Cloud-native breaches differ greatly from malware attacks of the past

The recently released Report Cloud-Native: The Infrastructure-as-a-Service Adoption and Risk by McAfee, looks at new Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) incidents in the cloud.

The results of the survey demonstrate that 99 percent of IaaS misconfigurations go unnoticed—indicating awareness around the most common entry point to new“Cloud-Native Breaches” (CNB) is extremely low.

IaaS breaches don’t look like your typical malware incident, instead leveraging native features of cloud infrastructure to land the attack, expand to adjacent cloud instances, and exfiltrate sensitive data. In most cases they “land” by exploiting configuration errors in how the cloud environment was set up. This research sheds light on the need for security tools to keep up with IaaS-native issues, especially the ability to continuously audit IaaS deployments for initial misconfiguration and configuration drift over time.

Cloud-Native: The Infrastructure-as-a-Service Adoption and Risk Report also reveals the following:

  • Practitioner-Leadership Disconnect: Results showed that 90 percent of companies have experienced some security issue in IaaS, misconfiguration or otherwise. Yet twice as many practitioners think they’ve never experienced an issue compared to their C-Level leadership. Only 26 percent are equipped to audit for misconfigurations in IaaS, which likely accounts for the lack of visibility. It is possible the speed of cloud adoption is putting some security practitioners behind, lacking the tools they need to stop CNBs, even while their leadership perceives greater risk.
  • Cloud Data Loss in IaaS is on the Rise: Incidents triggered by data loss prevention (DLP) rules in IaaS, such PCI data entering a storage object with public-read access, are up 248 percent year-over-year. Forty-two percent of the storage objects with DLP incidents were misconfigured.
  • IaaS is the New Shadow IT: Keeping track of security incidents in IaaS is increasingly difficult given the ease with which developers can spin up new infrastructure, and this is made worse when organizations operate in multiple cloud service provider environments. Seventy-six percent of respondents said they use multiple IaaS providers, yet data sourced from actual cloud usage shows 92 percent actually do. Incidents will go under the radar if companies aren’t aware of where their infrastructure lives.

“In the rush toward IaaS adoption, many organisations overlook the shared responsibility model for the cloud and assume that security is taken care of completely by the cloud provider,” said Rajiv Gupta, senior vice president of Cloud Security, McAfee.

“However, the security of what customers put in the cloud, most importantly sensitive data, is their responsibility. To defend against the new era of Cloud-Native Breaches, organisations need to use security tools that are cloud-native, purpose-built for cloud security and address their portion of the shared responsibility model.”


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