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Cloud Security and Exposure Management: Priorities, Barriers and Risks

31/05/2024

In a recent webinar, Tenable, the leader in vulnerability management and risk prioritisation, shared insights on enhancing security practices for competitive advantage in a fast-evolving digital landscape. The session looked at strategies for identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities, particularly in cloud environments. 

 

Prioritising Vulnerabilities for Optimal Security

The importance of vulnerability prioritisation in reducing time spent on analysing threats cannot be over-stated. By leveraging threat research and internal tools, organisations can shift from reactive vulnerability management to proactive identification of high-priority issues. This approach is crucial in ensuring that security teams focus on the most critical vulnerabilities first, thereby optimising their efforts and resources.

 

Understanding Asset Criticality and Exploitability

A fundamental aspect of Tenable’s recommendation is understanding the criticality of assets in relation to their business functions. This includes assessing known assets, identifying exploitable vulnerabilities, and integrating information on asset criticality. This comprehensive view ensures that organisations prioritise their security efforts based on the actual impact on business operations.

 

Cloud Security Challenges and Insights

Cloud security remains a significant focus, with reports highlighting various exposures, from sensitive data management to complex permission structures. The webinar noted that managing permissions across multiple cloud environments presents unique risks, including over-permissioned identities and workload sprawl. Additionally, third-party assessments often reveal high-risk areas that require immediate attention.

 

Incident Trends and Response

The session reviewed incident reports from Verizon and IBM, which provide trends over time and insights into successful breach tactics. Common issues such as web application attacks and privilege misuse were identified as frequent causes of breaches. These reports underscore the need for robust incident response strategies and the importance of understanding typical breach tactics to improve defences.

 

Cost Implications of Data Breaches

IBM’s reports highlight the financial impact of data breaches, emphasising the benefits of strategic security investments. Organisations that implement comprehensive security programs tend to reduce breach costs. However, the complexity of security operations, especially in hybrid and cloud environments, can drive up these costs. Understanding where data is stored and the associated risks is crucial for effective cost management.

 

Identity and Permissions Management

Identity management emerged as a primary security risk, particularly in public cloud environments. Tenable’s own survey revealed that a significant number of breaches involve issues related to identities and permissions. Addressing these challenges requires improved visibility and control over identity and access management (IAM) practices.

 

Organisational and Communication Challenges

The webinar also discussed the pervasive issue of unclear cloud security responsibilities. Often, the challenge lies in defining who within the organisation is responsible for various security tasks. This ambiguity can hinder effective remediation and risk management. Clear communication and defined roles are essential for overcoming these obstacles.

 

Enhancing Remediation and Support

A lack of support and budget from senior management often exacerbates security challenges. Effective communication of risks and the importance of remediation efforts to senior leaders is vital. This ensures that security initiatives receive the necessary resources and attention.

 

The Role of Tenable’s Vulnerability Management Platform

Tenable’s vulnerability management platform integrates vulnerability data, threat intelligence, and asset criticality ratings to provide a comprehensive view of an organisation’s security posture. By consolidating information across different environments, the platform helps prioritise risks and streamline remediation efforts. This holistic approach enables organisations to focus on the most critical threats, enhancing overall security effectiveness.

 

Tenable’s insights underscore the importance of a strategic, prioritised approach to vulnerability management. By understanding asset criticality, improving cloud security practices, and enhancing communication within organisations, businesses can significantly bolster their defences against evolving threats. The integration of advanced tools like Tenable’s exposure management platform further aids in achieving a robust, proactive security posture

 

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About Tenable Cloud Security 

Tenable Cloud Security reveals, prioritises and remediates security gaps in cloud infrastructure. It unifies and automates full asset discovery, deep risk analysis, runtime threat detection and compliance, and empowers stakeholders with pinpoint visualisation, guided recommendations and collaboration. Tenable Cloud Security is a comprehensive cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP) spanning cloud security posture management (CSPM), cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM), cloud workload protection (CWPP), Kubernetes security posture management (KSPM) and infrastructure as code (IaC) security.