Posture management: Cloud security tools rise in wake of breaches

Capital One’s breach highlighted the pressing need for IT leaders to shore up misconfiguration errors. That’s where cloud security posture management and other tools come into play, experts say.

Posture management: Cloud security tools rise in wake of breaches
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High-profile breaches have sparked interest in an emerging class of security software. The technology, named cloud security posture management (CSPM), scours cloud environments and alerts staff to configuration issues and compliance risks, most of which stem from human error.

Exhibit A of this type of gaffe occurred at Capital One in 2019, when a former Amazon Web Services (AWS) employee exploited a misconfigured Web Application Firewall (WAF) the financial service provider was using as part of its operations hosted in AWS, exfiltrated data and stored it on GitHub. In 2018, both a Walmart partner and GoDaddy were exposed when they left AWS storage instances accessible via the internet.

Misconfiguration misfires in the cloud

Most CIOs will tell you that their data is more secure with cloud vendors, but human error leaves even the stoutest compute networks susceptible to attacks, thanks in part to the various permissions and access points that leave enterprises exposed, says Gartner analyst Neil MacDonald. In fact, 99 percent of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault through 2025, according to Gartner.

"The issue they are most worried about is some misconfiguration or mistake they make that leaves them exposed," MacDonald says.

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