Cloud computing is the powerhouse of today’s digital economy. Organizations across all industries are increasingly migrating their workloads and IT infrastructure to the cloud. This trend has only intensified since the beginning of the global pandemic, as organizations became increasingly remote, relying on more digital technologies. In fact, Gartner® forecasts worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services to grow 20.4 percent in 2022, to a total of $494.7 billion¹.
As organizations move their workloads to the cloud, hackers inevitably follow suit, targeting public and private cloud infrastructure with their attacks. According to an alert from the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), cybercriminals are targeting public cloud infrastructure and Linux systems to increase the impact of their ransomware campaigns. They exploit known vulnerabilities and common misconfigurations in popular public cloud infrastructure to gain access to a larger number of organizations. Attackers are also increasingly targeting cloud infrastructure for use in their cryptojacking campaigns, where they hijack an organizations’ cloud computing power and surreptitiously use it for crypto-mining operations.
The vast majority (90%) of public cloud infrastructure is run on the open-source operating system, Linux. Unfortunately, despite the rising threat to cloud workloads, many Linux operating systems in enterprise organizations today remain unprotected. Some IT security professionals and developers mistakenly believe that Linux is secure by default, or that attackers mainly focus on Windows operating systems. Others believe their Linux environments are not at risk because they are completely isolated, or they think their existing antivirus solutions provide sufficient protection. Still others understand the benefits of cloud workload security solutions, but mistakenly believe that the negative impact to performance efficiency is too great, so they simply accept the risks and leave their cloud workloads unprotected.
With organizations migrating more and more of their sensitive data to cloud infrastructures and attacks continuing to increase, they cannot afford to ignore the security risks any longer.
When it comes to selecting a cloud workload security solution, one of the first questions a security professional must decide upon is whether to use an agentless or agent-based solution. Agent-based solutions require the organization to install code on the systems being monitored, while agentless solutions communicate directly with APIs about the resources being monitored.
Benefits of agentless solutions include little-to-no performance impact, easier management, nothing to deploy, and minimal configuration needed. However, with that said, it’s important to recognize that there is no such thing as a truly agentless approach. Even solutions described as “agentless” have some form of agent that helps get semantic or metadata from inside the instance and translate that data into whatever system is being used so the information can be correlated and provide results, such as alerting when malicious or suspicious activity has occurred. It’s also important for security professionals to understand that an agentless approach is not preventative in nature. In the case of public clouds, there are no remediation capabilities available in agentless offerings.
Agent-based solutions, in contrast, provide much faster detection because they have built-in components and modules that can introspect at a faster rate, delivering real-time and even preventative protection rather than merely identifying security events after they occur. One of the biggest benefits of an agent-based approach is the ability to automate remediation. Overall, an agent-based approach enables a more holistic and resilient security framework for cloud workloads.
When evaluating cloud workload security (CWS) solutions for Linux and container environments, there are critical capabilities that organizations should look for. These include:
In today’s increasingly cloud-centric business landscape, underpinning all of these security capabilities must be enterprise grade cloud workload protection. In cloud and hybrid environments, traditional security tools struggle with resource consumption, escalating costs, and complexity. Security teams need a cloud workload protection platform designed with a light footprint and simple, centralized management. An organization can have the most modern security controls, but if it doesn’t have ease of management for the security, the technologies will be worthless. Bitdefender Cloud Workload Protection provides all of the critical capabilities described above and is designed specifically for Linux and container security, facilitating the speed and ease of response, whether automated or manual.
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¹Gartner, Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud End-User Spending to Reach Nearly $500 Billion in 2022
Bitdefender is a global security technology company that delivers solutions in more than 100 countries through a network of value-added alliances, distributors and reseller partners. Since 2001, Bitdefender has consistently produced award-winning business and consumer security technology, and is a leading security provider in virtualization and cloud technologies. Through R&D, alliances and partnership teams, Bitdefender has elevated the highest standards of security excellence in both its number-one-ranked technology and its strategic alliances with the world’s leading virtualization and cloud technology providers.View all posts
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