code within an organisation ’ s network and escalate root privileges , effectively taking over the network . As part of its September 2021 update , Microsoft addressed the issue but the automatic fix that it released appeared ineffective for several days . Further flaws were exposed in Microsoft Azure ’ s cloud services throughout the year , including the “ ChaosDB ” vulnerability which allowed cybercriminals to retrieve several internal keys used to obtain root privileges that would eventually enable them to manage the databases and accounts of targeted organisations . Businesses made vulnerable by this particular “ open door ” included Coca-Cola , Skype and even security specialist , Symantec .
It ’ s likely that there will be many more cloud provider vulnerabilities in 2022 but fortunately there are things within an organisation ’ s control that can mitigate the risk .
Locking the doors and bolstering internal security
Tightening cloud security isn ’ t just about having the right products and services in place , it ’ s also about nurturing a securityfirst mentality within an organisation as a whole . Regardless of what a service level agreement between an organisation and cloud provider might say , the onus ultimately falls on the organisation to make sure its customers ’ records and other important data are protected .
So , before moving mission-critical workloads into the cloud , organisations must ensure that the “ doors ” to their applications and data are firmly locked . That means getting identity and access management finely tuned , implementing the principle of “ least privilege ” so that data is only accessed by humans and applications on a strictly need-to-know basis . It also means better segmentation of networks and use of firewall technology to ensure that sensitive data can be appropriately siloed and guarded where necessary .
Cloud security is complex , and with multi-cloud environments it gets even more complex . So , think about consolidating all your cloud security across all cloud vendors into one solution that monitors all malicious activity and reduces the workload by automating common tasks like policy updates . In an ideal world this would mean a ‘ single pane of glass ’ approach to security management across all your cloud assets so that you can keep a closer eye on security incidents and focus your effort on those of greatest concern .
Any cloud security solution is only as good as the intelligence engine behind it so ask your vendor how they stay on top of emerging and Zero-day threats . At Check Point we have the ThreatCloud which monitors millions of network nodes across the world and uses over 30 AI technologies to identify threats in real time so that they can be blocked before they get on to your cloud , or indeed on-prem network or enduser devices .
And finally , introduce security at the earliest stage of application development . You do not want security checks to slow down your DevOps unduly and delay application rollout but equally you cannot afford to cut corners on security . A DevSecOps approach that allows you to scan code for misconfigurations or even malware as part of the DevOps process will ensure that you don ’ t ‘ bake in ’ vulnerabilities at the outset .
The shift to the cloud is only going to accelerate as organisations realise the benefits it brings in terms of competitive advantage , agility and resilience so now is the time to take a responsible approach to security and compliance and scale up your cloud security . It ’ s a challenging and complex task but the good news is that there are solutions to not only lock down your cloud network but also ways , using AI and automation , to reduce the workload of detecting and preventing threats , even the ones that have yet to be devised . Finally , this can be done at speed . . . it ’ s all in the cloud ! •