Misconfigurations and Alert Fatigue: Cloud Security Exposes Organizations' Vulnerabilities

By Greg Tavarez, TMCnet Editor  |  July 11, 2023

The cloud has become an indispensable tool for businesses worldwide, offering convenience and scalability in storing, accessing and processing vast amounts of data. However, as the cloud landscape continues to evolve, organizations are grappling with complex challenges in managing and securing their cloud infrastructure effectively.

The emergence of technologies like multi-cloud environments, serverless computing and containerization has expanded the possibilities and benefits of cloud computing. The allure of the cloud is undeniable, leading to a rapid expansion of cloud estates among businesses. Within the next 12 to 18 months, 58% of organizations are planning to shift over 50% of their workload to the cloud, according to a recent survey by Check Point in collaboration with Cybersecurity Insiders.

Despite the undeniable advantages that organizations derive from embracing the cloud, such as enhanced scalability and flexibility, ensuring its robust security remains a persistent challenge. The survey sheds light on two primary cloud concerns. Misconfigurations, which affect 59% of organizations, not only leave organizations vulnerable but also impede their ability to fully leverage the potential of the cloud, and 72% of respondents struggle with managing access to multiple security solutions.

IT leaders are increasingly concerned about the complexity of understanding and safeguarding the cloud's threat surface, as evidenced by the surge in cloud-based network attacks. According to the Check Point Research report, such attacks almost hit a 50% increase in 2022 compared to the previous year. Malicious actors are capitalizing on the challenges faced by organizations. They are exploiting vulnerabilities in cloud infrastructure with more frequency.

To address these challenges, organizations have implemented various technologies and strategies to manage their complex cloud environments. However, the survey reveals that the complexity, lack of visibility and control are causing more confusion. Because of that, there is another concerning trend: almost three-fourths of organizations have more than six security policies in place, while 26% of organizations have implemented 20 or more security policies, leading to alert fatigue and hampering incident response teams' effectiveness. The overwhelming preference, expressed by 90% of respondents, is for a single cloud security platform that simplifies management and streamlines the security landscape.

This underscores the urgent need for a comprehensive and collaborative cloud security solution that can alleviate the burden on organizations, provide clarity and enable proactive security measures.

Check Point’s CloudGuard, for example, offers a range of security features, including network security, web application protection, data security, threat intelligence and security management. CloudGuard helps organizations protect their cloud environments, applications and data from various threats. It supports major cloud platforms and integrates with native security controls.

“What sets successful cloud security organizations apart, is not only the ability to identify misconfigurations, but also to grasp their contextual relevance and prioritize their resolution,” said TJ Gonen, Vice President of Cloud Security at Check Point Software (News - Alert) Technologies. “Understanding which misconfigurations truly pose a risk to business operations is paramount. It is imperative for enterprises to select a comprehensive solution that goes beyond surface-level detection.”

The survey results serve as a wake-up call, emphasizing the critical need for organizations to prioritize cloud security and adopt robust measures that can safeguard critical assets and ensure business continuity.

Edited by Alex Passett
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