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Government Institutions Risk Data Breaches by Avoiding Cloud Security Automation
DivvyCloud co-founder and CTO, Chris DeRamus, recently published an article with HomelandSecurityToday.us on why cloud automation is the antidote for government agencies plagued by cyberattacks.
As government institutions rapidly migrate their assets to the cloud to take advantage of the speed and agility it provides, they often overlook the importance of upgrading their security platforms. In 2018 alone, over 18.2 million records of personally identifiable information (PII) were revealed, according to the Identity Theft and Resource Center. The government uses citizen’s PII, such as names, addresses, Social Security numbers, payment card information, dates of birth, and more, for taxation and providing healthcare, emergency services, and critical infrastructure services. This type of data is a hot commodity on the dark web. It is sold to buyers who then could use it to open new lines of credit, take out loans, intercept tax refunds, cover medical treatment, steal airline miles, open utility accounts, and more.
U.S Customs and Border Protection, the City of Tallahassee, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are just three examples of agencies that have suffered cyber attacks in 2019. The most commonly used attack route used by hackers is sniffing out and targeting misconfigured servers. Databases that are publicly accessible and unprotected are easy for hackers to find and exploit.
The information exposed in these data breaches is easily exploitable for high profit. As the breaches continue, one may wonder why the problem of misconfigurations has remained unsolved. There are a few reasons. First, as government agencies are eager to take advantage of the benefits of cloud fully, appropriate security processes and protocols are often bypassed in the name of innovation. The rate of change outstrips the human capacity to keep up, making it extremely difficult to catch every misconfiguration. Secondly, developers and engineers who have now gained self-service access to cloud services may lack education on the critical security steps that must be followed when creating new services or making changes in cloud environments. For example, native AWS capabilities include security measures, such as making S3 buckets private by default. Someone has to change these configurations to create an actively vulnerable database. These are misconfigurations that need to be dealt with in real-time, which is another weakness government agencies are suffering from; they still rely on manual configurations for security and compliance issues, which means relying on naturally imperfect human processes.
The solution requires government agencies to innovate their approach to security, to provide them with the means to safely innovate in other areas. Automated cloud security solutions give government agencies, and other organizations, the ability to detect misconfigurations, alert appropriate personnel to correct the issue or self-remediate in real-time. Automation grants the ability to enforce policy, provide governance, ensure compliance, and impose a framework for the processes that must be followed on a continuous and consistent basis. Then, the human ability has a safety net and also guidelines to ensure the fastest and safest trajectory forward as government agencies seek to optimize their use of the cloud. Cloud security software solutions that focus on automation, such as DivvyCloud, are a vital tool in any organization’s cloud security toolkit.
Read the full article here.
Watch DivvyCloud’s 60-second video to learn how we help customers like GE, 3M, Autodesk, Discovery, and Fannie Mae stay secure and compliant.
DivvyCloud minimizes security and compliance risk by providing virtual guardrails for security, compliance, and governance to customers embracing the dynamic, self-service nature of public cloud, and container infrastructure. Customers like General Electric, Discovery Communications, and Fannie Mae run DivvyCloud’s software to achieve continuous security governance in cloud and container environments (AWS, Azure, GCP, Alibaba, and Kubernetes). First, our software performs real-time, continuous discovery of infrastructure resources allowing customers to identify risks and threats. Second, customers can implement out-of-the-box or custom cloud-native policy guardrails that identify and alert on violations. Third, we automate the enforcement and remediation of these policies.