The “cloud” is now very much present in everything that is even remotely related to technology. Of course, cloud computing presents its own risks, but it also has its benefits. Security in the cloud is still a much-debated issue in today’s technological milieu. While some state that it is not much different than storing data elsewhere, others are dead against the very concept, claiming that it is a serious threat to online security. In order to minimize chances of attack on the cloud, companies now have the option of pentesting the cloud, as also pentesting their potential cloud provider.
In this article, we discuss about pentesting your cloud provider and how doing this can help you with security in the cloud.
Assessing Your Cloud Provider
Auditing cloud service providers can prove to be a difficult process, but need not necessarily turn out so, if you know how to go about it. The need to audit your cloud provider usually emerges as a result of wanting to understand and assess your provider. However, the following are the things you should know before undertaking this audit:
Firstly, you need to define your own objectives, by zeroing in on the exact aspects that you wish to protect. Going in for an overly aggressive approach will only cost you additional money, time and effort. Instead, plan in advance and decide in which areas you would like to assess your service provider. Make sure to address all the potentially dangerous aspects, such as storage, access control, data security and so on.
Do not start off your audit with long questionnaires and list of things to do. Instead, understand the way your third-party provider functions, how they try and meet the necessary compliance standards and also what audits they already have been put through in the past. Discuss your goals with the organization and tell them exactly what you are looking for, so that the assessment goes on smoothly, without unnecessary hiccups.
Conducting Vulnerability Assessments
Conducting vulnerability assessments are a good way to validate the security quotient of these providers. Most of these establishments are open to being audited in this way by their potential clients. In case the vendor seems to be against this idea, it would be goodyou’re your company to try and look for other third-party cloud providers, as this may be a warning sign to you that something is wrong with this provider.
As it stands, there is yet no defined standard for maintaining security in the cloud. Hence, it would become difficult for the company to choose the right provider without conducting such an assessment. Some providers host their application within larger clouds and so, they go through a validation process anyways. Nonetheless, it would be advisable for you to conduct the validation yourself, so that you are sure that the provider is as risk-free as possible.
Discuss Potential Risks with Your Provider
Discuss all the potential threats with your service provider much beforehand and bring all your security concerns out into the open. Your company’s attitude towards conducting this assessment of your cloud provider should essentially be risk-based.
Technology is changing too fast for any of us to fully comprehend and grasp its true potential. This is a time of transition, when the “known and accepted” technologies and methodologies no longer apply to any given process. Cloud providers are always pressured by newer threats arriving every single day, trying their level best to address all kinds of issues and concerns about computing in the cloud. These providers are constantly working at building more security in the cloud.
Of course, some clouds are secure and other are insecure. Ultimately, however, it boils down to the fact that neither companies nor providers have all the resources necessary to guarantee complete success in either field. Hence, the entire auditing process of the cloud provider has to be done in such a way as to merely review potential risk elements and view it on an exclusive case basis.