5 Misconfigurations That Threaten Today’s AWS Environments



In the ever-expanding realm of AWS, with over 200 services at your disposal, securing your cloud account configuration and mastering the complexity of your environment can feel like an overwhelming challenge.

Here’s a guide to the most overlooked AWS configurations to prioritize and eradicate. Today, he covers five of the major misconfigurations that can be found in any of his AWS environments.

As organizations increase their cloud usage and move to multicloud environments, security teams are overwhelmed with numerous configuration errors, all of which pose security risks. Real-world data shows that on average, enterprises experience approximately 3,500 cloud misconfigurations per month.

In fact, even a single misconfiguration can provide an attacker with a point of entry that can lead to a data breach, financial loss, or disclosure of sensitive data.

Misconfigured cloud services are the 10 most common attack vectors malicious actors exploit to infiltrate organizations, according to recent data published by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). One of the pieces.

The rapid pace of change in the cloud means human error is inevitable. Engineers can accidentally make mistakes, misconfigure services, or leave resources exposed.

It is of utmost importance to understand and address potential AWS misconfigurations in your cloud account. Failure to do so can expose organizations to serious threats such as unauthorized data access, data breaches, and regulatory violations, all of which can cause significant financial and reputational damage.

By being knowledgeable about common AWS misconfigurations and adopting best practices for secure cloud configuration, you can significantly reduce these risks and improve your organization’s overall security posture. Below, we highlight the top five most common AWS misconfigurations to be aware of when building applications in the cloud.

1. Overly permissive roles and policies
Identity Access Management (IAM) permissions granted to IAM resources are typically overly permissive, allowing escalation of privilege within your AWS environment. This type of misconfiguration could allow an attacker to create or modify her IAM policies for her IAM users, groups, or roles, which could potentially gain access to her AWS account. .

Configuration details: Restrict use of the root account

2. Amazon S3 Bucket: Encryption
S3 buckets, one of several storage options offered by Amazon, are becoming increasingly popular due to their easy, out-of-the-box configuration for making your data publicly accessible. This is useful when using S3 buckets with web and application servers running on EC2.

However, this means that you need to manage more configuration to ensure that the data in your S3 bucket is not accidentally accessed by the general public.

By default, S3 does not automatically encrypt your data. Security personnel must configure S3 buckets to automatically encrypt data. This is required unless there is a specific reason why the data can remain unencrypted. It’s important to actively monitor your S3 configuration to ensure that encryption is enabled.

Configuration details: Configuring the default server-side encryption behavior for Amazon S3 buckets

3. Public RDS snapshot
One of Amazon’s most popular database options, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) is commonly used because of its out-of-the-box, automated options for configuration, management, maintenance, and security.

RDS snapshots are used to create database backups in the AWS Cloud and may contain sensitive information such as personally identifiable information or corporate data.

If an RDS snapshot is not properly configured, it may be publicly accessible and the data contained within it may be accessible to anyone. This can have significant implications for affected businesses, including potential reputational damage and regulatory fines.

Configuration details: Setting up AWS Config using the console

4.AWS Lambda
Lambda is a serverless product that allows customers to run code for virtually any type of application or backend service without provisioning or managing servers.
Storing sensitive information such as API keys or database credentials in clear text in Lambda function environment variables can expose you to potential attackers and unauthorized access.

Configuration details: How to securely provide database credentials to Lambda functions using AWS Secrets Manager

5. AWS Fargate Access Control: Assigning Task Execution Roles
The AWS Fargate offering allows Amazon to provision, manage, and configure containers without requiring customers to manually launch or manage EC2 instances.
Fargate uses task execution roles to retrieve images from private registries preferred over public registries and to publish container logs to CloudWatch. These two tasks are important.

The purpose of the task execution role is to isolate permissions for each task based on its IAM role and prevent each task from seeing any other AWS services in your account. The task execution role is the same as the EC2 role, but we need to change the trust relationship so that the container networking interface can assume his IAM role.

Configuration details: Amazon ECS task execution IAM role

To learn more and get a complete list of the most dangerous AWS misconfigurations, download our complete guide: 15 AWS Misconfigurations You Need to Know in 2023.
In dynamic and complex cloud environments, it is impossible to manually find and fix all misconfigurations, especially at scale. Unresolved AWS misconfigurations are a significant and persistent security concern for organizations utilizing cloud environments.

My company’s Real-Time CSPM is a cloud security solution that enables organizations to identify and remediate security risks, such as cloud misconfigurations, in real-time.

Misconfiguration can expose sensitive data, create vulnerabilities, and pave the way for breaches, creating significant security risks. Our technology enables organizations to proactively manage and prevent misconfigurations, reduce attack surfaces, and strengthen the security posture of their cloud environments.

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