Cloud Audit for Amazon AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure
We provide a Cloud Audit service that checks essential, critical settings and permissions of various cloud resources to identify any deviations from best practices and security standards. This ensures your cloud environment is correctly configured to best practises and can help highlight any configuration flaws that may have been set.
What is a Cloud Audit?
It is essential to ensure that cloud environments are correctly set up and secured as per the highest industry standards. A cloud audit will assess and report any mis-configurations highlighting some of the issues below:
- Security - Passwords, Buckets, Configurations
- User access rights
- Network / Port Configurations / Routing
- Data Protection
Cloud audits often centre on an organisation's protective measures, encompassing their operational, procedural, or technological defences employed to maintain the security and privacy of their information systems. When examining cloud environments, auditors typically assess the presence of these defences, their proper implementation, their functionality, and their efficacy in countering potential threats.
To do so now, while much of our most essential data is already hosted in the cloud, will provide an extra layer of peace of mind.
Cloud Audit Mis-configuration Checks
- Microsoft Azure covers over 100+ different controls
- Google Cloud covers over 80+ different controls
- Amazon AWS covers over 80+ different controls
These checks ensure a thorough and detailed analysis of system configurations.
Cloud Audit Overview
The rapid adoption of cloud computing has revolutionised the way businesses manage and deploy their IT infrastructure. Leading cloud service providers like Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon AWS offer a vast array of services and capabilities to meet diverse business needs.
However, with great power comes great responsibility. Cloud security is a critical concern, and the configuration of cloud resources plays a pivotal role in ensuring a robust defence against cyber threats. This article explores the significance of cloud security audit, examines common misconfigurations, and sheds light on cyber attack vulnerabilities in these three major cloud platforms.
Given the massive amount of key data stored in the cloud, it is essential to guarantee that your and your customers' environments are configured and safeguarded as recommended by industry standards.
Advantages of Cloud Audits
- Managing Access Control: As employees enter, transition, or exit from an organisation, it's vital to control their access rights. Security assessments ensure that access rights are updated accordingly, such as removing privileges when employees depart and assigning only necessary privileges to newcomers.
- Ensuring Secure Cloud Access: These assessments confirm that employees and other users access cloud resources securely. For instance, they might access via a VPN using encrypted connections.
- Security of APIs and External Tools: Given that cloud ecosystems often integrate with various APIs and third-party tools, each of these integrations can pose a security challenge. Security assessments can pinpoint vulnerabilities in these tools and offer solutions.
- Backup Strategies Verification: While cloud platforms simplify backups, they are only as effective as the configuration behind them. Security assessments make sure the organisation is consistently backing up critical systems and implementing strategies to protect these backups.
How a Cloud Audit can help?
Security configuration is the process of administering and regulating settings for an information system in order to ensure safety and handle risk.
Hackers and bad actors can be relentless in their pursuit of unsecured cloud environments and systems. They often try to take advantage of known vulnerabilities, and if they are successful, they will exploit the system. Once a breach has been made, they may then begin to make modifications.
Establishing a golden standard for your systems and steadily monitoring for signs of violation can help organisations to quickly spot an infringement.
Testing your configuration on a regular basis gives you and your customers the possibility to constantly improve system security, cutting down the chances of being targeted by bad actors. By hardening systems, these malicious agents will find it more difficult to successfully launch an attack.
It is essential to understand why it is vital. It is a must to recognise the value of this issue.
Maintaining compliance with industry regulations and standards is crucial for businesses operating in various sectors. A comprehensive audit ensures that cloud resources adhere to applicable security and privacy requirements.
Identifying misconfigurations helps in proactively mitigating potential security risks. Addressing vulnerabilities before they are exploited by attackers can save an organisation from significant financial and reputational losses.
Securing sensitive data is of utmost importance. A thorough configuration audit ensures proper access controls and encryption settings, reducing the risk of data breaches.
Auditing cloud configurations also aids in optimising resource usage and cost management. Eliminating unused or unnecessary resources can lead to substantial cost savings.
Some Common Cloud Audit Findings
Inadequate Identity and Access Management (IAM) Policies
Improperly configured IAM policies can result in excessive privileges, granting users or services more access than necessary. This can lead to unauthorised access, data exposure, and potential compromise of critical resources.
Unsecured Cloud Storage Buckets
Misconfigured Google Cloud Storage buckets might have open or overly permissive access controls, allowing unauthorised users to view, modify, or delete sensitive data.
Weak Network Security
VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) settings with lax firewall rules or improperly configured network access controls can leave crucial backend services vulnerable to external attacks.
Unrestricted API Access
Leaving APIs unsecured or granting excessive permissions can lead to data leaks, denial-of-service attacks, or unauthorised access to resources.
Improperly Configured Network Security Groups (NSGs)
Incorrectly configured NSGs can allow unauthorised network traffic, potentially exposing virtual machines and other resources to security risks.
Weak Authentication and Authorisation
Insufficiently strong authentication mechanisms and poorly defined role-based access controls (RBAC) can lead to unauthorised access and privilege escalation attacks.
Unprotected Storage Accounts
Misconfigured Azure Storage accounts with unrestricted access permissions can result in data leakage or unauthorised modifications to stored data.
Open Database Ports
Leaving database ports open to the public internet may enable attackers to gain unauthorised access to databases, potentially leading to data breaches or ransomware attacks.
Lack of proper access controls and monitoring may enable attackers to escalate privileges within environments, potentially gaining control over critical resources.
Cloud Best Practises
Organisations utilising cloud services from Google/Microsoft or Amazon can protect sensitive IT systems and data by adhering to the Cloud providers platform framework. Continual vigilance is critical for companies operating in the cloud, placing security at the forefront of priorities.
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This cloud audit is for anyone who is working with Amazon AWS, Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure solutions, including system and app administrators, helpdesk staff, DevOps personnel, security analysts, compliance analysts and those providing governance, audit and oversight. It is an independent evaluation of the environment in which the cloud products have been deployed.