Mind The Gap – Blog Post

As the sun set upon InfoSec 2022 at the Excel Centre in London, we left the venue once again reminded to be vigilant against the ever-present threat of workload compromise. This year’s event supplied a wealth of experienced security professionals from all walks of life ranging from MI5, the broader security industry, tech journalism, and academia that yielded an abundance of cautionary tales of failure, salutary stories of success and hard-earned pieces of wisdom from battles won within the field of security and compliance. Many vendors offered a multitude of new and innovative tools to help maintain a good security posture that focused on zero trust, third-party monitoring, and better approaches to threat hunting, as well as ransomware prevention, to name but a few.  

HeleCloud was in keen attendance, learning and engaging with fellow industry professionals and experts as well as upskilling/refreshing our own skills. This year, we were privileged to undergo specialised hacking and security training for the cloud courtesy of ‘Not So Secure’ ( Having spent so much of our time securing cloud environments we felt it would be beneficial to understand system compromise through the eyes of an attacker – so that’s exactly what we did.  

Over two intense days, we learned a lot about the many different compromise techniques, the available tools, and the various strengths and weaknesses of the different cloud vendors and their services. One thing quickly became clear: following security best practices is an essential step to prevent attackers from exploiting a misconfiguration. Most of the vulnerabilities in Cloud systems are not due to the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) but are the result of not following best practices, not understanding the implications of certain configurations and not having sufficient controls in place to prevent or detect an attack. None of the examples we saw were explicitly linked to the Cloud Service Provider; the overwhelming majority were failures on the client’s part of the shared responsibility model.   

We were reminded of the importance of security fundamentals: the value of building a solid foundation upon which to build a robust secure environment. We were reminded of the importance of being methodical; the value of performing risk management and gap analysis, ensuring each risk has adequate preventative and detective controls, applying the principle of least privilege, and so on.  

It was with renewed vigour that we returned to our regular roles within HeleCloud to help secure your workload. We’ve had a glimpse through the eyes of an attacker and are more convinced than ever of the value of the services we provide.  

If you are unsure if your AWS Cloud-hosted workload aligns with security best practices, then HeleCloud can assist by performing a Security Posture Assessment.  

If you are keen to brush up on the fundamentals of security and compliance and ensure a solid foundation of knowledge then we recommend reading our recently published whitepaper, Mind the Gap, which gives readers an essential guide to gap analysis, risk assessment, the CSA Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM) as well as providing an easy to digest introduction to the AWS security products and services that can help keep your organisation secure and compliant.