Cloud can improve the security posture of any business, bringing protocols for innovation and data storage. Cloud services come attached with business risks, so before an organization adopts a cloud solution, it needs to have a business strategy in place to combat risks. The National Security Agency (NSA) has published a guideline for organizations using cloud or deciding to move to a cloud titled “Mitigating Cloud Vulnerabilities.”   

Each cloud provider is different from the other, but most of them have 4 common components to function and protect the cloud systems, identity and access management, at the front end, and computing, networking, and storage at the backend.

Here are some of the topmost cloud vulnerabilities every organization should know about,

1. Shared responsibility– Organizations still are finding their grip in terms of usage of cloud technology and security that is a shared responsibility. Cloud providers are responsible for protecting the public cloud infrastructure and implementing logical controls to separate different parts of the customer data. The customer is, however, responsible for configuring application-level security controls and protecting its workloads running on various cloud servers.

2. Poor access control– Organizations have very weak authentication methods to allow access to cloud resources. So when an attacker finds flaws across the system, it enables him to bypass the methods. According to the NSA, attackers need to have only a certain level of sophistication to pull off any type of attack completely. Strong authentication protocols will protect the information during every stage, while the data access needs to be protected through better systems and updated with time.

3. Shared tenancy vulnerability– According to NSA, the remaining rare solutions would require a higher level of sophistication from the attackers. Such type of vulnerability can be severe in dealing with cloud hypervisors or container platforms. NSA advises enforcing encryption of data at rest and in transit, and this must be done for the sensitive workloads.

4. Supply chain threats– Threat hunters and security vendors agree on a single threat that supply chain security risks are becoming common, and this type of attack is rising every year. Supply chain vulnerabilities include insider attacks and backdoor entry provided by hardware and software to vendors and suppliers.

Providers and organizations need to work together when it comes to building a complete threat management system. Mitigate the risks of attacks through controls such as role separation, two-person integrity for sensitive operations, and even alerting the suspicious activities to admin. A need to improve the security posture of the complete organization both data stored on-premise and cloud need to have security protocols in place. As an organization is turning to a multi-cloud option to protect its data and for computing, the challenge, however, lies with selecting the tools that will best work for your industry and combat different environments.