Answering the call for continuous IaaS security

  • SSS – Sales
  • Jul 4, 2018

This article was contributed by Sudha Iyer, Product Management Director, Netskope.

At Netskope, we have always thought holistically about visibility and security for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). Comprehensive security for IaaS cannot be provided with just a single feature. From day one, we’ve committed to working with our customers as trusted, long-term partners throughout their entire cloud journey and this has been borne out by the fact that our market-leading Netskope Cloud Security Platform is trusted by more than 25% of the Fortune 100 and processes more real-time cloud transactions than any other CASB by a factor of 40.

We recently announced the latest addition to our comprehensive IaaS offering with continuous security assessment and monitoring capabilities, representing the steady expansion of Netskope for IaaS since we delivered the CASB industry’s first real-time, inline connectors for Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure in 2014. There is no magic bullet to solve your IaaS security problems, it’s about having a defense-in-depth strategy. In this blog post I’ll walk you through five requirements of a comprehensive IaaS security strategy and explain how the continuous security assessment fits in to that strategy.

  • Visibility and auditing of sanctioned and unsanctioned IaaS use and activities: There is a lot of activity happening inside of IaaS instances, and organisations are blind to the vast majority of it. Lack of visibility and control can expose organizations to sensitive data loss or even a breach — it is critical to know the “who,” “what,” “where,” and “when” for each activity. At Netskope, we use the patented Netskope Cloud XD capabilities to give customers detailed insight and visibility into their IaaS use for not only sanctioned IaaS, but also unsanctioned IaaS. No other CASB in the market is capable of doing this today.
  • Adaptive access control: Organisations also need to make sure that they control who has access to IaaS environments and what they can do with that access to reduce the risk of a breach. Many vendors take a binary approach to access controls, however, missing the bigger picture. The contextual granularity of Cloud XD enables organisations to perform adaptive access control across the broad spectrum of IaaS — whether for admins, non-admins and sanctioned or unsanctioned.
  • Data protection: The security breaches of the last year have proven nothing if not the importance of robust data protection for IaaS. Do you want source code, or design documents stored on certain S3 resources? The award-winning Netskope DLP engine can scan files that are stored in IaaS to accurately find any sensitive information with minimal false positives and false negatives.
  • Threat and malware protection: The use of cloud services like S3 to store and propagate threats like ransomware is a common threat vector, so a strong malware engine to detect zero-day and new advanced threats is imperative. Netskope Threat Protection detects malware through multiple techniques including, but not limited to cloud sandboxing, advanced heuristics, anomaly detection, and threat intelligence leveraging over 40 different security feeds.

The continuous security assessment is a means of enforcing security best practices to identify misconfigurations. When paired with data protection and real-time visibility and control, customers can use the Netskope platform to deliver comprehensive security for the public cloud.

In the dynamic world of IaaS, where the environment is under constant change as DevOps users or automated processes are adding resources or modifying existing resources, the risk of misconfigurations resulting in vulnerabilities and possible breaches increases significantly. What happens if an internal resource like a custom database is made public temporarily for testing purposes, but the tester forgets to make it private again? That is why it is imperative that a continuous security monitoring tool be in place to check and audit your IaaS environment.

There are many standards and best practices in the market today, including the Center for Internet Security (CIS) Benchmarks, which are a set of security configuration best practices for AWS. With this announcement, Netskope now supports a continuous auditing framework that supports CIS and other industry benchmarks. Netskope can check for configurations such as ensuring that user access keys are rotated every 90 days, ensuring that security groups allow no inbound connections to port 22, and ensuring that routing tables for VPC are configured with least privilege access.

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About the author:

Sudha Iyer

Sudha Iyer has about 20 years experience in the security industry. Throughout her career, she has engaged with customers across various domains and has focused the last few years on designing and delivering security solutions as customers are adopting Public Cloud including AWS, Azure and GCP.  Her security domain expertise ranges from encryption, identity and access management, network security, SIEM and Managed Security Services.