are engaged in cloud computing. At the outset, it is important to note that the two incidents were inadvertently caused by individuals acting on behalf of these companies, and were not the result of an AWS vulnerability.

The technology community continues to perpetuate the falsehood that migration to the cloud solves both capacity and security issues. This is a dangerously misguided perspective that subjects enterprises that subscribe to it to significant risk. Unfortunately, many executives are led to believe that by transferring core processes to a cloud environment, the responsibility for securing the data residing therein is also transferred to the hosting third party. This is simply untrue. 

It's imperative for public and private sector organizations to recognize that governance of the data entrusted to them cannot be abdicated, regardless of where the data is maintained. While outsourcing may assist with scale and resource limitations, management must exercise ongoing and adequate oversight of information maintained within cloud environments.

Concurrent with every cloud deployment, specific controls should be implemented. The following is a list of three necessary controls, and a brief description.

1. Employee Education
Prior to providing anyone with access to an organization's cloud platform, each individual should receive comprehensive, formal direction on acceptable use. This requirement should apply to all employees, contractors and vendors. Without clearly written guidance, and corresponding awareness training, individuals will behave arbitrarily when accessing cloud applications. An informed employee is management's responsibility.

2. Vendor Oversight 
As with all service providers, ongoing oversight of cloud vendors should be a core element of an organization's security and compliance strategy. Through a combination of on-site visits, third party risk assessments, compliance attestations and contractual provisions, management must continually verify that the hosted environment is protected from internal and external threats. 

3. System Monitoring
With increased frequency, organizations are electing to maintain customer information and intellectual property in the cloud. To protect against unauthorized access of this information, and to comply with related compliance mandates, it is essential that all accesses be continuously logged, monitored and analyzed.  Cloud database vendors have recently implemented robust auditing and alerting tools within their hosted applications. The functionality to perform real time monitoring of cloud data is now available; organizations must therefore devote the necessary resources to do so.

Unauthorized access of customer and proprietary information has emerged into a crisis that is currently undermining all industries. Any organization that is be perceived to be unable to protect the sensitive data entrusted to them, regardless of where it is maintained, undoubtedly will experience the consequences that accompany an apprehensive public.

Related Content:

John Moynihan, CGEIT, CRISC, is President of Minuteman Governance, a Massachusetts cybersecurity consultancy that provides services to public and private sector clients throughout the United States. Prior to founding this firm, he was CISO at the Massachusetts Department of ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
KumarSaurabh
100%
0%
KumarSaurabh,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/11/2017 | 6:22:15 PM
Good points
Great points. We see this especially with many clients who are resource limited and hence have chosen cloud systems. Security becomes an afterthought, or a hope that someone else is taking care of it. They are often shocked to discover some of the misconfigurations and unauthorized activity in their cloud workloads. 
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/10/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-17489
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
An issue was discovered in certain configurations of GNOME gnome-shell through 3.36.4. When logging out of an account, the password box from the login dialog reappears with the password still visible. If the user had decided to have the password shown in cleartext at login time, it is then visible f...
CVE-2020-17495
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
django-celery-results through 1.2.1 stores task results in the database. Among the data it stores are the variables passed into the tasks. The variables may contain sensitive cleartext information that does not belong unencrypted in the database.
CVE-2020-0260
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
There is a possible out of bounds read due to an incorrect bounds check.Product: AndroidVersions: Android SoCAndroid ID: A-152225183
CVE-2020-16170
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
The Temi application 1.3.3 through 1.3.7931 for Android has hard-coded credentials.
CVE-2020-17487
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
radare2 4.5.0 misparses signature information in PE files, causing a segmentation fault in r_x509_parse_algorithmidentifier in libr/util/x509.c. This is due to a malformed object identifier in IMAGE_DIRECTORY_ENTRY_SECURITY.