How to Protect Your Business Against 3 Common Cloud Vulnerabilities

The implications of poorly configured cloud infrastructure can't be understated. According to ISC2's Cloud Security Report, 28% of organizations have experienced a cloud security incident over the past 12 months, resulting in exposed data, malware infections, and compromised accounts. When you factor in the legal and compliance repercussions, companies are feeling the pressure to improve their cloud posture. But few understand where their problems lie. 

Here are the three most common cloud vulnerabilities, and strategies for avoiding them:

1. Compromised User Accounts

Application Program Interfaces, APIs, are credentials that allow different systems and network components to successfully interact with one another. They are often the reason on-premise resources can interact with those in the cloud, and can work with Azure AD's Application Proxy to create intermediaries between inter- and intranets. Because they interface with so many parts of your infrastructure, APIs are valuable targets for cybercriminals. Poorly managed APIs can leak, compromising the access keys between SaaS products. To properly secure your APIs, consider leveraging conditional access via Azure AD. This ensures only trusted devices are accessing them. Azure AD also integrates with multi-factor authentication, InTune for mobile device protection, and EMS for desktops. Azure AD's ID Protection adds another layer of security, with Machine Learning that:

  • Investigates risks using data in the portal
  • Automates the detection and remediation of ID-based risks
  • Expertly processes detection data via 3rd parties for further analysis

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2. Exposed Assets Due to Misconfiguration

Misconfiguration has become a catch-all for serious cloud vulnerabilities, caused predominantly by administrator error. Misconfiguration can occur on a small scale, from poorly rendered access controls on individual pieces of data to systemic issues, such as failing to leverage advanced security features. Often, administrators turn off default security settings within their cloud environment, or fail to layer security tools in a cohesive way. This creates gaps in coverage, that can have ripple effects across a given network. Misconfiguration was at the root of CapitalOne's 2019 breach, when the credit card titan failed to secure one of their AWS servers. It cost CapitalOne 106 million credit card numbers, 140,000 social security numbers, and 80,000 bank account numbers.

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If your company is leveraging cloud, or hybridized resources, you should be taking advantage of their modern security features. These vary according by need, but should include conditional access, thorough identity management, two or multi-factor authentication, and defense at the perimeter via DNS, network, and application firewalls. The more layered and redundant your security approach is, the better. If you need help determining which strategies are right for your business, consider reaching out to one of our security experts.  

3. Cloud Security Supply Chain

Many cloud users fail to grasp the complexity of their cloud supply chain. If you're operating in the cloud, chances are that you have third party products and services coming into contact with your network and sensitive data. When you have poorly-managed, layered IaaS and PaaS products, your supply chain is vulnerable to:

  • Poorly defined responsibilities and liabilities between cloud vendors and third parties
  • Mismanaged cloud access, and hidden dependencies between cross-cloud applications
  • Lax accountability, due diligence, and transparency surrounding security and risk management 


The best way to mitigate threats in your supply chain, is by performing a comprehensive audit and risk assessment. You should know who has access to your cloud data, and any relevant SLAs. What do your back-ups looks like, and is information stored at 3rd party locations? Has your cloud vendor performed a risk assessment on the vendors they work with? Creating security policies is one of the best ways to protect your business, and your cloud supply chain should be an integral component.

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The cloud offers immense opportunity for modern workforces. Better performance, faster deployment, scalable environments, and cost savings. But too many businesses lack the internal resources to successfully, and securely, make the most of their cloud spend. You need a skilled managed services provider to identify the vulnerabilities in your cloud infrastructure, and find the best solution for your company and employees. Our consultants provide the incident response skills, threat detection, intelligent analysis, and cloud-specific security knowledge to position you for success. Learn how, today.  

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