Cloud Pen Testing: Expectations vs Reality

icon Posted by: Praveen Joshi
icon September 7, 2022

In Brief

Why do we need Cloud Pen Testing?

Cloud infrastructure is susceptible to a wide variety of security vulnerabilities and misconfigurations. Also, business organizations use clouds for the storage and transition of crucial data. Malicious threat actors are always there trying to exploit any possible vulnerability it can to breach your data. Cloud pentesting maps all such threats and detects the security loopholes within your cloud infrastructure. Additionally, the process of pentesting is helpful in uncovering the misconfiguration that might lead to a successful breach or attack on the cloud.

94%

of all business organizations use cloud services.

48%

cloud using enterprises entrust the clouds with their classified and crucial data.

88%

of all breaches in cloud infrastructure are initiated due to human error.

$832.1

is the estimated value that the cloud computing market will attain by 2025.

The reality of Cloud Pen Testing against all expectations

No doubt, cloud computing is popular and increasing in usage. But misconceptions and lack of adequate information are also widespread among people about cloud infrastructure. Especially, the pentesting part. Businesses and individuals as well are having unrealistic expectations from cloud pentesting methodologies, quite contrasting expectations if I might add. Some think of it as an easy task to carry out, while some assume it is a tough one. Some even find it unnecessary and a waste of time and resources.

Let me now take you through some expectations that are far from reality.

1.  Security is a responsibility of the Cloud Service Provider

The most common mistake cloud users make is thinking about security as the responsibility of the service providers. However, most cloud service providers including AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Azure come with inbuilt security systems. But cloud security has a shared responsibility model. You, as a user, are just as responsible for maintaining the security of your assets in the cloud as your service provider. The service providers issue their policies on penetration testing. You can carry out the pen testing process while staying in accordance with the security policies of your service providers.

2. Cloud security is unnecessarily costly

Cost is also among the top myths people have about  cloud pen testing and other security measures. Although it is understandable to an extent as most users are accommodated by service providers like AWS and Azure. Both come with a brand name that might give the idea of services being costly. However, the reality is quite contrasting. There are surprisingly cost-effective options available to conduct pen testing on these cloud infrastructures.

3. Pen testing induces downtime

When we talk about downtime, it is unavoidable in most security and maintenance services. Businesses need all kinds of systematic overhauling from time to time. And this causes a certain amount of downtime one way or the other. Most businesses try to avoid pen testing because they think it is not worth putting their operations under downtime for diagnosing vulnerabilities. Coming to reality, you can conduct cloud pen testing with the help of expert Cyber Security Service Providers. This will help you carry out the process without any disruption in your continuous operations.

4. Clouds are secure even without pen testing

This is certainly an unrealistic expectation. But it is empowered by the truth that clouds are more secure by default. It makes sense to an extent that you are leaving the tasks like patching server issues to the service providers. But there are various security issues and loopholes that generate during the operational activities of the cloud. Pen testing is important to uncover such vulnerabilities and loopholes. There are multiple challenges that would arise while using cloud services. You are responsible for mitigating these challenges yourself. And cloud penetration testing is the best way to do it.

5. You do not need a security audit in clouds

‘There is no need for security audits in clouds’ is another expectation of cloud users that is often met by negative results. Security audits in clouds are just as necessary as in other aspects of your IT infrastructure. Therefore, you must ensure frequent security audits for your cloud environment by experienced information security experts. This will eliminate configuration mistakes, security vulnerabilities, and data breach risks.

Before You Go!

  • Pen testing in cloud environments is an efficient way to ensure security for all your assets in the cloud.
  • It helps to maintain compliance with the regulatory and security requirements as well as helps to keep breaches and attacks at bay.

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