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GDPR Is Here: Don’t Neglect Public Cloud Security

With organizations aggressively moving workloads to public cloud platforms, such as Amazon’s AWS, protecting these environments is critical for complying with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

GDPR, which went into effect in May, imposes strict requirements on millions of businesses worldwide that control and process the personal data of EU residents.

Public cloud platforms are being used to power digital transformation initiatives across many business functions where EU residents’ personal data is likely to be stored, processed and shared.

Thus, organizations need complete visibility into their public clouds, and they must have a solid security and compliance posture in these environments that includes vulnerability management, asset inventory, web app scanning, DevSecOps pipeline protection, and IT configuration controls.

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Gain Visibility and Continuous Security Across All Your Public Clouds

As organizations increase their use of public cloud platforms, they encounter cloud-specific security and compliance threats, which can be challenging to address without the right tools and processes.

Organizations’ cloud security difficulties lie in two main areas: Lack of visibility into their cloud assets and resources, and a misunderstanding of cloud providers’ shared security responsibility model. As a result, there have been a multitude of easily preventable security mishaps in public cloud deployments due to leaky storage buckets, misconfigured security groups, and erroneous user policies.

These security breakdowns have caused data breaches and other compromises at organizations large and small, including Verizon, Viacom, the Republican National Committee, Tesla and the U.S. Department of Defense. The key to protect public cloud workloads lies in adopting a cloud-native way of supporting and securing your resources in a hybrid IT environment, so as to have full visibility and control.

“Rather than having bifurcated tooling or bifurcated processes or even bifurcated teams, organizations need a unified view of their resources and security posture across on-premises and cloud environments,” Hari Srinivasan, Director of Product Management at Qualys, said during a recent webcast.

Read on to learn about cloud security challenges, best practices, and how Qualys can help you secure any infrastructure, at any scale, on-premises and in cloud, via a unified interface, using uniform standards and processes.

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Qualys Cloud Platform 2.33 New Features

This release of the Qualys Cloud Platform version 2.33 includes the release for CertView, plus updates and new features for AssetView, Cloud Agent, EC2 Connector, Security Assessment Questionnaire, Web Application Scanning, and Web Application Firewall, highlights as follows.  (This posting has been edited to include an update to WAS that is available in a patch release.)

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When Preparing for GDPR, Don’t Neglect Public Cloud Security

With organizations aggressively moving workloads to public cloud platforms, such as Amazon’s AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft’s Azure, protecting these environments is critical for compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

These public cloud platforms are being used to power digital transformation initiatives across a wide variety of business functions, including supply chain management, customer support, employee collaboration, sales and marketing.

In all of these business tasks that are being digitally transformed in the cloud, customer personal data regulated by GDPR is likely to be stored, processed and shared.

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Qualys: Cloud Security Must Move Towards ‘Transparent Orchestration’

What does the “My Little Pony” television series and cyber security have in common? Ask Qualys Chief Product Officer Sumedh Thakar.

Whenever his 7-year old daughter wanted to see an episode of this show, the process involved multiple steps: Turning on the smart TV, scrolling through the app menu, picking Netflix, searching for “My Little Pony,” navigating the seasons and list of episodes, and finally clicking on the one she wanted to watch.

Sumedh Thakar, Qualys’ Chief Product Officer, speaks at the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) Summit during RSA Conference 2018.

But that process became a thing of the past at Thakar’s house after he got a Google Home smart speaker and home assistant, and linked it up with his smart TV.  Now all his daughter needs to do is tell Google Home to play her favorite show on the living room TV, and all the steps are carried out in an automated, seamless way, without anyone even having to grab the TV remote control.

“That’s transparent,” Thakar said on Monday during his keynote speech at the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) Summit being held at the RSA Conference in San Francisco.

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Qualys Cloud Platform 2.32 New Features

This release of the Qualys Cloud Platform version 2.32 includes updates and new features for AssetView, EC2 Connector, File Integrity Monitoring, Indication of Compromise, Security Assessment Questionnaire, Web Application Scanning, and Web Application Firewall, highlights as follows.  (Post updated 3/23 to include new FIM features for this release.)

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Cloud Security Improves, But Much Work Still Remains to Be Done

As cloud computing adoption accelerates among businesses, InfoSec teams are struggling to fully protect cloud workloads due to a lack of visibility into these environments, and to hackers’ increasingly effective attacks.

That’s the main finding from SANS Institute’s “Cloud Security: Defense in Detail if Not in Depth” report, which surveyed IT and security pros from organizations of all sizes representing many industries.

“We’re seeing more organizations moving to the cloud. They’re definitely moving quickly. And security teams aren’t wholly comfortable with the way cloud providers are giving us details about what’s going on in the environments,” report author Dave Shackleford, a SANS Institute analyst and instructor, said during a webcast to discuss the study findings.

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How to Secure Public Clouds while Boosting Digital Transformation

It’s happening all over the business world. Organizations of all sizes and in all industries are aggressively deploying innovative products to new online consumer channels, digitizing their core services and transitioning core business workloads to public clouds as part of digital transformation efforts aimed at increasing business efficiency and effectiveness.

This trend represents both a challenge and an opportunity for InfoSec teams. The challenge: To ensure the security and compliance of these cloud instances, without interrupting their deployment. The opportunity: To become a partner to business units by facilitating the adoption of public cloud services and other digital transformation technologies.

The digital transformation opportunities ahead are immense, according to Qualys’ CISO. Digital transformation programs are yielding tangible business benefits, but fundamental security challenges remain, he said during the recent webcast “Securing Your Public Cloud Infrastructure.” 

Specifically, InfoSec teams must gain visibility into these cloud workloads, so that they can monitor those assets, identify vulnerabilities and misconfigurations, and promptly remediate problems. Continue reading …

Securing Public Clouds for Digital Transformation Success

As organizations seek digital transformation benefits and aggressively move workloads to public cloud platforms, InfoSec teams must support their business units’ efforts by adapting and properly protecting these environments.

This may sound surprising to those who think that, when you use a public cloud service, the platform provider takes on all security and compliance tasks. Rather, these public cloud service providers operate on a “shared security responsibility” model, so the burden is split between you and them.

In other words, you get to define your controls in the cloud to protect your data and infrastructure, while the cloud provider takes care of the security of the cloud.

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