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Cloud Security: How Organizations Can Adopt Industry Best Practices

Misconfigurations and other “simple mistakes” impede organizations from muting security, privacy and regulatory risks as they expand further into the cloud, a new cloud security report found.

Tripwire’s Implementing Cloud Security Best Practices, August 2020 edition, examines progress organizations have made to secure their cloud environments and points out needed improvements to meet industry best practices. Data for the study was gleaned from interviews with more than 300 individuals responsible for IT security of public cloud environments at companies exceeding 100 employees and representing 15 industries, including financial services and insurance, software, healthcare and others.

Here are the results:

On assessing overall cloud posture and automation:

  • 42% assess in near real time or weekly.
  • 22% conduct assessments manually.
  • 70% are partially automated.
  • 6% fully automated.

“Attackers are known to run automated searches to find sensitive data exposed in the cloud, making it critical for organizations to monitor their cloud security posture on a recurring basis and fix issues immediately, Tripwire said.

On risk management in the cloud:

  • 37% worse or much worse in the cloud as compared to other parts of the environment.
  • 31% better to much better.

On maintaining security configurations in cloud environments and human error:

  • 76% face challenges.
  • 93% at least somewhat concerned about human error causing public exposure to cloud data.

On following a best practices framework:

  • 50% follow NIST cybersecurity framework.
  • 46% follow CIS Google Cloud Computing Platform Foundations Benchmark.
  • 19% don’t use any security frameworks.

On maintaining continuous compliance of cloud security and regulations:

  • 22% continuous reviews.
  • 58% periodic reviews.

On automated enforcement of cloud security efforts:

  • 91% use some level of automation.
  • 4% are fully automated.
  • 9% are not automated.
  • 92% prefer more or slightly more automation.

On identity and access management:

  • 82% ensure password complexity requirements and reuse restrictions.
  • 68% ensure MFA is enabled for all IAM users with console password.

On automated alerts and behavior alarms:

  • 51% get automated alerts with context.
  • 29% get automated alerts without context.
  • 69% get alarms on brute force attempts.
  • 51% get alarms on brute force attempts.

Amid the risks and concerns above, many MSSPs and businesses are exploring cloud security posture management (CSPM) tools.

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.