Proactive Remediation is Key: Why Context Alone Isn’t Enough in Cloud Security

Proactive Remediation Cloud Security

Understanding the complexity of security product categories can be overwhelming. At Solvo, we recognize that security professionals, coming from diverse backgrounds such as data, infrastructure, and GRC, prioritize efficiently addressing critical issues. With Solvo’s Posture Manager, you gain the ability to easily pinpoint vulnerabilities and misconfigurations across your cloud infrastructure, data, network, IAM, and more. Each issue, whether considered individually or collectively, significantly influences your security and compliance posture. Even addressing a single issue can have a ripple effect, bolstering your organization’s overall security stance. From identifying public-facing instances to controlling access to sensitive data, Solvo’s innovative platform goes the extra mile by providing the necessary code to resolve the issue effectively.

Let’s dive into a few real-life scenarios where the Posture Manager shines:

1. Data Security – Protecting Your Digital Assets:

With data breaches on the rise, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Whether it’s the threat of ransomware or selling in the Darknet, Solvo’s got your back. Our Posture Manager meticulously examines access to all your data resources, whether it’s through proxies, temporary credentials, or even non-human entities. We uncover any over privileged permissions that could leave your data vulnerable or accessible. Plus, if you’re using data classification products like AWS Macie or others, consider yourself doubly fortunate! We cross-reference our analysis with your labeled data, presenting you with a prioritized list of potential risks. With just a simple click, you can delve into each finding, revealing access paths, granted permissions, and the precise steps needed for remediation, available in both CLI and IaC formats for streamlined automation purposes.

Proactive-Remediation-Cloud-Security

2. Unused credentials and bulk remediation:

“Lost credentials” serve as golden tickets for cloud security incidents, encompassing forgotten usernames, API keys, or other access tokens. These idle credentials, whether attributed to humans or non-human entities, present prime targets for exploitation. Despite your best efforts to secure everything, there’s always a chance that an unused credential slipped through the cracks simply because it remained inactive. They may lurk within the shadows of your code repository, hide within access tokens granted to third parties, or be disregarded by forgetful employees.

But fear not! Solvo is here to bring order to the chaos. Our Posture Manager meticulously organizes all your credentials and access permissions, whether they belong to humans or bots, and flags any that are lying dormant and should be revoked. Say goodbye to the tedious task of manually revoking credentials one by one! With the Posture Manager, not only do you get a handy list of unused credentials, but we also provide you with the code needed to bulk fix the issue. Simply run a CLI command (or IaC if that’s more your style), and watch as your team’s productivity soars to new heights.

3. Network misconfiguration and internet exposure:

Cloud users often underestimate the potency of a network and its risk potential. When network access and high IAM privileges collide, it’s like mixing volatile ingredients. This is where the Posture Manager intervenes to provide support. It meticulously examines direct network access, including specific Security Group configurations, while also checking for any active listeners concealed in the shadows. But its scope extends beyond that – it delves into other network components like API Gateway or Web Application Firewall (WAF). Additionally, it conducts a thorough analysis of the ‘blast radius’ of your network configuration, identifying any direct or indirect connections to exposed resources. This gives you a comprehensive understanding of the risk posture of your identities and resources, highlighting potential danger zones within your network layer.

In hybrid and cloud-native setups, various teams within organizations have unique requirements from their security and compliance platforms. However, they all share a common need for clear visibility and a thorough grasp of detected issues. Solvo’s Posture Manager facilitates effective collaboration among these diverse teams, enabling them to seamlessly understand their priorities and address security concerns. Time-saving and streamlining processes lie at the heart of the Posture Manager’s mission.

If you’re curious about your cloud security posture and looking to streamline detection and remediation efforts, why not give Solvo’s free trial a whirl? Within minutes, you’ll gain a comprehensive overview of your security posture and receive guidance on the necessary next steps.

Unraveling the Threads: Exploring the Intricacies of Recent Cybersecurity Incidents at AnyDesk and CloudFlare

In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, we’ve witnessed the recent unraveling of security incidents involving tech giants AnyDesk and CloudFlare. Despite no indications that the two breaches are directly connected, a closer examination reveals intriguing ties, at least around some core junctions.

The Breaches Unveiled: A Synopsis

Two tech powerhouses, integral to countless companies, have fallen victim to cyber attacks, resulting in compromised source code, servers, and other vital IT assets. However, the information released by the companies might just scratch the surface, leaving room for undisclosed damage.

Understanding the Attacker’s Motive

Modern-day attackers don’t need to target a single organization like a bank or a hospital with undivided attention. Rather than investing all efforts in breaching a specific entity, they strategically infiltrate widely used software and exploit it as an entry vector. In the cases of AnyDesk and CloudFlare, the attackers likely viewed these platforms as gateways to broader access, potentially with elevated privileges, across numerous organizations. The access to the victim’s victims might not be used immediately, this is why we often detect second and third-hand hacks months or even years after the initial one occurred.

The Entry Point: How Did the Attacks Occur?

CloudFlare’s breach involved the exploitation of an access token pilfered from the October 2023 Okta breach. This emphasizes the vulnerability within the supply chain and the challenge in maintaining a secure posture. Delving deeper, it’s apparent that many incidents, possibly including the AnyDesk breach, often trace back to a seemingly innocuous entry point – a well-crafted phishing email or a deceptive phone call from the “support team”. This initial compromise, even if gaining access to a non-sensitive SaaS or infrastructure component, becomes a pivotal stepping stone for acquiring more credentials, persistence and elevated permissions.

To Use or Not to Use: A Dilemma?

The knee-jerk response might be to cease using CloudFlare or AnyDesk, but it’s not that straightforward. The revelation of these incidents doesn’t mean countless other companies aren’t grappling with similar breaches. It’s crucial to assume that vendors might face security challenges. While they bear responsibility, so do you in safeguarding your users, customers, and employees. Managing risks involves understanding the potential fallout of granting access to third parties and ensuring least privileged permissions. Practically, this means controlling identities and privileges granted to 3rd parties, vendors and suppliers, in addition to the human and non-human identities in your organization.

Immediate Actions for CloudFlare and AnyDesk Users

Specifically for users of these two vendors, swift action is recommended. Rotate keys and certificates tied to them and conduct a thorough analysis of the permissions granted. Understanding the potential blast radius is crucial, assuming the attacker has already infiltrated your environment and at the very least created persistence for future use.

The Larger Picture: Responsibilities in a Networked World

In this interconnected digital realm, we must recognize that as consumers, we are also service providers to other companies. This duality demands a constant awareness of risks and a nuanced understanding of tradeoffs. Beyond the immediate impact, it’s imperative to scrutinize keys and credentials, especially those indirectly tied to breached companies. In the CloudFlare incident, unused AWS service account credentials were compromised – a stark reminder to revoke any unused credentials to mitigate risks effectively. The same thing could have happened with other types of human and non-human identities and their attached credentials, within or external to the organization.

In conclusion, while we cannot eliminate all risks, we must actively manage and comprehend them. By embracing a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity, understanding potential blast radii, and effectively segregating and handling incidents, we can navigate the intricate web of digital vulnerabilities.

CIEM-CSPM Synergy for Adaptive Cloud Security

CIEM-CSPM Synergy for Adaptive Cloud Security

In the rapidly evolving landscape of cloud computing, ensuring robust security measures is paramount. As organizations increasingly migrate their workloads to the cloud, the need for comprehensive security solutionsbecomes more critical.

Cloud security is a complex undertaking though. Cloud environments are fluid and geographically dispersed, with resources dynamically provisioned and scaled across multiple locations. This makes it dicult to establish clear perimeters and implement consistent security controls, as traditional on-premises security approaches often fall short.

With numerous services, APIs, and endpoints exposed, cloud environments present a larger attack surface for malicious actors.

Attackers can exploit vulnerabilities in any layer of the cloud stack, including misconfigurations, software bugs, or insecure access controls, making it crucial to maintain comprehensive security across all levels. Moreover, the use of unauthorized cloud services or applications (shadow IT) can create significant security risks and blind spots.

Navigating the regulatory landscape and implementing controls to meet various compliance mandates adds another layer of complexity to cloud security.

On top of that, the need to keep pace with the rapid evolution of cloud technologies and constantly emerging threats is placing a huge burden on organizations, many of which lack the in-house talent or resources to handle these challenges.

All-in-one is not for all

The multi-faceted nature of cloud security threats requires organizations to integrate various security tools and platforms from different vendors into a cohesive security ecosystem that can protect data, applications, and resources. The challenge of dealing with multiple solutions has led to the emergence of converged cloud security offerings, most notably cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP).

CNAPP combines a comprehensive suite of capabilities to secure the entire cloud-native application lifecycle, from development and deployment to runtime and threat detection. It prioritizes protecting both the application itself and the cloud infrastructure it runs on, providing a unified view of security across the entire stack.

CNAPP typically includes functionalities of both CIEM and CSPM but goes beyond them by adding application security tools like container security, API security, runtime threat protection, and more. As such, CNAPP is typically more suitable for organizations with diverse cloud security needs. However, a full-fledged CNAPP solution might be overkill for many organizations that don’t build their own software or ones that prioritize secure cloud access over other concerns.

For example, organizations that handle large amounts of highly sensitive data stored in the cloud may prioritize the prevention of unauthorized access to resources hosting such data over other security concerns. For these customers, leveraging the potential synergies between CIEM and CSPM allows for the implementation of an effective access-first approach to cloud security.

Understanding CIEM and CSPM

Before delving into their convergence, let’s briefly outline the individual roles of CIEM and CSPM.

CIEM focuses on governing and managing permissions and entitlements within the cloud infrastructure. It ensures that users have the appropriate access levels, reducing the risk of unauthorized access and potential data breaches.

CSPM, on the other hand, is designed to monitor and enforce security configurations in cloud environments. It evaluates the cloud environment against established security best practices, identifying and remediating improper system and infrastructure configurations. These misconfigurations create vulnerabilities by allowing unauthorized access to systems and data, and cause other security issues.

In a recent report on Solvo’s adaptive cloud security approach, 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, has noted that “some of the most pressing security pain points include managing configurations, identities and permissions in cloud resources. In recent years, the CSPM and CIEM segments have emerged to address these challenges.”

The integration of CIEM and CSPM capabilities provides organizations with comprehensive visibility and understanding of access-related risks across their cloud infrastructure, facilitating the management of identities, entitlements and system configurations. It enables security teams to find out which users have access to specific resources, what permissions they have, how they are using it, which resources are at risk of unauthorized access, and much more.

Context as the glue between CIEM and CSPM

The convergence of CIEM and CSPM becomes even more potent when contextual analysis is applied. Contextual analysis involves understanding the nuanced relationships between different elements within the cloud infrastructure.

Unlike traditional identity and access management approaches where permissions are typically assigned based on user roles and responsibilities, dynamic cloud environments require constant evaluation and updated security policies and controls. In such a chaotic environment where numerous components are always in motion, access permissions and entitlements should be determined by a more comprehensive, real-time understanding of user (human and machine) activities, rather than relying solely on static roles.

An effective contextual analysis along these lines should be based on integrating insights across several fields:

The benefits of CIEM-CSPM integration

By integrating CIEM and CSPM through contextual analysis, and constantly analyzing configurations, relationships, and activities across these dimensions, organizations gain more in-depth and holistic insight into their cloud security posture. This enables security teams to address both identity-related risks and configuration vulnerabilities, maintain consistent security practices across the entire cloud environment, and make informed decisions at speed.

Moreover, adding a context layer on top of a combined CIEM-CSPM solution empowers security teams to achieve important benefits that are difficult to attain otherwise:

Prioritized risk mitigation

A converged CIEM-CSPM approach enhanced with contextual information security empowers security teams to assess risks with greater accuracy, prioritize remediation based on asset criticality (e.g. resources hosting sensitive data), blast radius, vulnerability severity, and other factors, and implement access policies and entitlements that align with the actual level of threat.

Adaptive access controls

Contextual analysis facilitates the implementation of adaptive access controls. Instead of relying on static access permissions, organizations can dynamically adjust access levels based on the context, granting elevated privileges only when necessary and revoking them when not in use.

Smart automation

The contextual approach enables security teams to automate the processes of applying and enforcing access policies, which are currently labor-intensive and error-prone while reducing operational burden.

Proactive threat mitigation

By identifying and rectifying access-related security issues in real-time based on context, the combined CIEM and CSPM approach reduces the window of vulnerability, and enhances the overall resilience of cloud environments.

Compliance assurance

Providing a detailed understanding of the context surrounding activities made by user and service accounts, and resource configurations, contextual analysis helps in identifying and mitigating potential regulatory risks. This is crucial for industries with stringent compliance requirements.

Solvo’s access-focused CNAPP solution

As cloud security continues to be a top priority, the integration of CIEM and CSPM emerges as a practical and effective solution for safeguarding digital assets in the cloud. While cloud security threats continue to grow in frequency, scale and complexity, mitigating identity-related threats and resource misconfigurations remains a top concern for many organizations that take an “access-first” approach to cloud security.

The convergence of CIEM and CSPM, fueled by contextual analysis, represents a formidable strategy to achieve a level of cloud security that surpasses the sum of its parts. By correlating infrastructure relationships, entitlements, and misconfigurations, organizations can dynamically assess risks, automatically adapt access policies and controls based on contextual insights, and fortify their cloud environments against an ever-evolving threat landscape.

Solvo’s adaptive cloud security offering was designed around these principles. Leveraging advanced machine learning and context-aware analysis, Solvo combines CIEM and CSPM capabilities under a unified, multidimensional access-focused CNAPP solution.

Solvo’s platform continuously assesses human and machine identities, cloud resources, access permissions and entitlements, and automatically detects and remediates vulnerabilities and misconfigurations based on real-time risk analysis, ensuring least-privilege access and a robust cloud security posture.

The recently published 451 Research report, “Solvo tackles CNAPP with adaptive cloud security and deep application analysis,” highlighted Solvo’s ability to “create policies automatically, as well as a combination of CIEM and CSPM, data security posture features, and patented application analysis. Adaptive remediation is a key differentiator.”

Unveiling the AWS Public IP Puzzle: Solvo’s Query and Cost-Saving Tips

Unveiling the AWS Public IP Puzzle Solvo's Query and Cost-Saving Tips

As we all heard back in July 2023, as of February 1st, 2024 AWS will start charging for public IPv4 addresses. The pricing is per resource, per hour. Meaning that for every EC2 you own, that works 24/7, you’ll pay an additional $3.6 a month. While this may not sound a lot, we came to realize that many AWS customers are unaware of the number of public IP addresses they actually consume. These can easily add up to an additional hundreds or thousands of dollars every month.

Public IP Address Type

While the Solvo platform’s main use is for security purposes, you can use it for Ops-related tasks. For example, look for entities with public IP addresses, to make sure you’re aware of your usage, terminate unnecessary instances, or block their internet access and public IP assignment.

Below is a Solvo customized query that checks for assignments of public IP addresses to popular resources. We are sharing this query so that even if you’re not a Solvo customer, you can use its logic and run an analysis on your environment. Solvo users can run this query in the compliance query builder as a one-off or add it to one of their bundles for continuous validation. Please note that we will flag all resources with a public IP address. Some of them probably have that configuration rightfully. Don’t forget to exclude these resources so we will not flag them later on, and only newly assigned resources or previously unfixed resources will appear.

package Solvo
import future.keywords

get_description(eni) := description {
	eni.Description != null
	description := eni.Description
}

get_description(eni) := description {
	eni.Description == null
	description := eni.Attachment.InstanceId
}


noncompliant_entities [item] {
	eni := data.awsEc2NetworkInterfaces[_]
  eni.Association
  eni.Association.PublicIp != null
	item = {"Id": eni.Id, "Region": eni.Region, "PublicIP": eni.Association.PublicIp,  "Description": get_description(eni)}
}


results := noncompliant_entities

OK, I found all my assets with a public IP address, what’s next?

Here are a few steps you should consider, based on your needs and architecture:

  1. Start by removing unnecessary public IP addresses from assets that don’t need public access
  2. Move to IPv6 at no additional cost (for now 🤭)
  3. Use middleware like NATGW or Firewall and only assign a public IP address to them

If you’re not a Solvo user but still want to inspect your environment and make sure there are no surprises with the AWS February bill, you can use Solvo’s free trial and run the suggested query. To start your free trial click here.

Mitigating Machine Identity Risks in the Cloud

Mitigating Machine Identity Risks in the Cloud

Machine identities have become an integral part of today’s digital world. As more and more companies are adopting distributed, dynamic cloud-native services, machine identities play a critical role in ensuring secure communication between “things”. 

Machine identities consist of workload identities, which refer to software workloads such as containers, VMs, applications, services and microservices; and device identities representing desktop, mobile, IoT/OT and other types of devices.

As organizations continue to expand their cloud environments, the number of machine identities grows exponentially. In fact, according to Microsoft’s 2023 State of Cloud Permissions Risks Report, machine identities already outnumber human identities 10x, and this ratio is expected to increase in the coming years.

The growth of machine identities presents significant challenges for cloud security teams. First and foremost, there is a big difference between protecting people and machines. For humans, we already have established and well-structured
approaches, processes and workflows, which are all based on the practice of employing usernames and passwords to authenticate users, and providing them with access permissions.

Machines, on the other hand, can’t use usernames and passwords. Instead, we typically use encryption keys and certificates. Each machine identity requires a digital certificate that must be periodically updated and renewed. The problem begins when the number of machine identities starts growing out of control.

Cloud computing services allow organizations to quickly and easily deploy new applications and workloads. Each of these cloud-based workloads requires its own machine identity.

At the same time, the growing adoption of containerization and microservices architectures
allows organizations to break down applications into smaller, more modular components, each of which typically has its own machine (workload) identity. Many of these entities have a lifespan of only a few days or hours. Furthermore, the
implementation of DevOps practices leads to more frequent changes to applications and workloads that can be difficult to keep track of in a dynamic cloud environment.

In addition to workload identities, device identities are also growing in numbers as IoT devices continue to proliferate in homes, businesses, and industrial environments.

Machine identity risks

The limited visibility and control over the propagation of machine identities may have critical consequences. According to Microsoft’s report, 80% of workload identities are inactive.

Moreover, on average, workload identities use only 5% of their granted permissions. These inactive identities and unused permissions can potentially open up attack vectors for malicious actors. Attackers can exploit misconfigured workload identities to gain unauthorized access to resources. For example, if a workload identity is assigned too many permissions, an attacker could compromise the identity and use it to access sensitive data or perform malicious actions.

In addition, once an attacker has compromised a workload identity, they can use it to move laterally within the network and gain access to other resources. This is possible because workload identities are often granted access to multiple resources, including other workloads, data stores, and applications.

mitigating machine identity risks in the cloud - solvo app

Attackers can also create a large number of workload identities and then use them to launch DDoS attacks by simultaneously sending requests to a target resource and causing it to become unavailable.

Such risks can be mitigated by having centralized visibility and control over machine identities throughout their lifecycle across the entire cloud environments. But with so many identities, resources, and complex dependencies between them, managing access policies and controls using traditional approaches becomes a tedious, error-prone task, resulting in multiple misconfigurations that can be exploited by attackers.

Cloud security skill gaps

solvo mitigating machine identity risks in the cloud

One of the main reasons behind the growing number of misconfigured machine identities and permissions is that companies are under pressure to release code quickly. Coupled with the ease of setting up resources in the cloud, developers often deploy code multiple times per day.

To support the rapid pace of code deployments, more and more responsibilities are “shifting left” from IT teams to cloud developers, including security-related tasks. 

However, cloud developers may not be adequately aware of the security risks associated with machine identities, or they lack the necessary expertise to configure them securely.

Thus, under the pressure to release code faster, developers may be tempted to take shortcuts, which can lead to manual errors and misconfigurations. These may include, for example, hardcoding secrets or keys in code or configuration files, granting too many permissions to machine identities, failing to revoke credentials when they are no longer needed, failing to segment machine identities into different networks, and more.

Implications of the shared responsibility model

Identifying and resolving these vulnerabilities is a challenging task due to the lack of adequate tools.
While public cloud providers offer their own IAM tools and services for managing machine identities, these solutions are not a silver bullet.

Public cloud providers are responsible for securing the infrastructure that their customers use to host their workloads. However, customers are still responsible for securing their own workloads, including the machine identities that they use.

This means that customers must implement their own least privilege policies, ensure that machine identities are only granted with the permissions that they need to perform their tasks, and regularly review and update permissions.

In addition, as cloud provider IAM solutions are specific to their platforms, companies cannot effectively use them to manage machine identities from third-party cloud services and on-premises systems.

mitigating machine identity risks

For example, AWS Access Analyzer creates IAM permissions templates based on CloudTrail activity. Hence, it only covers AWS-managed machine identities such as IAM roles and EC2 instances. It does not cover third-party machine identities including service accounts and SSH keys.

In addition, while Access Analyzer can identify some machine identity related access risks, such as excessive permissions and misconfigurations, it cannot identify all risks, most notably compromised machine identities and malicious use of machine identities.

The need for automation

Microsoft’s report concludes that in order to prevent permission exploitation, organizations should be able to “track workload identities’ predictable behavior patterns and right-size their permissions to avoid unauthorized access to cloud resources.” In other words, to effectively protect the cloud environment, the least privilege principle, which has become a best practice for cloud access security, should be applied on human and machine identities alike.

Rightsizing cloud access permissions is a complex task though. In a complex, highly dynamic cloud
environment, ensuring that machine identities are issued only to authorized machines, that all certificates are renewed on time, and that any unused certificates are revoked, requires comprehensive visibility into a range of factors.

mitigating machine identity risks in the cloud - solvo

In addition to keeping track of machine identities, customers must also continuously analyze workload behavior, cloud resources and the data associated with them. This way, machine identity-related risks can be identified and mitigated based on context, enabling customers to evaluate and prioritize risks in a much more accurate manner. and automatically apply policies that match the real level of threat.

Achieving machine identity visibility and control with Solvo

In light of the sheer number of machine identities, and the ephemeral nature of many of them, keeping track and ensuring that they are properly managed and secured is a growing challenge.

To effectively mitigate this risk, organizations need a comprehensive machine identity management strategy that includes automation, strong access controls, regular audits, and a deep understanding of their specific cloud environment. It’s also essential to stay up-to-date with evolving cloud security best practices and compliance requirements.

Solvo’s adaptive cloud security platform was designed specifically for this purpose. It continuously analyzes human and machine identities for security misconfigurations, automatically identifying risks based on contextual analysis of cloud resources, applications and data.

In addition, Solvo automatically creates customized, least-privileged access policies that are constantly adapted to the level of risk associated with machine identities. Once a misconfiguration is detected, Solvo automatically offers fast and accurate remediation options that are based on industry best practices and regulatory requirements.

With these capabilities, Solvo enables customers to easily define and enforce machine identity policies at scale, and proactively mitigate associated risks based on real-time, contextual understanding of their cloud security posture.

solvo cloud

Key benefits

Comprehensive visibility into your cloud infrastructure inventory

Create customized, automatically updated least privileged access policies based on the level of risk associated with entities, resources, applications and data in the cloud

Proactively monitor, identify, prioritize and remediate the most critical risks to your cloud infrastructure

Minimize cloud security alert fatigue and false positives

Reduce your cloud attack surface to innovate and grow your business in a secure manner

Create stronger alignment and improved collaboration between security, Developers and engineering teams

Simplify compliance and reporting

Illuminate Cloud Risks, Empower Security.

Discover and address cloud risks effectively and empower your security team with the autonomy they need.

Or explore on your own time with a free trial

NIST Compliance: The Path to Data Protection Proficiency

Stay Ahead of Regulations Solvo for NIST Compliance

In today’s digital landscape, data security is paramount. Organizations handle vast amounts of sensitive information, and ensuring its protection is a top priority. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Compliance framework is a critical component in safeguarding sensitive data in the cloud. In this blog post, we will explore what NIST Compliance is, its benefits, how to achieve compliance, and more.

Understanding NIST Compliance

NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is a federal agency within the United States Department of Commerce. NIST is responsible for developing and promoting measurement standards, and it plays a significant role in shaping cybersecurity guidelines. NIST Compliance refers to adhering to the cybersecurity standards and best practices defined by NIST, particularly in the context of cloud security.

NIST Compliance provides a robust framework for organizations to enhance their cloud security posture. It offers a comprehensive set of guidelines and recommendations that cover various aspects of information security, including risk management, access control, encryption, and incident response. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework, in particular, is widely recognized and adopted as a roadmap for securing digital assets.

The Benefits of NIST Compliance

Enhanced Security:

    • NIST Compliance equips organizations with structured security guidelines and best practices, continuously updated to tackle emerging threats.
    • It promotes risk mitigation by encouraging systematic identification and assessment of potential risks, enabling proactive threat identification.
    • NIST emphasizes robust access controls to prevent unauthorized access and data breaches.
    • Encryption, a cornerstone of NIST recommendations, safeguards data during transit and at rest.

Regulatory Compliance:

    • NIST Compliance serves as a foundational framework that harmonizes with various industry-specific regulations and compliance standards, simplifying regulatory compliance.
    • It streamlines compliance efforts by providing a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity, reducing duplication of efforts.
    • NIST standards’ wide recognition fosters interoperability and collaboration between organizations, regulators, and industry partners.
    • Its global applicability facilitates compliance across international jurisdictions.

Improved Risk Management:

    • NIST’s risk management framework promotes a systematic, proactive approach to risk identification, assessment, and mitigation.
    • Organizations can identify potential threats and vulnerabilities through risk assessments, evaluating risks’ likelihood and impact.
    • Structured methodologies prioritize risk mitigation, focusing resources on critical threats.
    • NIST outlines security controls and measures for risk mitigation, including safeguards, monitoring systems, and incident response plans.

Customer Trust:

    • Demonstrating NIST Compliance instills confidence in customers.
    • Transparency is fostered as organizations commit to and achieve NIST Compliance, signaling a commitment to data security.
    • Customers trust organizations with robust security measures, reducing the risk of data breaches.
    • NIST Compliance assures customers that organizations meet industry-recognized security standards, vital for handling sensitive customer data.

However, ensuring compliance with a range of information security and privacy regulations, as well as internal policies, can be challenging in cloud-native environments. The rapid pace of changes can lead to unnoticed misconfigurations, risking regulatory compliance violations.

This is where Solvo emerges as a powerful ally in your quest for compliance in cloud-native environments. Solvo’s Compliance Manager offers a comprehensive solution to address these challenges. Let’s explore how Solvo and its compliance support can bolster your organization’s security efforts:

Your Compliance Assurance Partner

Solvo’s Compliance Manager enables you to easily establish compliance benchmarks for various frameworks, including NIST, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, GDPR, CCPA, and more. This simplifies compliance management by aligning your cloud security practices with specific regulatory requirements.

Custom Policies and Rules with OPA

Solvo goes a step further by supporting the creation of custom policies and rules using Open Policy Agent (OPA) and the flexible Rego language. OPA facilitates policy specification as code, especially valuable in modern cloud-native environments. By integrating OPA into Solvo, organizations can efficiently create and enforce rules that would otherwise demand substantial development efforts. This flexibility empowers organizations to tailor security policies to their unique needs and adapt them as their cloud environment evolves.

Automated Compliance Risk Identification and Remediation

Solvo’s platform automatically identifies and remediates compliance risks stemming from cloud misconfigurations defined within OPA. This proactive approach ensures potential issues are detected and resolved before they lead to costly compliance breaches.

The Role of AI and Machine Learning in Strengthening Cloud Security

The Role of AI and Machine Learning in Strengthening Cloud Security

Cloud computing has become essential for modern business operations, offering flexibility, scalability, and accessibility for data storage, processing, and application deployment. However, the convenience of the cloud also raises security concerns. As cyber threats evolve, traditional security measures fall short. To address this challenge, organizations are increasingly turning to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to strengthen their cloud security efforts.

The Evolving Threat Landscape

In recent years, the threat landscape has undergone significant transformation. Cyberattacks have become more sophisticated and targeted, posing substantial risks to businesses. Cloud environments, home to vast amounts of sensitive data, have become prime targets. Attackers continuously search for vulnerabilities, necessitating proactive measures to secure cloud infrastructure.

How AI and ML Enhance Cloud Security

AI and ML algorithms excel in processing and analyzing vast datasets at incredible speeds, making them ideal for cloud security. They offer several benefits:

    • Threat Detection and Prevention: AI and ML algorithms can analyze enormous datasets in real-time, swiftly identifying anomalous behavior that might signify a cyber threat. They can recognize patterns indicative of an attack and respond faster than any human could, preventing potential breaches.
    • Behavioral Analysis: ML algorithms can establish a baseline of normal user behavior, which allows them to spot deviations that may indicate a breach or unauthorized access. This approach is particularly effective in identifying insider threats.
    • Automated Response: When a threat is detected, AI-powered systems can take immediate action, such as isolating affected systems, blocking suspicious IP addresses, or quarantining malware.
    • Predictive Analysis: Machine learning models can predict future attack trends based on historical data, enabling organizations to proactively implement security measures.

Benefits of AI and ML in Cloud Security

The advantages of AI and ML in cloud security are numerous:

    • Improved Accuracy: AI and ML systems can identify threats with higher accuracy than traditional methods, reducing false positives and negatives.
    • Rapid Response: Real-time monitoring and automated threat detection enable faster response times, minimizing the impact of security incidents.
    • Scalability: AI and ML can scale effortlessly to handle the growing volume of data and the complexity of modern cloud environments.
    • Cost Efficiency: By automating many security tasks, AI and ML can reduce the need for extensive manual monitoring and analysis, resulting in cost savings.

Latest Trends and Predictions

AI and ML are continuously evolving in the realm of cloud security:

    • Zero Trust Architecture: This approach, which trusts no one and verifies everyone, is gaining prominence. AI helps in continuous authentication and authorization, ensuring security throughout a session.
    • Serverless Security: As serverless computing gains traction, AI and ML are crucial in providing security solutions that protect this new paradigm effectively.
    • Securing IoT Devices: The proliferation of IoT devices demands AI-driven security to monitor and protect networks from potential threats originating from these connected devices.
    • AI-Enhanced Authentication: Passwords are becoming a thing of the past. AI-driven biometric and multi-factor authentication methods are becoming mainstream for enhanced identity verification.

Conclusion

In conclusion, AI and ML are indispensable tools in cloud security, capable of analyzing vast datasets, detecting anomalies, and identifying potential threats in real time. Embracing these technologies is no longer optional but necessary to protect valuable data and assets in our increasingly digital world. As AI and ML continue to advance, organizations that invest wisely in them will be better prepared to navigate the evolving cybersecurity landscape of tomorrow.

Securing Cloud Applications: Beyond the Perimeter

Securing Cloud Applications Beyond the Perimeter

Introduction:

As organizations are rapidly migrating to the cloud, the security landscape has undergone a significant shift. Traditional perimeter defenses are no longer sufficient to protect against sophisticated threats targeting cloud applications. Organizations are now in need of a comprehensive approach that goes beyond the perimeter and addresses vulnerabilities at the application level.

The Changing Landscape of Cloud Security:

As organizations harness the power of cloud applications to drive innovation and efficiency, cyber threats have evolved to exploit potential vulnerabilities. Relying solely on perimeter defenses creates a vulnerability that attackers can capi
talize on. Securing cloud applications demands a multi-dimensional approach that focuses on detecting and preventing threats at the application layer itself.

Breaking Down Application Silos:

In the cloud environment, applications often operate in isolated silos, making it challenging to ensure consistent security across the board. Our platform takes a holistic approach by breaking down these silos. It unifies security efforts, enabling a centralized view of the entire application landscape, thus reducing blind spots and enhancing our ability to detect threats.

Proactive Threat Detection and Prevention:

Detecting vulnerabilities and potential attacks before they materialize is the essence of proactive security. Our platform employs advanced technologies such as AI and machine learning to identify suspicious patterns and behaviors within cloud applications. By analyzing user behavior, data access patterns, and application interactions, we spot anomalies that might indicate a breach or unauthorized activity.

Mitigating Application-Level Attacks:

From SQL injection to cross-site scripting, application-level attacks are becoming increasingly common. Our platform employs specialized security measures to safeguard against these threats. It analyzes incoming requests, filters out malicious code, and applies patches to known vulnerabilities, ensuring that applications remain resilient in the face of attacks.

Real-Time Insights and Actionable Intelligence:

Our platform doesn’t stop at detection; it empowers organizations with real-time insights and actionable intelligence. By providing detailed information about threats, attack vectors, and potential impact, we enable prompt responses and informed decision-making.

Conclusion:

In the dynamic realm of cloud security, securing applications demands a holistic approach that transcends traditional perimeter defenses. By adopting a proactive stance, breaking down silos, and employing cutting-edge technologies, our platform empowers businesses to navigate the complex landscape of cloud security with confidence. As cyber threats evolve, our commitment remains unwavering – to safeguard your cloud applications and data from the inside out.

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FAQ:

Why is securing cloud applications beyond the perimeter important?

Traditional perimeter defenses are no longer enough to protect against evolving cyber threats targeting cloud applications. Attackers can exploit vulnerabilities at the application level, making it crucial to have a comprehensive approach that extends security beyond the perimeter. This approach focuses on detecting and preventing threats at the application layer, where vulnerabilities are most likely to be targeted.

How does your platform address security in a multi-cloud environment with isolated application silos?

IAMagnifier for Complete Visibility:

Solvo’s IAMagnifier is a powerful visualization tool that automatically identifies all your cloud assets, including storage, compute resources, network assets, external accounts, and users. It also analyzes the IAM roles and policies that enable access to these resources. By mapping and displaying these connections based on detected risk levels, it provides users with a comprehensive view of their cloud infrastructure, highlighting areas of concern such as excessive connections or sensitive data presence.

Contextual Least Privilege Policies:

With this visibility, users can easily run queries to understand who can perform specific actions and who has access to particular resources. This information enables the creation of contextual least privilege policies. These policies are crucial for limiting access to only what is necessary, reducing the attack surface, and enhancing security.

Continuous Monitoring and Policy Updates:

After implementing least privilege policies, Solvo’s Policy Manager continuously profiles each asset within your cloud infrastructure and analyzes the behavior of applications interacting with them. This ongoing monitoring ensures that your security policies remain up-to-date and effective as your cloud environment evolves.

Data Posture Manager for Sensitive Data Protection:

Solvo’s Data Posture Manager addresses the critical concern of data visibility and control across multiple cloud platforms, data stores, and applications. It provides a clear and actionable graph that helps organizations understand how sensitive data is stored, used, and the associated risks. This prioritization of data resources based on sensitivity and risk severity empowers organizations to adjust their security configurations accordingly.

Comprehensive Visibility into Sensitive Data:

When combined with real-time cloud application and user behavior analysis, Solvo’s platform offers comprehensive and contextual visibility into sensitive data within the cloud. This visibility helps reduce the risk of data exposure and leakage by enabling organizations to proactively address data security concerns.

Can your platform detect and prevent application-level attacks in real time?

Our Policy Manager continuously profiles each asset within your cloud environment and monitors the behavior of applications interacting with them. This ongoing analysis ensures that policies remain up-to-date and effective as your cloud environment evolves. It also conducts real-time analysis of cloud application and user behavior. This enables the identification of suspicious patterns and behaviors within cloud applications, which may indicate an application-level attack in progress.

Navigating Cloud-Native Application Security: A Multifaceted Approach

Navigating Cloud-Native Application Security A Multifaceted Approach

Securing cloud environments is a top priority for organizations today. However, only 40% feel confident in their ability to secure their data in the cloud. The rapid and complex nature of cloud-native applications requires a unique set of security policies and tools but staying updated on the latest trends, challenges, and threats in the cloud remains a continuous struggle due to the fast-paced nature of business.

As cloud usage becomes more prevalent, enterprises must establish standard operating procedures to continuously enhance the security of their cloud-native assets and match the level of risk involved. Unlike on-premises environments that are solely protected by in-house security teams, the security model in the cloud is a shared responsibility. While cloud providers secure the underlying infrastructure, customers are responsible for protecting their data and applications. However, this can be complicated by the fact that cloud service providers offer their proprietary tools, which can be opaque and require specialized knowledge to use effectively.

Moreover, the cloud’s automation technology allows for quick deployment and removal of applications, which can lead to the propagation of excessive entitlements and misconfigurations. This, in turn, gives rise to the emerging concern of “Shadow identity,” where overly permissive developer and machine/service accounts, as well as orphaned identities, pose a security risk.

Controlling access to cloud assets is crucial for infrastructure security, as it helps prevent unauthorized entry into networks, protects credentials from theft and misuse, and restricts lateral movement that could escalate damage across the network. However, limited visibility into cloud identities and policies, the fragmented nature of the cloud, and the shortage of skilled professionals pose challenges to securing entitlements. Managing access in multi-cloud environments and auditing it effectively can be particularly difficult.

Despite these challenges, organizations can enhance their overall cloud security posture by following best practices:

 

  1. Establish IAM policies: 

Defining identity and access management and configuration policies for all teams ensures consistency across the organization. Providing training for developers and DevOps teams can further address fragmentation issues.

 

  1. Conduct regular scans: 

Leveraging infrastructure-as-code (IaC) templates and implementing “shift-left” development can help identify misconfigurations early on and allow developers to rectify them before they become a risk in the production environment.

 

  1. Enforce cloud security standards: 

Utilize cloud security standards and frameworks like CIS, ISO/IEC, and NIST to establish baseline security policies and configurations. Regular assessments based on these standards can help identify and remediate risks, vulnerabilities, and unintended configurations.

 

To manage the security of cloud-native applications effectively, organizations can leverage technologies such as cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM), cloud security posture management (CSPM), and cloud-native application protection (CNAPP). CIEM automates the mitigation of risk from excessive permissions, while CSPM manages configuration risk and security controls across multiple cloud vendors. CNAPP combines these capabilities and provides additional functionality, such as vulnerability management, for a more comprehensive approach.

 

As businesses increasingly rely on the cloud to keep pace with the demands of today’s fast-moving landscape, a robust security practice that can match this pace is essential.

Bridging the Gap Between Engineering and Security

Bridging the Gap Between Engineering and Security

With the widespread adoption of cloud computing, software development has taken on new responsibilities. Driven by the need to speed up application deployment across increasingly complex and dynamic cloud environments, the shift-left approach has become a common practice to balance the conflicting needs for faster delivery and maintaining code quality and security in the cloud

The shift-left approach aims to identify and resolve bugs and vulnerabilities in the code as soon as possible by equipping developers with the necessary tools and skills that were previously the domain of DevOps professionals

Through the adoption of shift-left practices such as CI/CD, infrastructure as code (IaC) and security automation, developers can assume more control over their tasks, leading to a more efficient and streamlined development process.

Despite the growing availability of DevSecOps tools to automate security tasks as part of a shift-left strategy, security remains a major pain point for organizations that rely on public cloud infrastructure. The key reason is the difficulty of achieving effective collaboration between traditionally siloed engineering, DevOps and security teams.

Different mindsets of developers and security professionals

Cloud application developers and security professionals approach software development from opposite ends of the spectrum, often leading to a disconnect that may put a company’s cloud infrastructure at risk.

Developers tend to focus on functionality, delivering feature-rich applications that meet user’s needs. They typically view security as an afterthought and may prioritize delivering new features over securing their code. They want to stay in their own creative flow and work at their own pace to avoid the context switching of repetitively fixing issues identified by the security team, which slows them down.

Security professionals, on the other hand, are trained to think about risks and vulnerabilities. They approach development from a risk management perspective and focus on securing cloud applications against cyber threats.

Another challenge is that these teams often have different levels of understanding of cloud security. Developers may not be familiar with the specific security risks associated with the cloud, while cybersecurity professionals may not be familiar with the technical aspects of cloud development.

The gaps between engineering and security can lead to significant operational disruptions. Even a minor code change, if done by a cloud application developer lacking adequate security knowledge, can create misconfigurations that expose critical cloud resources to unauthorized access and misuse.

As more applications are being deployed in the cloud, and software release cycles become shorter, the implications of the disconnect between engineering and security become acutely apparent.

Developers take on more responsibilities of security tasks. They are expected to continuously evaluate and update policies and configurations, shifting more time and effort to non-functional
tasks – often without adequate skills to carry them out successfully – instead of focusing on writing functional code. Consequently, security and productivity issues due to misconfigurations caused by human error become more frequent, further increasing friction and frustration.

A single version of the truth

To address the disconnect between cloud application developers and security professionals, collaboration must be encouraged from the outset. Security teams should be involved early in the development process to ensure that secure coding best practices are followed. Developers must be trained to think about the security implications of their code and the potential risks involved.

In addition, security professionals must understand the needs and pressures of developers. They should be able to communicate the risks and potential impact of insecure code in a way that is meaningful to developers, emphasizing the importance of secure coding practices and their role in maintaining the integrity of the company’s cloud infrastructure.

Establishing effective collaboration on cloud security along these lines depends on the ability to create “a single version of the truth.” One of the main reasons for the lack of adequate collaboration is that developers are not always on the same page with the security team regarding the security implications of the code they produce.

To bridge this gap, both parties should be looking at the same operational picture so they can share an understanding of the impact of code changes on the cloud environment. To accomplish that, they must be provided with a unified, holistic view of the cloud security posture across cloud infrastructure, applications, users and data.

Such multidimensional visibility is essential in cloud environments as it supports contextual understanding of security risks. It enables security teams to effectively identify, evaluate and prioritize vulnerabilities and misconfigurations, and guide developers to focus on the most critical issues instead of frustrating them with endless, often unnecessary work that slows them down.

Contextual understanding can be leveraged to implement consistent security policies, configurations and controls. It facilitates centralized provisioning, access management, and policy enforcement, ensuring that all cloud resources adhere to the desired standards and compliance requirements.

The next step is automation, which can play a vital role in enabling collaboration and accelerating the shift-left process by eliminating repetitive, labor-intensive, and time-consuming operations that cause friction. However, establishing automated and continuous deployment pipelines that include security checks requires careful planning, tool selection, and implementation.

The ability to prioritize the remediation of misconfigurations and vulnerabilities based on an accurate risk assessment is a prerequisite for the automation of security-related operations. This can be achieved by pinpointing critical vulnerabilities that require human intervention while automatically assigning policies and controls in no-risk situations, thus reducing the burden on all the relevant stakeholders.

Solvo’s practical shift-left approach

Solvo provides organizations with contextual, comprehensive visibility into their cloud environments, which is critical for obtaining the aforementioned “single version of the truth” and eliminating the disconnect between engineering and security.

Solvo operates by monitoring and analyzing infrastructure resources, applications and user behavior, and the data associated with them, and identifying deviations from best practices and corporate policies. Based on this multidimensional analysis, Solvo automatically generates new security policies for cloud assets that have been granted excessive access. The policies can be easily enforced either directly or as part of the CI process

By providing accurate and granular security configurations and policies, Solvo reduces the friction between stakeholders, enabling developers to keep their focus on writing functional code.

As cloud environments are highly dynamic, Solvo was designed to continuously monitor and analyze code change, and automatically update access policies in real-time. The same process is applied when new code or cloud resources are detected to ensure that the cloud infrastructure is protected against unauthorized access based on the least privilege concept of restricting access to the bare essentials.

By providing a clear and up-to-date view of all access paths, Solvo bridges the gap between engineering and security teams, bringing all stakeholders to a shared and accurate understanding of the cloud security posture.

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