AcademyWhy Automation is Essential for Cloud Security

Why Automation is Essential for Cloud Security

Legacy data centers have easily identifiable physical boundaries (the walls around them), and commissioning new services with traditional technology meant raising purchase orders, getting equipment delivered, and building over several days, weeks, or months. That gave security teams plenty of time to engage, produce risk assessments and mitigation plans, and make sure their tools were properly set up.

Wiz Experts Team

In the cloud, a new service can be commissioned at the click of a button and without warning, putting operations staff at a disadvantage. Without notification, manual intervention is not possible in a timely fashion, and the volume and velocity of cloud deployments could make manual intervention impractical in enterprise environments. Without automation, your security team will be forever playing catch-up.


Security Teams are Falling Behind

Technology infrastructure is expanding exponentially, with demand increasing every day. New technologies are emerging, and organizations are working to integrate their on-prem, cloud virtual machines, containers, serverless, and IoT services with centralized monitoring and management solutions that may not have been designed for all platforms. That complexity is increased by the multi-cloud deployments that many organizations are choosing to provide robust and resilient services for their users and customers, while avoiding vendor tie-in.

Traditional security solutions gather the alerts generated by the myriad of tools and applications whenever something out of the ordinary is detected, but in the majority of cases these alerts are either false-positives or don't represent real potential threat and thus do not require further investigation. The scale of modern cloud deployments means that each service generating a dozen alerts a day will quickly amount to thousands of alerts for the already under-pressure and under-staffed security team to deal with. This can be addressed by adjusting the alert criteria, removing specific security checks, or hiring more security staff to manage the alerts – but since the problem is growing with every cloud deployment, alerts will continue to increase leading to an ever-greater need for staff to investigate them.

Without action the volume of alerts may lead to them being ignored – the worst outcome for the organization, particularly at a time when cyber threat actors are increasingly active and more sophisticated, and the threat landscape is evolving every day.

How Automation Helps Cloud Security

Automation of tooling helps cloud security by removing the overhead of common processes from staff, giving them more time to focus on other tasks that provide greater value to the organization. 

Automating security processes can bring improvements in many areas, including:

  • Detecting security misconfiguration: Monitoring cloud infrastructure for misconfiguration means issues in code, unencrypted files, OS and applications, and exposed secrets can be detected and remediated in the deployment pipeline. Misconfiguration is an OWASP top-ten application security risk and automating scanning to detect misconfiguration will dramatically improve your security posture, while removing reliance on the security team performing manual checks.

  • Identifying application vulnerabilities: Modern application development commonly uses third-party libraries for efficiency, but use of those libraries may introduce vulnerabilities. Containerized applications may include out of date code requiring patching, while poor coding practices commonly introduce vulnerabilities. By scanning for these vulnerabilities continuously and automatically, the occurrence of such vulnerabilities can be minimized.

  • Deploying updates: Ensuring your applications and infrastructure components are patched up to date is critically important, with many threats to your cloud security relying on the compromise of out of date software, and published vulnerabilities. It is also important to keep all your environments patched to the same level – from a development and support point of view this makes deployment and support easier, and from a security point of view, consistency ensures code being promoted through a life cycle remains free of any vulnerabilities introduced by the environment. Automated scanning of CI/CD pipelines ensures code is secure throughout the life cycle.

  • Scanning cloud apps: Automating the scanning of cloud-based applications and services for vulnerabilities maximizes your security posture, as well as freeing up your security team for zero-day responses, threat modeling, and many other tasks could make your digital assets more secure, while automated security tools take care of the basics.

  • Visibility and reporting: By collecting and analyzing monitoring data, visibility of security position is enhanced, issues can be listed in severity order and prioritized accordingly, and threat response can be coordinated from a shared single source of truth.

  • Reporting and MI: Modern cloud security solutions generate reports for senior management and auditors, as well as ops staff, further reducing the administrative overhead of running a modern information security function.

  • Immediate notification of high severity security issues: In the event of a critical gap in cloud infrastructure or a potential security breach, your security team needs the alert information as soon as possible. By setting up automated alerts to notify the team of such issues, organization MTTR is reduced.

  • Routing potential issues to the relevant person: In cloud infrastructure, unlike on premises setups, it can be difficult to identify owners for workloads and establish function. Setting up automation rules that are based on the organization structure can assist with routing security information to the right person, enabling resolution of the issue.

Overall, automated security tools improve security posture as well as freeing up engineering time, minimizing development intervention to address misconfiguration, and reducing costs.


Automating Your Cloud Security

If you’re looking for an integrated cloud security platform to automate tasks across your cloud application life cycle and simplify cloud security management, Wiz provides automated and continuous vulnerability scanning, from day one of development through to production. Every cloud environment and asset can be analyzed, from virtual machines to serverless, and everything in between, and real-time security posture dashboards give an accurate view of your technology estate, minute by minute.

Agentless configuration continuously and automatically monitors your multi-cloud environments for misconfiguration, exposed secrets, misconfiguration, application vulnerabilities, and code errors, Wiz enables automated posture management, infrastructure as code scanning, remediation, and compliance. Risks are prioritized to inform remediation efforts, and contextualized to assist the risk-based decision-making process. Automation maximizes security, while reducing administrative overhead, improving efficiency, and enabling the redeployment of resources for other business priorities.

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