How Hackers Take Advantage of a Cloud Misconfiguration

Publication date: Mar 11, 2020

Last Published: Jun 11, 2020

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Read Time : 5 minutes
cloud misconfiguration

According to a recent study, some 70 percent of companies reported that they dealt with a hacking incident in the prior year. 

In most cases, the reason you get hacked isn’t that some experts got past your defenses against all odds. Rather, most hacks take place due to your own errors. 

Cloud misconfigurations happen to be one of the biggest forms of error that will leave you open to getting hacked. As more and more businesses more their data to the cloud, cyber criminals will continue to prey on gaps in configurations in order to gain access.

Read on to learn more about identifying potential cloud misconfiguration and preventing cyber criminals from leveraging your systems vulnerabilities. 

Why Will a Cloud Misconfiguration Leave You Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks?

First and foremost, you need to see how these misconfigurations occur and how they can spell huge issues for you.

There are several cyber vulnerabilities that you need to be aware of in order to keep your information safe. Below are some of the key instances in which a cloud misconfiguration became problematic from a security standpoint. 

1. Your Data is Still Being Transferred

Handling your cloud security is so vital when you are transferring huge amounts of information. 

Your data is particularly susceptible to attacks when your data is either being moved to the cloud from on-premise, or from one cloud platform to another. A hacker that gets access to your system during this time will have a lot of your most precious data at their fingertips, which can create huge liabilities for your company. 

2. There Are Often Settings Changes For the Sake of Convenience

One of the biggest sources of misconfiguration is to get lax about settings during cloud transfers. 

For instance, many companies will use temporary firewall settings during migrations or onboarding. They may also let a vendor offer support. 

It’s important that you maintain stability by incorporating firewall security rules and settings that will prevent attacks during this time. 

3. Your Company Has Added Pressure 

Whenever you’re using the cloud for a large project or undertaking, deadlines and pressure can actually create security problems. 

If a department has a lot of pressure weighing on them to get the project off the ground, it might create configurations that leave certain applications vulnerable. This usually happens due to the rush to fix incompatibilities, but it happens to the detriment of your network’s security as a whole. 

4. The Roles and Responsibilities Weren’t Hashed Out

It’s important to realize that with any exchange of information, both parties have certain obligations. 

As it pertains to cybersecurity, it’s important for your company to name and pinpoint each role and responsibility. If these roles aren’t hashed out in the beginning, it only leads to confusion and mishaps in communication. 

Likewise, your company needs to also hold clients responsible for their end of the deal. 

For instance, things like refreshing accounts, updating credentials, changing passwords all play a role. What’s more, these clients should also get updates and patches when using your infrastructure in order to work out the bugs and to keep the network secure for everyone involved. 

5. Logging is Non-Existent or Not Up to Par

When you are facilitating information through the cloud, logging is of the utmost importance. 

If you have full logging capability engaged, you will always know which users log on at which times. When you have a digital trail of who is accessing your network and how they are accessing it, it gives you the precious data needed to make the wisest security decisions. 

If you aren’t logging or setting up any sorts of alerts, you’ll always be starting from scratch when pinpointing potential cyber threats. 

6. You Didn’t Have the Proper Access Restrictions in Place

There are so many access restrictions that can potentially come into play. If you allow just one of them to slip you are opening yourself up to potential issues. 

Some of the main forms of access control include access to both the HTTPS ports and the non-HTTPS ports, ports that are routinely used, Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) access, and other forms of network detection. 

The more strict you are about these points of access, the easier it will be to spot any sorts of incongruencies. 

7. Abuse of Credentials Was Allowed

When at all possible, your company should be upgrading the way it provides credentials. 

In this day and age, two-factor authentication is one of the best forms of security that you can have. It confirms that the correct person is attempting to access the data, and gives you a chance to stop a breach before it happens and shore up your security after an attempt. 

Without this type of authentication in place, your company will be far more susceptible to cyber-attacks of all kinds. 

8. There Was No Disaster Recovery Plan

Finally, your company needs to have a disaster recovery plan in order to address any cloud misconfiguration breaches. 

This way, everyone will know how to respond and you can stop the bleeding more quickly. You can work with an information technology (IT) company to ensure that the finer points of a disaster recovery plan are smoothed out before adopting it into policy. 

Shore Up These Misconfiguration Issues 

As you can see, cloud misconfiguration can be a big problem with your business if you fail to follow the proper steps. 

Cyber threats are a fact of life today, and it’s important that you have the professionals services, like an enterprise grade MSSP, that can prevent them. We would be happy to help. 

For all of your IT, cybersecurity and cloud needs, take the time to contact us online, or give us a call at (301) 312-8908.

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