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How Credential Misuse Creates a Serious Threat to Cloud Operations


According to Art Poghosyan, CEO and co-founder of Britive, cloud-native security is a rapidly developing industry that is responding to the growing threats specific to organisations that exclusively or primarily use cloud applications and platforms. He also discusses the danger that compromised credentials pose to cloud operations.

Identity System Defense was identified by Gartner as the top cybersecurity trend for 2022 in a recent research Opens a new window. Cybercriminals commonly access sensitive data through the misuse of credentials, according to the list of cybersecurity trends.

Taking on the Risks of Credential Misuse

Credentials are in high demand in the multi-cloud environment. Credentials are used to allow access to resources and prevent sensitive data from being misused, whether they be a single user’s login and password or a business’s private database of client information. Organizations may become more exposed to assault if credentials are misused. Although the idea of identity access as a crucial component of cloud security is not new, Gartner’s most recent research emphasises it without a doubt.

Problems caused by excessive standing privileges

Excessive standing rights, which happen when users are given more access than they require, are the primary cause of credential misuse. As a result, the attack surface may be widened, and cybercriminals may utilise overprivileged access as a point of entry. Standing rights are frequently used as a convenience to get around inconveniences of rigorous security inspections, but the risks far exceed the benefits.

As a warning against standing privilege, SolarWinds

According to the Gartner Cybersecurity Trends Report, SolarWinds is a lesson in the dangers of standing privilege. a new window is opened. Because of a supplier’s standing privileges, attackers were able to enter the SolarWinds environment in 2022, which led to the data breach. By deploying a just-in-time (JIT) access solution, SolarWinds might have prevented this attack by only granting its human and synthetic users the privileges they actually needed for a brief period of time.

One of the worst data breaches of the year and severe reputational harm were brought on by SolarWinds’ overly privileged position. The SolarWinds incident serves as a reminder that firms must take precautions to defend against assaults that take advantage of unwarranted standing privileges. SolarWinds is a cautionary tale of standing privilege, and other cloud-based businesses should take note of its experience.

The future of cybersecurity is the ZeroTrust ideology.

The zero trust mindset is becoming popular among businesses as a risk-reduction strategy. Instead of presuming that all users on the network can be trusted, this method always verifies a user’s identification and limits their access to only the required resources. Due to the inapplicability of conventional perimeter defenses un a dispersed environment, zero trust makes sure that only authorized users have access to sensitive data and systems.

Because a zero-trust strategy may call for substantial adjustments to an organization’s infrastructure, procedures, and culture, it is frequently implemented in stages. However, the work can be rewarded with a decreased risk of breaches and compliance violations as well as increased productivity through enhanced access control. In addition to implementing zero trust internally, many businesses are seeking vendors and service providers who adhere to this security ethos. This makes sure that the organization’s overall security posture is solid and free of gaps.

Solutions to Reduce Cloud Native Companies’ Vulnerabilities

There has never been a more pressing need for effective cross-cloud solutions as attack surfaces in the cloud continue to expand. An extensive majority of cloud administrators lack confidence in their capacity to protect their data and apps across various clouds, according to a recent study. This is a concerning trend because it exposes businesses to numerous types of attacks. The good news is that techniques and solutions for cloud security have been created particularly to address this new requirement.

Identity access management scaled back (IAM)

Companies are urged to strengthen their Identity Access Management as cloud-based operations become the norm throughout contemporary industries (IAM). The security plan of every cloud-native business must include IAM. A powerful cloud IAM solution manages access for both computers and people using an identity-centric strategy.

By only providing people access when necessary, it can, when done correctly, assist prevent privilege sprawl. It also offers a centralized location to manage user accounts and permissions. IAM is crucial for auditing and compliance because it makes it possible to keep track of which users have accessed what resources when. Companies can contribute to the safety and security of their data by employing IAM best practices. Any cloud firm needs IAM, thus businesses should make sure they have a solid IAM strategy. As breaches and security risks continue to grow, this will be more important in the upcoming years.

JIT access solutions reduce standing privileges

Companies are increasingly focusing on Just-In-Time (JIT) access as a vital component of IAM as they look for effective ways to restrict privileged access. To complete their work securely and effectively, organizations require temporary access to privileged accounts. By placing dynamic, automatic temporal parameters around allowed access for human and synthetic users, a cross-cloud JIT access solution can reduce risk.

JIT access solutions assist in establishing a zero-trust posture by only granting access when it is required and rescinding it once the task is finished. This lessens the likelihood that privileged accounts will be compromised and minimises the organization’s overall attack surface. JIT access solutions can also aid in better compliance with security guidelines and rules. JIT access solutions enable enterprises meet their security obligations and significantly lower their vulnerability to attack by decreasing standing rights.

Although credential misuse poses a genuine and immediate threat to cloud companies, defenses can be put in place. One such action that can assist enterprises in achieving a zero-trust posture and safeguarding sensitive data in the contemporary cloud environment is the implementation of JIT access.

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