Industry Voice: How to Secure Your Multi-Cloud Environment

clock • 5 min read

Over the past few years, we have seen a significant movement towards the adoption of cloud computing and cloud security. In addition to storing critical data assets solely in physical data centres ("on-prem environment"), organisations are utilising the cloud to store and maintain these critical data assets, largely due to its cost-effectiveness, instant scalability, and reliability. 

In fact, while some organisations maintain a strictly cloud environment, many others have chosen to utilise cloud and on-prem environments ("hybrid environment") to run their applications seamlessly. 

However, we have also seen the adoption of multi-cloud, especially given the monumental rise of cloud providers like Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Amazon Web Services (AWS). The 2021 State of the Multicloud report highlights that 92% of organisations have adopted a multi-cloud strategy today, with 62% of organisations utilising at least two cloud platforms. 

A multi-cloud environment simply means that an organisation is leveraging more than one cloud service provider (CSP), depending on which provider is the most appropriate solution for each use case. For example, your organisation may choose to leverage AWS for infrastructure and Google Workspace for internal team collaboration. 

Shared Responsibility Model in the Cloud

Regardless of the CSP chosen by your team, one thing is clear: when it comes to cloud security, every cloud service provider maintains a shared responsibility model. So, although the provider maintains some responsibility for securing their cloud environment, the organisation also has to take responsibility over cloud security. 

This means that you, as the cloud customer, will always be responsible for the data you store in the cloud and managing who has access to it. This is why cloud misconfigurations are a significant threat for cloud security. For example, if your organisation uses AWS for data storage, the onus of securing that data storage and maintaining the integrity of that security will always fall on your organisation, not on AWS. 

Of course, the shared responsibility differs greatly between the use of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS: 

 Simplifying Multi-Cloud Security with MDR for Cloud

One of the most fundamental challenges for securing data assets in the cloud is misconfigurations, which has resulted in multiple high-profile security breaches, such as with CapitalOne and Tesla. Of course, this is complicated further by the fact that each cloud service provider has their own set of best practices and toolsets for proper configuration and access management, known as the CIS benchmark. Therefore, it's critical to have capabilities for cloud security posture management and 24/7 cloud threat detection and investigations in the cloud. 

eSentire's MDR for Cloud offering provides Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) as well as 24/7 Threat Detection and Investigation to ensure you have deep visibility into your cloud environment and that it's protected from cloud-specific cyber threats.

●     Cloud Security Posture Management: We reduce your cyber risk by improving cloud visibility, tracking assets and monitoring for misconfigurations, policy notifications, and security vulnerabilities. 

●     24/7 Threat Detection and Investigations: We detect and investigate cyber threats specific to multi-cloud environments by leveraging our Security Operations Center (SOC) analysts and Threat Hunters, purpose-built cloud security tools, a cloud-native Atlas XDR platform, and creating proprietary cloud detections using the MITRE ATT&CK framework.

This means your organisation benefits from:

● Decreased threat dwell-time

● A cloud security posture that evolves with the cyber threat landscape

● Resilience against the most advanced cyber threat actors

● Moving away from legacy security tools for cloud risks

● Alleviating your IT staff and security resources

● Maximise ROI on multi-cloud environments

● Enforcement of critical security rules

● Reduce cloud knowledge gaps

● Improved time to value in managing risks at the administration level of your multi-cloud environment

Your organisation (alongside your security provider) must be aware of what resources are publicly accessible and what's "typical behaviour" for users and endpoints for those resources. Second, once those typical behaviours are established, your security provider can alert the SOC when there are deviations with any of those publicly accessible resources. 

 

 

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Azure Sentinel & Azure Active Directory (AD)

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

The Threat

A threat actor gains access to your AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance to download user data to harvest sensitive information or find additional AWS vulnerabilities.

A threat actor attempts to gain access to a user account by removing important security controls like multi-factor authentication (MFA)..

Threat actors can create cloud instances in unused geographic service regions to avoid detection since GCP users can maintain control over where the data is stored.

How eSentire Investigates and Responds

Our SOC analysts get alerted on suspicious query activity based on the proprietary detectors we have built. The SOC analysts then conduct deeper investigation to identify the source user, determine the exact instances where the downloads took place, and correlate the information with any other suspicious activity found.

A sudden change in MFA requirements is very unusual and a potential indicator of compromise. So, our 24/7 SOC Analysts are alerted via Azure Sentinel whenever MFA requirements are removed and follow a proprietary runbook to streamline the investigation process.

 

With the right context established and the eSentire Atlas XDR platform's direct integration with Azure AD, our analyst can suspend the credentials of the user who removed the MFA policy, minimising the risk of any other important security policies being tampered with

We use our proprietary GCP detector to scan for cloud activity in unused regions and alert our 24/7 SOC Analysts if any such activity is identified immediately.

 

If a true positive is confirmed, the user credentials are suspended and our analysts will perform additional investigations to determine whether additional malicious admin activities have happened.

Your Outcome

Once our SOC analysts conduct their investigations, you're alerted on whether the incident is a true or false positive, full support over the incident response and resolution, and a 20-minute SLO for investigations, leading to a drastically reduced threat dwell-time.

It's very clear that multi-cloud is the next chapter in the cloud adoption story, especially as there is no real need for businesses to rely solely on one platform anymore.

To learn more about eSentire simplifies multi-cloud security with MDR for Cloud offering, book a meeting with a security specialist now.

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