Breaches of data in the cloud are on the rise, not breaches of the underlying cloud provider’s infrastructure. This distinction between CSP and customer is vital since with cloud providers there is an explicit shared responsibility relationship. The cloud provider is responsible – and typically successful in – securing the underlying components of cloud services. The customer is responsible for securing how they use the cloud services, including properly configuring identity and access management (IAM), storage and compute settings, threat analysis and defense, and the security of the application and data processed and stored on the cloud.

If the underlying cloud infrastructure is secure, then responsibility for cloud breach must lie with the cloud customer. As Gartner states, “through 2022, at least 95 percent of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.”

If cloud breaches are typically due to misconfigurations, then organizations must implement controls that quickly – and automatically – prevent or detect and remediate these errors. To this end, CSPs offer a plethora of security controls. For example, Amazon AWS provides more than 30 different cloud-security related services (e.g., GuardDuty, CloudTrail, CloudHSM, CloudWatch, etc.), including the recent beta release of AWS Security Hub. These controls are essential, playing a primary role in secure cloud configurations, though just turning them on does not guarantee secure cloud configurations.

Secure cloud configuration must be a dynamic and continuous process. At a base level, there is the configuration of the cloud infrastructure (e.g., blocking SSH ports, and IAM). Next, there is the configuration of the CSP security controls (e.g., enabling log monitoring and encryption). And, finally, SecOps teams must address changes to settings (e.g., detecting and acting on a threat actor turning off logging to cover their tracks).

So, what controls detect and prevent misconfigurations? To answer this question, we align CSP controls against core aspects of cloud security: Audit, Visibility, Protection, and Detection. These core aspects build on the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NIST CSF). To augment the NIST CSF and better align it to cloud security, we include automation as a core aspect. Automation is so central to cloud operations that there are a series of controls necessary to monitor, track, and enforce automation functions.

To learn more, read our white paper “Augmenting Native Cloud Service Provide Security” on determining when and how to augment CSP security controls.


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.

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