Day by day, the business sector becomes increasingly dependent on a constantly growing number of cloud servers. And this is directly connected with the reliance level that companies put on a cloud network and platform. As a result, cloud computing has become an indispensable part of business solutions fighting against various organizational issues.
However, while using cloud servers, the possibility that you can often come across different security risks and problems is pretty high. Therefore, to identify vulnerabilities in the company’s cloud environment, it’s more than essential to use cloud security tools from time to time.
So let’s go on and review some of the top cloud providers, their types, and offered services.
What is a Cloud Security Assessment?
If we put it simply, a cloud security assessment is a process of analyzing and testing a company’s cloud infrastructure to ensure it is protected from different security threats and possible attacks by malicious actors. As a result, you will get a comprehensive picture of the overall security system.
A cloud assessment helps to:
- Identify weaknesses within the company’s cloud ecosystem;
- Analyze the network for exploitation evidence;
- Plan response solutions to prevent possible attacks;
And mainly focuses on:
- Overall Security Posture: Documentation gathering and reviewing of the company’s cloud infrastructure.
- Network Security: Analyzing firewall policies against any misconfiguration.
- Management and Access Control: Reviewing access and identity management such as user accounts, key management, and roles.
- Security of Storage: Accessing cloud storage postures like block-level storage or object-level storage.
- Security of Platform Services: Reviewing security configurations particular to each cloud service provider.
Types of Cloud Assessment Tools
Cloud security solutions can generally be divided into six categories depending on their role and function in protecting cloud applications, databases, and containers.
Let’s review each of them in detail.
- Cloud Access Security Brokers: The tools belonging to this group are designed for encapsulating your cloud-hosted or on-campus solutions. CASB can include digital and physical solutions that serve as a stop-gap between cloud service providers and users. Furthermore, it covers such SaaS environments as PaaS, IaaS, etc. Another beneficial aspect of CASB is that it plugs security holes, which means the companies can extend their security policies to the cloud and build cloud-only security controls. Moreover, to provide a better experience to their users, CASB relies on several core concepts like Threat Protection, Data Protection, and Identity.
- Secure Access Service Edge: The SASE tools provide a more generalized approach to cloud infrastructure and IT security. It’s a relatively new approach featuring compatibility and advanced policy management with enterprises. This group of tools enables IT experts to protect and connect their company’s cloud resources without physical hardware.
- Static Application Security Testing: Cloud assessment tools mainly focused on reviewing and analyzing binary executables and source code can be listed among the SAST group. Therefore, the core function of these tools is identifying patterns keen to security issues and malicious activity. SAST tools have various use cases. Some of the common ones are the following.
- Constantly monitor and discover dangerous issues in open-source libraries;
- Scanning for revealed secrets, including API keys, security tokens, and passwords in binaries or source codes;
- Analyzing the asset behavior of data receivers and potential safety risks;
- Creating an inventory of crypto assets used in a website production or development ecosystem;
- Cloud Security Posture Management: These tools are the best fit for the companies mainly focused on Platform as a Service and Infrastructure Software and who want to implement security management automation. The main activity of CSPM tools is controlling access to cloud structure tools, which the company employed. It means the tools constantly look for misconfigurations so that, if necessary, they can make changes automatically.
- Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management: This cloud security solution primarily manages complex security situations occasionally created by IAM (Identity and Access Management). CIEMs offer deep visibility into entitlement risks and data access vulnerabilities. Therefore, the companies struggling with complications concerning data access controls would most likely benefit from CIEMs, as they provide complete management over various policy types.
- Cloud Workload Protection Platforms: Security tools belonging to the CWPP group protect both digital and physical assets within a cloud environment, such as virtual machines, containers, and serverless workloads. Their primary purpose is to bridge the safety gap between legacy elements and cloud-based components.
Best Cloud Security Assessment Tools
Most of you will surely ask what the best cloud security assessment tool available is? Although there is no exact answer to this question, we will review some of the top cloud assessment tools that have already proved themselves by the quality of their provided services.
So, below is the carefully chosen list of must-have cloud security tools designed for cyber defenses.
This cloud-based security tool is primarily designed for scanning and detecting vulnerabilities of web applications stored in the cloud environments, including cross-site scripting and SQL Injection vulnerabilities. When the scanning is complete, it also offers several remediation solutions and options for dealing with the detected issues and threats.
However, it’s essential to verify the scanning results before taking any action, as there is always a low chance of false positives.
2. Cain & Abel
If you need a password recovery tool, then here you go. Cain is the best option for penetration testers who want to recover passwords through an intrusion detection system by brute-forcing, decrypting, and sniffing networks. Additionally, you can also use this cloud server for intercepting VoIP conversations that occur via the cloud network. Other aspects determining the multifunctional nature of Cain are the ability to decode network keys of Wi-Fi, discover cached passwords, unscramble passwords, etc.
The distinguishing feature of Cain from other cloud services providers is that it detects security vulnerabilities in protocol and industry standards instead of exploiting software flaws.
3. John the Ripper
John is the favorite cloud tool for most information security researchers due to its significant password cracking abilities. In addition, many cloud-based platforms use this security tool for its password-breaking and testing services. As a result, security experts can apply a security patch to protect cloud data in case of any found security breach.
Recently, John has made several updates and now supports almost all major operating systems.
4. Orca Security
It’s from the group of SaaS tools that provides full visibility into Azure, AWS, and GCP. Orca Security’s core services include behavioral analytics, vulnerability management, threat detection, etc.
One of the advantages of Orca Security is that it doesn’t require installation and is entirely agentless. After connecting the tool, it starts scanning cloud assets in a read-only view, including data centers, applications, systems, and cloud configuration.
The next step identifies the security concerns, lateral movement risk, malware, and high-risk data like Personally Identifiable Information. When the issues are detected, they will be prioritized according to their risk level and be properly configured.
4. Splunk Enterprise Security
It’s an open-source tool created for machine data analyses that allow users to gather operational information on their crypto investments and digital assets. Splunk enables the companies to search, review and visualize the data collected from digital infrastructure components, including applications, devices, networks, etc. After gathering the necessary information, the testers can quickly and efficiently resolve all the existing problems and follow the incident response.
What are the steps of a Cloud Security Assessment process?
The primary assessment process can generally be divided into four main stages: evaluating phase, manual testing and analysis, remediation solutions, and cloud security mapping. A thorough security testing can help you to detect threats and fix them.
What are the main benefits of Cloud Assessment?
There are various benefits you will get from security assessment services. The common ones include:
- Finding out the root cause of misconfigurations;
- Achieving regulatory compliance and maintenance;
- Reducing your attack surface;
- Accessing a comprehensive suite of productivity tools.