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Policy as Code Scaling with Cloud Security

Cloud Security
Policy as Code Scaling with Cloud Security :

With the cloud, the threat surface is significantly different, and hackers have adjusted their strategies accordingly. Understanding the unique cloud environment of your organisation and the threats it faces is essential before taking actions like implementing new security products or establishing new security policies and procedures.

A Fresh Threat Landscape for Security

Before cloud computing, when on-premises data centres reigned supreme, enterprise IT roles and responsibilities were clearly separated: developers created software applications, infrastructure teams set up the physical infrastructure needed to run those applications, and the security team was in charge of ensuring that everything remained secure.

The old strategy took months to establish and protect a sophisticated network, required a sizable workforce, and was time-consuming and expensive. Additionally, it inexorably caused a great deal of conflict when security decided it was essential to impose restrictions on developers’ work and users’ behaviour, delaying deployments in order to certify security, and frequently pausing the software development cycle to carry out security checks.

Many of these time-consuming procedures are eliminated by the cloud, but there is a cost: a new security paradigm where the security team is no longer entirely responsible for safeguarding the environment in which developers work. And that’s advantageous.

Due to the software-defined and on-demand nature of cloud infrastructure, developers have complete control over the cloud computing environment itself. Developers can work independently and on their own schedules by constructing the cloud infrastructure at the same time as they build the applications.

Infrastructure as code (IaC) allows software developers and cloud engineers to build and alter the cloud environments in which they operate, including configuring security-critical resource configurations. They create, update, and destroy virtual machine instances, virtual networks, and data stores using the application programming interfaces (APIs) of their cloud providers. They run a greater risk of unintentionally creating a misconfiguration that malicious actors can take advantage of every time they make a change.

All significant cloud breaches share one thing in common: the attackers were successful in gaining access to the cloud provider’s control plane, which is the API surface that developers use to set up and manage their cloud installations. Attackers can interact with the control plane by obtaining the resource API keys.

Attackers use design defects to compromise cloud security; in order to prevent breaches, one must learn how to properly mitigate these flaws.

Attackers are ahead of schedule

The components of a typical successful cloud assault are listed below: An attacker using a laptop utilises automation tools to scan the internet for holes to exploit, which could be app bugs, cloud configuration errors, or exposed API credentials. What they receive in return is effectively a “shopping list” of potential targets. In the past, an attacker would pick a target and then persistently look for weaknesses to exploit. The presence of a vulnerability in the cloud can make them a target.

Because cloud exploits often don’t travel over traditional networks that security teams can monitor with conventional intrusion detection and network monitoring tools, traditional security technologies also don’t completely cover the cloud.

Security frequently mainly focuses on finding resource misconfigurations that attackers can use to enter a system, which means they must be 100% accurate while attackers just need to be fortunate once. Teams need to consider what may happen if they fall prey to an exploit and slip through. Because you can be sure that they will.

The Changing Role of Security

In an enterprise cloud environment, removing all misconfigurations is not practical. Although fixing misconfigurations is a top priority for cloud security teams, it’s crucial to realise that this is not the only route attackers can take to compromise the control.

Modern businesses adopt the DevSecOps approach and provide developers the authority to check the security of infrastructure and applications before deployment. Arming a security team with policy as code is the first move anyone should take in that direction (PaC). As the name implies, it lets programmers to write security and compliance rules using programming languages so that programmes may automatically verify configurations are accurate throughout the software development life cycle (SDLC).

Cloud Security: A Priority

PaC also removes ambiguity and discrepancies in translation and interpretation, bringing all stakeholders together under a single source of truth for cloud security policy and facilitating faster and more secure progress for all. Security teams can “sell” their expertise to the rest of the business and guarantee that regulations are consistently followed, upheld, and reported on.

advantages of open-source PC

Similar to any other process of building code, PaC enables both the security vendor and the customer to create whatever is required over time. Today’s cloud security use cases can be addressed using open source PaC solutions, which can be combined with current toolchains and security goods.

Security solutions providers prefer to lock you into their exclusive ecosystems, and they do this by insisting that every line of code you write be written in one of their exclusive programming languages for proof-of-concept (PaC; although this is typically not true PaC). Because all of your work has been done in a language that is incompatible with the solutions offered by other suppliers, even if you become dissatisfied with them, you probably won’t leave.

Adopt the opposing viewpoint. Create software that benefits you, not your vendors. Your PaC ought to be a resource that belongs to you rather than a vendor-bound boat anchor. Here, using an open source platform is extremely beneficial.

The best (and frequently the only) person to secure code prior to deployment, maintain its secure integrity while operating, and better grasp the precise locations to add changes back into the code is a developer. They do, however, operate in a world of perpetual failure and experimentation and are therefore equally fallible human beings. By automating the process of continuously looking for and catching mistakes before they become dangerous, PaC significantly lowers the risk of human error.

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