While all organizations are moving from traditional environments to more flexible, scalable, and agile cloud-native solutions, it is not exaggerating to say, “With more advanced architecture, the complexities that invite threats also increase.”
The old-school Monolith Applications fail to accommodate the needs of rising operational demands and requirements—mainly speed, scale, and reliability. Testing, deploying, and the entire operations become difficult due to the close dependencies in monolith architecture.
On the other hand, cloud-native applications leverage the cloud’s independent distributive environment to execute operations smoothly at higher reliability and cost efficiency. The solutions integrate independent pillars like microservices, containers and orchestration, DevOps, and Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD.)
The same dynamic processes of cloud-native solutions designed to foster efficiency also come with their set of flaws and challenges. The solutions focus on scaling dynamically and adapting to changing demands. It brings in flexibility but increases the attack surface that attackers can exploit. Similarly, the automation in cloud-native applications streamlines the operations but can also propagate misconfigurations at scale.
The demand for top-notch performance and the agility at which the application operates creates a gap between an application and its security.
This is why our next step becomes crucial.
Common Cloud-Native Application Threats Organizations moving to Cloud should be aware of, irrespective of the domain
The errors while configuring and managing resources/services in the cloud environment cause misconfigurations. These errors lead to operational issues like service disruptions and data exposure. Misconfigurations can occur even in the most reliable cloud service providers and commonly contribute to data breaches and security incidents in the cloud. Plus, the brisk nature of automation results in rapid, widespread compromises.Unauthorized access, inadequate identity and access management (IAM), weak/default passwords, improper encryption, etc., are a few examples of misconfigurations.
- Insider Threats
Employees, contractors, or anyone with legitimate access can compromise the security accidentally or with a malicious purpose. Again, the automation’s speed lets malicious insiders go unnoticed until it’s too late. The threat results in user data breaches, intellectual property theft, financial loss, and operational disruption.
- Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks
DDoS attack is a malicious attempt to overwhelm network infrastructure, services, and applications with flooded traffic. Its overwhelming traffic consumes the application’s computing resources, bandwidth, and critical components, making the targeted application unavailable to its legitimate users. The attack vectors are usually volume-based, protocol-based, and application-layer. They focus on overflowing traffic, system instability, resource exhaustion, and user mimicking, making detecting attacks harder.
- API Vulnerabilities
API vulnerabilities refer to security weaknesses or flaws in APIs used to provide services (or interact) within an application or between the application’s different components. These vulnerabilities expose sensitive data and allow unauthorized access. The compromise on authorization allows the attackers to enter the database without proper validation, helping them retrieve sensitive data or even execute arbitrary commands on the server.
Of course, we can address and counter the technical aspects of the threats with robust security systems. But one of the major damages organizations face due to cyber threats is Reputational Damage. As an IT organization, you understand and are aware of the difficulties of gaining customer trust, and you don’t want to lose it to poor security measures.
At iPivot, we counter the threats by placing strong Cloud Native Security Infrastructure in place that implements:
- Patch Management and Configuration Reviews
- Zero Trust Security
- Continuous Monitoring and Auditing
- Access Control
- Data Loss Prevention
- Traffic Filtering
- Identity and Access Management (IAM)
- Network Security
- Vulnerability Management
- API Security
How do we implement these? That’s a topic for another day!