April 21, 2021 By David Bisson 3 min read

As we near the end of our journey into cloud native tools, let’s take a look at visibility. In a previous post, I discussed how business entities need to understand their end of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) shared security model to uphold their cloud defense duties. This knowledge can help them safeguard their digital assets using native cloud security tools that leverage partnerships with other solutions providers. Part of that includes having visibility into what’s going on in the cloud. Let’s take a look at visibility. Why can it be a problem? What tools can help your team can gain better insight?

The Problem of Visibility

In the end, entities need to have visibility over their cloud environments if they are to defend themselves against emerging threats. But, insight into the cloud is more difficult than it sounds.

Attackers are taking advantage of apps hosted in the cloud, for instance. This type of attack accounted for 45% of incidents in which threat actors compromised cloud environments. Those behind these campaigns commonly misused known openings and misconfigurations.

So, what does this have to do with cloud native tools?

Up until 2020, cloud vulnerabilities remained outside the scope of known common vulnerabilities and exposures. There wasn’t much that entities could do to detect whatever openings were out there. Despite the cloud being in use more commonly now, detecting risks and misconfigurations remains difficult.

In part, this is because employees tend to go around official channels and set up apps that could be risky in the company cloud. This shadow IT makes managing assets more complex in a landscape that is already dynamic by nature. Without knowing what assets they have, without the proper visibility, entities can’t keep their cloud environments updated and safe against attackers.

Why Focus on Cloud Native Tools?

Digital attackers haven’t stopped at exploiting vulnerabilities and misconfigurations in the cloud, either. Some are adapting to the cloud to give themselves an advantage. For instance, there’s evidence that DemonBot and other malware have infected organizations’ cloud environments. From there they launch their own attack infrastructure and scale up their operations.

Facing this without cloud native tools as defense can be costly, and not only in terms of additional billing and resources. It can also tarnish a business’ good name. Indeed, the compromised environments discussed above helped to fuel more attack attempts that might have infected other entities. This scenario points to a weak defense posture driven by a lack of visibility in the cloud.

Strategic Vendor Partnerships for Cloud Native Tools

Entities can use cloud native tools to harden their cloud defense. To be specific, they should look for those that come with strategic partnerships between solutions providers. These types of offerings don’t just add a bunch of tools together. They integrate them to offer combined security and visibility greater than the sum of their parts. With this, entities can achieve mastery over their cloud and use it to defend against those who are adapting their campaigns to profit off of it.

The partnership between IBM QRadar on cloud and AWS cloud security represents one such union. Already, QRadar helps security analysts chain together seemingly disparate issues to realize the full scope of an incident. With the AWS partnership, those analysts can now use free security rules, reports and other AWS downloadable content to add context to what they’re already seeing with QRadar.

This cuts through all the noise on the network, thereby reducing alert fatigue and enabling defense teams to detect issues faster. Unburdened by the chase of contextless alerts and false positives, these teams can then dedicate their time and energy to more important work.

By using cloud native tools to their full extent, you can make a more meaningful difference on your overall security posture.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Parts 1 and 2 in the series.

More from Intelligence & Analytics

Hive0051’s large scale malicious operations enabled by synchronized multi-channel DNS fluxing

12 min read - For the last year and a half, IBM X-Force has actively monitored the evolution of Hive0051’s malware capabilities. This Russian threat actor has accelerated its development efforts to support expanding operations since the onset of the Ukraine conflict. Recent analysis identified three key changes to capabilities: an improved multi-channel approach to DNS fluxing, obfuscated multi-stage scripts, and the use of fileless PowerShell variants of the Gamma malware. As of October 2023, IBM X-Force has also observed a significant increase in…

Email campaigns leverage updated DBatLoader to deliver RATs, stealers

11 min read - IBM X-Force has identified new capabilities in DBatLoader malware samples delivered in recent email campaigns, signaling a heightened risk of infection from commodity malware families associated with DBatLoader activity. X-Force has observed nearly two dozen email campaigns since late June leveraging the updated DBatLoader loader to deliver payloads such as Remcos, Warzone, Formbook, and AgentTesla. DBatLoader malware has been used since 2020 by cybercriminals to install commodity malware remote access Trojans (RATs) and infostealers, primarily via malicious spam (malspam). DBatLoader…

New Hive0117 phishing campaign imitates conscription summons to deliver DarkWatchman malware

8 min read - IBM X-Force uncovered a new phishing campaign likely conducted by Hive0117 delivering the fileless malware DarkWatchman, directed at individuals associated with major energy, finance, transport, and software security industries based in Russia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, and Estonia. DarkWatchman malware is capable of keylogging, collecting system information, and deploying secondary payloads. Imitating official correspondence from the Russian government in phishing emails aligns with previous Hive0117 campaigns delivering DarkWatchman malware, and shows a possible significant effort to induce a sense of urgency as…

X-Force releases detection & response framework for managed file transfer software

5 min read - How AI can help defenders scale detection guidance for enterprise software tools If we look back at mass exploitation events that shook the security industry like Log4j, Atlassian, and Microsoft Exchange when these solutions were actively being exploited by attackers, the exploits may have been associated with a different CVE, but the detection and response guidance being released by the various security vendors had many similarities (e.g., Log4shell vs. Log4j2 vs. MOVEit vs. Spring4Shell vs. Microsoft Exchange vs. ProxyShell vs.…

Topic updates

Get email updates and stay ahead of the latest threats to the security landscape, thought leadership and research.
Subscribe today