Security As A Service For Cloud Computing

Introduction

  • Nowadays, most organizations have started moving to public clouds like AWS, Azure, or GCP.
  • Working with the public cloud has its own advantages but while dealing with sensitive data it is recommended to know potential security threats and how we can overcome them with best practices.
  • Considering the promises and risks associated with public cloud computing, Cloud Security Alliance has created a set of cloud security standards.
  • This will be the first article from the series of articles related to cloud security as a service.

There can be multiple potential threats while working with the public cloud, below is a complete list of critical cloud security threats,

  • Data Breach
  • Weaker Identity and Access Management
  • Missing API Security
  • Vulnerabilities
  • Account Hijack
  • Malicious Insider
  • Advanced Threat Protection
  • Data Loss
  • Insufficient due diligence
  • Abuse
  • Denial of Service
  • Shared Technology Issue

Threat Modelling

Analysis of cloud security threats can be identified using the STRIDE threat model. STRIDE modeling was created by Microsoft to understand cloud security threats.STRIDE cane explained as below,

  • Spoofing Identity (S)
  • Tampering with Data (T)
  • Repudiation (R)
  • Information Disclosure (I)
  • Denial of Service (D)
  • Elevation of privilege (E)

After understanding the basics of cloud security threats and the STRIDE model, We will explore in detail various cloud security Threats.

Data Breaches

When we work with the public cloud, there are different computing models. These service models are: IaaS, PaaS, and Saas

  • Data Breach is a cloud security threat in which sensitive and confidential information is being accessed by an individual or nonpersonal account who is not authorized and authenticated to access those sensitive data.
  • Data Breach can be intentional to get access to the unauthorized data or it can also be due to a potential bug in the system or application.
  • Access to the information can be information that is not intended to be accessed publicly or secret and PII information.
  • If we follow the STRIDE model then data breaching belongs to information of disclosure.
  • There can be various business impacts due to data breaching but it depends on the exposure of sensitive data. 
  • The company has to pay a large fine when a data breach occurs.
  • Cloud Providers provide multiple security features but ultimately only customer is responsible for the security.
  • Data Encryption and Multi-Factor Authentication are two solutions to avoid problems with Data Breach.

You can refer to the below blogs in detail to know more about Data Encryption and Multi-Factor Authentication.

  • Data Encryption: https://securityintelligence.com/the-impact-of-a-data-breach-can-be-minimized-through-encryption/

Identity and Access Management

Data Breach attacks can happen due to the lack of Identity and Access Management for cloud resources.

  • Credential and sensitive information should never be stored in the source code because there is a significant chance of misusing those secrets.
  • Identity management must be able to manage the life cycle of the users as well as various cloud service providers
  • Federating identity management with a cloud provider is becoming more relevant nowadays

Insecure APIs

  • Cloud computing providers expose the application to the outside world via interface and APIs.
  • Provisioning, management, and monitoring can be done via API.
  • In addition to organizations, the third party can also build their own API to consume API.
  • Due to this, It increases the complexity and also introduces the risk because organizations can also provide access to third-party providers for the API implementation.
  • APIs and user interfaces are mostly exposed to the outside world for the application. So, most IP addresses will expose to the outside world and they can be targeted with heavy traffic.
  • Business impact can be high due to insecure APIs and User Interfaces.
  • Lack of secure APIs will lead the issue related to confidentiality, integrity, availability, and accountability.

Conclusion

In this article, we explored the potential security threats with a public cloud by Cloud Security Alliance. We also understood in detail data breaches and insecure API. In the upcoming article, we will explore in more detail other cloud security threats.