It seems the future is upon us. Some of you may have heard about the attacks on Brian Krebs’ security researcher and journalist, as well as the attacks on OVH French hosting company. The attacks are accounting for the world’s largest DDoS attacks ever on record, 620Gbps and 1+Tbps respectively. If you’ve read up on these attacks, you’ll also be familiar with the fact that automated bot armies are being leveraged by booter or stresser services. These services are offered by “entrepreneurs” for a nominal fee to their paying clientele. Booter services are not new to the realm of DDoS. What’s changed over the years is the scale and scope these automation engines are achieving. The services command and control networks have grown in number of pwn’d bots and increased capabilities of advanced and effective attack tactics. The exponential population growth of insecure internet-connected devices has enabled this. The Internet of Things (IoT) aka IP-enabled cameras, printers, TVs, refrigerators, etc. have certainly contributed in part because these devices were not developed with security in mind.
Whether you’ve migrated some or all of your infrastructure to the cloud, or are still considering the move, you should be thinking about security. Too often, organizations assume a certain level of protection from a cloud service provider and don’t take steps to ensure applications and data are just as safe as those housed in the data center.
The sheer range of cloud technology has generated an array of new security challenges. From reconciling security policies across hybrid environments to keeping a wary eye on cloud co-tenants, there is no shortage of concerns. An increasingly complex attack landscape only complicates matters and requires security systems that are vigilant and able to adapt. Here are nine tips to consider before, during, and after a cloud migration to stay ahead of the curve when evaluating security solutions for your cloud service.
According to Gartner, on average, 28 percent of IT spend occurs outside the IT department today. IT behind IT’s back, commonly called shadow IT, is primarily driven by easily available cloud services. Mobile growth and work shifting practices enables the shadow IT further with employees’ desire to work from anywhere. Shadow IT are typically services and applications that an organization’s IT department has had no role in selecting or vetting, and IT may not even be aware that these services and applications are being used within the network.
Convenience and productivity are often the drivers for adopting shadow IT. Employees deploy solutions that are not approved by their IT departments and many times, the reasoning is that going through the traditional route for approvals is too complicated or time consuming.
Businesses of all sizes, across all verticals, generate significant sales online, increasing their risk and exposure from outages and breaches. Unfortunately, malicious actors understand this and target online businesses with this in mind. By and large, their efforts are successful. According to Radware’s 2016 Global Network and Application Security Report, 62% of those attacked suffered downtime or degradation. According to this same report, organizations now see more tangible financial impact from cyber-attacks. Over two-thirds (69%) of organizations say attacks cause revenue, customer, partner, and productivity loss (up from 45% last year).
Attacks aren’t just about outages or breaches, performance degradation caused by attacks are a growing problem as well. According to recent studies, 40% of customers will now wait 3 seconds or less before moving on to a competitor site, meaning the impact of performance loss is extremely tangible for online businesses.
So, let’s say you are up to no good and motivated to attack somebody or some organization.
After somewhat thoughtful considerations you decide you are going to launch a cyberattack to render your victim unavailable or to extort some sort of action or ransom.
However, you have a big problem to solve – – how do you get around today’s most popular Cloud Security Scrubbing Businesses?
Simply put, the days when firewalls and a large enough pipe to the internet were enough to protect your network have long since passed. Any organization or website is a potential target, and with high odds of a given attack flooding homegrown defense tactics, most companies are moving their mitigation tools offsite. The cost of downtime – upwards of $9,000 per hour for small businesses and $690,000 for large companies – are just too great to risk going it alone.
It seems hardly a week can pass without some cloud-based security service provider announcing the latest expansion of their cloud infrastructure. The cadence has turned into something of an arms race mentality on the part of these providers, perhaps in response to a sense that’s what the market wants to see in a service provider. After all, X+1 number of Points of Presence (POPs) is better than X, right?
Well, the real answer is that most confounding of answers: it depends. In this case, the dependency is a question of what specific problem you’re trying to solve.
Successfully protecting against web-based attacks is like trying to win a game that keeps changing its rules all the time… only nobody tells you what the new rules are! Static cloud security services cannot help you win the web security game. Only cloud security services that continuously and automatically adapt to the rapidly evolving threat landscape and protected assets can assure you are well prepared to anything that will be thrown at you… even as the rules continuously change!
Virtualization of existing technologies is an evolutionary step in the development of cloud designs. The cloud is supposed to be an architecture that delivers applications and data in a reliable and fault-tolerant manner. The benefits that we want to derive are not new. We are just applying them to a different business model. We created the cloud to deliver applications and data anytime, anywhere, and to any device. We need to reconfigure existing processes and technologies to support the evolving cloud architecture.
The hackers are winning.
Or said more accurately, strong security is losing . . . sometimes to itself.
That seemed to be a general undertone of last weeks’ RSA Conference. No one actually came out and said it in those words, but there is an undeniable degree of humility to many of the messages passing through the halls of the Mascone Center this year.