The Silver Lining In Your Cloud TM

System Vulnerabilities, Exploits and Cybersecurity on the Cloud

Companies face innumerable cybersecurity threats on a daily basis, whether they use on-premises infrastructure or cloud-based infrastructure. These attacks come from multiple sources both internal and external, and can be difficult for any organization to handle with internal IT staff alone.

One of the biggest threats out there would be the exploitation of existing vulnerabilities and bugs in various programs. It ranked as item #4 in the Cloud Security Alliance’s “Dirty Dozen” list of cloud security concerns.

The Trouble with Exploits

No system is perfectly immune to the problem of system vulnerabilities and exploits. As stated in the CSA report, vulnerabilities such as “Heartbleed and Shellshock proved that even open source applications, which were believed more secure than their commercial counterparts …, were vulnerable to threats.”

With each new system or application made, there are almost always unforeseen security vulnerabilities. Yet, new vulnerabilities aren’t the biggest concern. The greatest concern, according to data garnered from the 2016 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, is “really old CVEs which still get exploited in 2015… Hackers use what works and what works doesn’t seem to change all that often.”

Failing to fix common vulnerabilities and exposures in a timely manner can leave your infrastructure exposed to exploitation.

Reducing Exploit Vulnerability

One of the easiest ways to reduce your company’s exposure to exploits is to routinely patch the CVEs present in your system as soon as possible. This means having a system in place that can scan for vulnerabilities in your software and systems, and having the ability to patch said exploits.

This is where having a dedicated cloud partner can be highly useful. A secure cloud provider can help you manage your vulnerabilities in a few key ways.

For example, WHOA partners with cybersecurity companies like Palo Alto Networks, Vormetric, and Alert Logic to get the latest vulnerability data and patches to guard against the most common exploits. This helps eliminate the biggest vulnerabilities, which the Verizon DBIR states that the top 10 of which account “for 85% of successful exploit traffic.”

To take things a step further, WHOA also uses intrusion detection systems (IDS) to identify new exploits in specific systems that may not have been identified by security vendors. Once identified, WHOA works to eliminate the exploit so that it cannot be used again on any of WHOA’s cloud environments.

By doing this, WHOA can consistently protect cloud users from the biggest exploits and vulnerabilities as well as ones unique to each customer’s cloud environment.

Benefits of Using Cloud Infrastructure to Manage Exploits

When you’re on the cloud, you can pass on the task of scanning for, and then patching, CVEs from your own in-house IT staff to your cloud service provider. This saves you time, money, and labor while allowing your IT staff to focus on the core business that will drive your company closer to meeting its objectives.

Aside from saving time, using the cloud provider to patch systems for exploits can actually result in a more thorough and robust set of exploit protections than could be developed internally by your already-busy IT department.

Cloud service providers that use IDS to monitor cloud environments (like WHOA) have a large library of vulnerability fixes for different systems that can help to protect your infrastructure from attack. This list of fixes grows all the time as new vulnerabilities are discovered and fixed.

Taking advantage of a cloud service provider for your infrastructure lets your company access these fixes far faster than trying to discover and implement them internally.