Search “scholar.google.com” or your textbook. Discuss how organizations have faced the challenges that incident handlers are challenged with in identifying incidents when resources have been moved to a cloud environment.
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Organizations always see the benefits of cloud and often miss the challenges that the security team can have to ensure integrity and availability. Any organization can use the cloud environment in one or more of these three scenarios, Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a service and Software as a service. Security teams should be worried about threats to all these services. Public and Hybrid clouds always have a high risk compared to a private cloud environment and hence it becomes tougher for security teams in organizations to protect such services.
Apart from the possibility of incidents to non-cloud applications, incident handlers would have to deal with new challenges when debugging an incident in the cloud. Most of the cloud environments are managed and provisioned through the user interface or API. The API is exposed by cloud providers to everyone and hence a higher risk as some of those API’s can be vulnerable. It also becomes challenging to the security team to run some commands which are not supported by API. Cloud runs on virtualization and hence multiple organizations can use the same infrastructure underneath and this may decrease the isolation between resulting in situations where high network traffic can impact other tenant applications. Access rules can get messy when migrating an application to the cloud and may only be found when an incident occurred and that can increase the time of incident handling. Cloud providers would have their own compliance requirements which may not work for organizations operating in several countries and decided to move to the cloud may impact those customers in highly regulated countries.
Cloud computing has been on the rise since 2010 and the annual growth rate has been increasing due to the flexibility and scalability it offers. However, some threats and challenges are ignored and found in hindsight which should change to avoid challenges when handling incidents.
Kalloniatis, C., Manousakis, V., Mouratidis, H., & Gritzalis, S. (2013). Migrating into the Cloud: Identifying the Major Security and Privacy Concerns. I3E.
According to Krutz, R. L., & Vines, R. D. (2010), due to the popularity that cloud computing is gaining day by day, most corporations are shifting to a cloud-based environment because of its convenience, flexibility/adaptability, large capacities for storing data, pace, scalability and access to the network on demand. But at the same time, the incident management strategy must be seriously considered to mitigate the risks of confidentiality, integrity and organizational assets to minimize financial, reputational and legal losses. (Krutz, R. L., & Vines, R. D. (2010))
Challenges in Cloud Computing:
An organization’s incident handlers face the problem of how security integrity and compliance in the new environment should be maintained with respect to where the data should be located, who is accountable for controlling access to the data, government body regulatory requirements and the authority to audit. The forensic challenges being faced in shifting to cloud computing and, finally, their resolutions are a bit tedious work. However, researchers find better solution to problems in the cloud environment, since researchers have done a lot of development in forensic science of cloud computing. In many cases, an organization needs to depend on the cloud provider to detect and reduce the impact of the incidents and if the organization has the control and flexibility to add virtual devices and the network’s security infrastructure, an organization can better identify the suspicious events to take immediate action on them.
Virtualization is a key technology used to implement services in the cloud. However, tools and procedures for incident handlers in the virtualized environment have not yet been developed. When most operations are virtualized in the cloud environment, the investigation in most cases requires the retrieval of evidence of physical locations in a given period of time, taking into account the jurisdiction of the physical location. Therefore, it is important for incident handlers to become familiar with the configuration and structure of the system before taking a response step, especially in case of conflicting situations. (Kruse II, W. G., & Heiser, J. G. (2001))
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