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How To Identify Misconfiguration And Compliance Issues In Your Cloud Service?


How To Identify Misconfiguration And Compliance Issues In Your Cloud Service

Cloud services are complex distributed systems that usually consist of many moving parts. This complexity often makes it hard to understand the big picture and see how these components fit together. This problem is amplified especially for companies with many cloud providers because managing multiple accounts with different providers only complicates things even more.

Cloud services can help organizations improve their compliance posture. However, it is essential to ensure that your cloud service is configured correctly and compliant with your organization’s security and compliance requirements to take advantage of this benefit.

This article will discuss how you can identify misconfiguration and compliance issues in your cloud service and implement Cloud Security Posture Management to remove these issues.

Monitor Your Service Configurations

Keeping track of any changes within your cloud environment and knowing the system’s current state is crucial because it allows you to understand how your cloud service has evolved.

Understand how the various cloud service components work together. For example, if you use IaaS, you need to know which compute instances are running, what software is installed on them, and what network connectivity they have. You also need to know which security groups and load balancers are used.

Detect Default Configuration and Accounts

A big part of the problem with misconfiguration is that it usually happens when you least expect it. For example, suppose an administrator accidentally sets up a default configuration for a new service or virtual machine (e.g., not changing the default username or password) and doesn’t remember to change it later. 

In that case, this could leave your cloud service exposed to various threats. You need to be especially wary of default configurations and accounts if anyone can create instances without going through the proper approval and provisioning workflow. This also increases your risk of having misconfigured services.

To detect any issues with default accounts within your service, you can use CSPM automation tools to analyze your service and look for default accounts that should be disabled or removed.

Detect Sensitive Information in Your Service Environments

The next step is to ensure that you do not store sensitive information in plain text (or encrypted with a weak cipher). Doing so will increase your risk of exposing this data unintentionally, which can result in severe consequences, such as data theft or a data breach.

To detect sensitive information in your service environments, you can use data loss prevention (DLP) tools to scan your files and look for confidential data stored in plain text. 

You can also use these cloud security tools to monitor network traffic between different components to see if any sensitive information is being transferred without your knowledge.

Detect Data Leaks and Exfiltration Attempts

Another pivotal step is to make sure that you monitor network traffic between different components within your cloud service environment. In some cases, attackers will attempt to exfiltrate data from a compromised system by sending it through DNS requests or other protocols commonly used for legitimate purposes.

If you do not monitor this traffic, your cloud service might be sending sensitive data to an external entity. For example, attackers can use DNS tunneling (e.g., dns2tcp) to send data through TCP-based DNS requests or a covert channel to mask their activity and avoid detection by network security controls.

Consider using a cloud security posture management solution to help you get an accurate view of your environment. This view will allow you to easily identify and correct any issues before they become a problem.

Review Your Service Configuration Regularly

The best way to avoid misconfiguration is to have an up-to-date inventory of your service components. This way, you can quickly identify misconfigured or vulnerable services by scanning for default accounts, insecure configurations, and other flaws.

To design a complete service inventory, you need to gather information about all service components starting with the following data points.

  • Service name
  • IP addresses
  • Ports
  • Protocols
  • Services running on each port

Once you have this information about service components, you can create a service map that shows how all the components are interconnected. This will help you quickly identify potential issues and correct them before they become a problem.

How Can CSPM Help?

In addition to regular configuration reviews, you can use a CSPM solution to get an automated view of your service inventory. This enables you to quickly analyze all components and identify misconfiguration issues before they become a problem.

Once you have an exact picture of your environment, it’s much easier to protect services from attacks and other security incidents. Using a CSPM solution, you can proactively monitor configuration changes in real-time and identify any issues before they become a problem.

Final Thoughts

Since your service is likely hosted in the cloud, it’s essential to keep track of its instances and components. This includes monitoring permanent infrastructures such as virtual machines (VMs) and servers and transient instances that might be created or destroyed regularly.

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