The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a seismic shift in how we work, forcing many organizations across the globe to adopt a work-from-home model.
However, the transition to remote work has left a majority of IT professionals concerned about security breaches. According to a recent report by Fugue, 96% of cloud engineering and IT teams are working from home, and 84% are concerned about the security vulnerabilities that come with managing cloud infrastructures remotely.
One of the major findings of the report is that cloud misconfigurations are a leading cause of data breaches in the cloud. Between 2018 and 2019, cloud misconfigurations cost companies an estimated $5 trillion.
In this piece, we’ll discuss cloud misconfiguration risks in detail.
What is a Cloud Misconfiguration?
As the name suggests, a cloud misconfiguration is the result of configuring a cloud-based system, tool, or asset improperly.
A poor cloud set-up may weaken the security of your organization’s cloud-based data, depending on the tool, system, or asset that is affected.
Examples of Cloud Misconfigurations
Here is a list of common cloud misconfigurations:
- EBS data encryption not being applied.
- Outbound access being unrestricted.
- IAM roles not being leveraged to provide access to resources.
- Misconfigured EC2 security group port.
- Misconfigured EC2 security group inbound access.
- Cloud resources being publicly exposed.
- Unused security groups being discovered.
- Unencrypted AMI being discovered.
- Disabled VPC Flow logs.
What Causes Cloud Misconfigurations?
According to Fugue’s report, misconfiguration issues are quite frequent. 73% of cloud teams reported experiencing ten incidents a day, 36% reported experiencing over a hundred incidents a day, and 10% reported experiencing over 500 a day.
The leading causes of misconfiguration risk in the cloud include the following:
- Low Awareness of Cloud Policies and Security Measures (52%)
- Oversight and Lack of Proper Controls (49%)
- High Number of Cloud Interfaces and APIs (43%)
- Insider Negligence (32%)
Handling Cloud Misconfigurations: Important Considerations
Here’s what most IT professionals and cloud engineering teams do to handle cloud misconfiguration risks:
- A large majority (73%) utilize manual techniques for remediation, once tools discover and identify issues.
- However, manually addressing cloud misconfigurations poses the risk of human error during categorization (46%) and remediation (45%).
- Nearly half (49%) of teams devote over 50 hours every week handling cloud misconfigurations. 20% put in over 100 hours trying to manage them.
Addressing cloud misconfiguration risks internally may not be the best security strategy for your business. You should consider consulting a certified information security manager to help you develop effective security tools for your cloud-based system
As a premium cybersecurity consultant with an ISACA certification, I will help your organization secure its cloud system, assets, and tools with robust and innovative solutions.
Get in touch with me for more information on my services.