In times of digitalisation, the provision of IT services plays an increasingly decisive role for many companies. In this context, more and more organisations are opting to provide their services on so-called cloud computing platforms. A number of advantages are decisive for this, such as improved availability or more powerful scalability. The use of cloud computing platforms also makes it possible to integrate new technologies, such as machine learning, much faster within IT, enabling companies to develop more quickly. At the same time, IT services that are considered important – if not critical – for the company are often moved to the cloud as well. Not only are businesses aware of this, but so are potential attackers.
In our three-part blog series, we would like to introduce you to the topic of cloud security from different angles. We will start today's article with the basics: the current status quo of IT security in cloud computing and which potential dangers you should protect yourself against.
Cloud platforms are becoming increasingly attractive as a gateway for lateral movement attacks
Attacks on cloud platforms and the services placed within are becoming increasingly attractive for attacks. A popular example would be the issue of providing IT resources based on hybrid architectures. Many companies use cloud platforms to integrate their cloud based IT services into their corporate IT. In order to achieve this in the best way possible, a hybrid cloud architecture is often used. For this purpose, a network connection is established between the cloud platform and the on-premises platform. However, with a lack of security technologies within the cloud platform, such an architecture can be seen as a template for lateral movement activities. Attackers could move from a virtual machine within the cloud to a virtual machine in the on-premises environment. However, this is only one way in which attackers can exploit cloud platforms in their favour.
From malware packages to command & control – attackers are upgrading more and more
Away from cyber attacks on cloud platforms, attackers are ever evolving as well. The reasons for this are, on one hand, the low cost of procurement, but also the good scalability of the platforms. If one looks at the attacks of the recent past, it is noticeable that cloud platforms are used for various forms of attack. The simplest way is certainly the provision of malware packages as a download link. But it goes on to sophisticated command & control architectures or DDOS attacks. By now, you should realise that the other side is also constantly upgrading and that adequate protection of your own IT landscape should be a top priority.
Don't panic: Approached correctly, cloud computing can be a real game changer
The aim of this blog post is definitely not to make you afraid of the cloud. If you approach the topic of cloud computing with a clear focus on effectiveness and security, it will usually pay off significantly - not only in terms of financial expenditure, but also in the context of IT security. Security-oriented services can also be used to a large extent in on-premises environments, which is a great advantage for many users.
How do I start my journey into the cloud? – It pays to keep at it!
Now that you are aware that the topic of IT security is becoming increasingly relevant in the cloud, you are probably wondering where to start?
Adequate identity and authorisation management as well as services such as Defender for Cloud from Microsoft are some of the important cornerstones for securing your cloud environment.
SoftwareOne's Cloud Security Services help reduce security spend for enterprises, not-for-profit organisations and government agencies worldwide. Our Security Operations Centre continuously monitors the protection of Azure, Microsoft 365, AWS, Hybrid and Multi-Cloud environments 24/7.
In another blog post, we would like to introduce you to the topic of Zero Trust. We want to illustrate this term, which is often used very inflationarily, with concrete examples of use and show you why the approach plays an important role in the context of modern IT security and also in the cloud.