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Cybersecurity Report: 90% of Organizations Deal with Cloud Misconfigurations

Most organizations that move to multi-cloud environments are not properly configuring their cloud-based services, according to the "2021 Cloud Security Report: Cloud Configuration Risks Exposed" from application lifecycle security company Aqua Security.

The report may reinforce growing demand for cloud security posture management (CSPM) software, MSSP Alert believes. The reason: CSPM tools help MSSPs and customers to properly configure and monitor workloads across Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and more.

Notable findings from Aqua's report included:

  • 90 percent of organizations are susceptible to security breaches due to cloud misconfigurations.
  • Over 50 percent said they received alerts about misconfigured services with all ports open to the world. However, only 68 percent of these issues were fixed, and it took an average of 24 days to correct them.
  • Over 40 percent had at least one misconfigured Docker API, which took an average of 60 days to remediate.
  • Less than 8 percent of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) fixed all detected issues.
  • Less than 1 percent of enterprise organizations fixed all detected issues.

The report also indicated that organizations deal with five common types of cloud misconfigurations:

  • Storage (bucket/blob)
  • Identity and access management (IAM)
  • Data encryption
  • Exploitable services behind open ports
  • Container technology exploitation

A development team can make cloud configuration decisions or apply services that impact an organization's security posture, said Assaf Morag, lead data analyst with Aqua's cybersecurity research team. But, organizations that centralize cloud security controls can take steps to optimize their security posture.

Tips to Protect Against Cloud Misconfigurations

Aqua offers the following recommendations to help organizations protect against cloud misconfigurations:

  • Establish a formal remediation process for cloud configuration issues
  • Treat all API issues as critical
  • Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) and other IAM controls

Organizations must proactively monitor and fix cloud configuration issues, Aqua Senior Director of Product Management Ehud Amiri stated. In doing so, they can minimize the risk of long-lasting cloud configuration issues that result in data breaches.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.