Over the past decade, organizations of all sizes have been increasingly migrating their workloads and IT infrastructure to the cloud. From the way mobile and content services are delivered and consumed, to serving as an alternative to traditional network computing infrastructure, cloud computing is now foundational to how businesses operate. Today, 81% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy already laid out or in the works, and an estimated 82% of enterprise workloads reside in the cloud.
Yet, as organizations move to the cloud, so do the cybersecurity threats. With firms increasingly leveraging a mix of on-premises computing technologies as well as public and private clouds, the attack surface has expanded exponentially, making it more difficult for security teams to protect.
For strong security in today’s multi-cloud and hybrid IT environments, organizations need integrated patch management solutions that are compatible with and provide visibility across not only on-premises technologies but also all types of cloud workload distribution methods and assets – from databases to containers, microservices, virtual machines and more.
A cloud workload is any type of resource, service, capability or specified amount of work running on the cloud. This can include containers, applications, virtual machines, and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). More than 68% of companies are using managed cloud infrastructure services today and according to Gartner, the worldwide IaaS market grew 40.7% in 2020 to a total of $64.3 billion, up from $45.7 billion in 2019.
The majority of enterprise cloud environments run on the open-source operating system, Linux. Unfortunately, Linux systems are often overlooked when it comes to cybersecurity and are left misconfigured or poorly managed. Some security analysts may believe that Linux systems are secure by design, but this is not the case and as cloud computing becomes more prevalent, attacks on Linux systems are also growing.
Attackers are increasingly targeting public cloud infrastructure and Linux systems for ransomware and cryptojacking campaigns. They know that by exploiting common misconfigurations and vulnerabilities in widely used public clouds like AWS and Azure, they can spread their ransomware campaigns further or rely on other organizations’ computing power and energy to perform their cryptomining operations.
When it comes to use of public clouds, security is a shared responsibility. The cloud service provider has certain responsibilities for securing the underlying cloud infrastructure, but each organization or customer (specifically with IaaS) is responsible for patching and securing their operating systems, applications and workloads running on that shared cloud solution. Ultimately, this is true for all data stored and or processed in the public cloud regardless of the Service model. That is why proactive and continuous patch management for Linux and cloud workloads must not be overlooked and should be a priority for enterprise security.
Whether using public or private clouds, or a mix of both, organizations with multiple cloud workload distributions and assets (containers, applications, virtual machines, etc.) must keep them all actively patched and protected against vulnerabilities and zero-day threats. Businesses that do not employ stringent, proactive patch management processes leave themselves open to attack.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to patch management for cloud workloads, there are some best practices that every organization should follow:
As the world becomes more digital-first, businesses will continue to turn to cloud computing as a way to accelerate innovation, become more efficient and agile. However, as they do, attackers will also increasingly turn their attention to targeting cloud infrastructure and the Linux systems they operate on. Today, many DevOps teams know they should better protect their Linux and cloud systems, but the trade-off between securing vulnerabilities and sacrificing performance is so high they decide to simply accept the risk. This doesn’t have to be the case.
Bitdefender delivers integrated patch management capabilities with comprehensive visibility across on-premises systems, Linux environments and all types of cloud workload distribution methods and assets. These solutions are optimized for any infrastructure, whether physical device, part of a datacenter, cloud workload, or even in a public cloud, so organizations can optimize the entire process of securing their assets, data and cloud workloads without compromising performance.
Bitdefender is a cybersecurity leader delivering best-in-class threat prevention, detection, and response solutions worldwide. Guardian over millions of consumer, enterprise, and government environments, Bitdefender is one of the industry’s most trusted experts for eliminating threats, protecting privacy, digital identity and data, and enabling cyber resilience. With deep investments in research and development, Bitdefender Labs discovers hundreds of new threats each minute and validates billions of threat queries daily. The company has pioneered breakthrough innovations in antimalware, IoT security, behavioral analytics, and artificial intelligence and its technology is licensed by more than 180 of the world’s most recognized technology brands. Founded in 2001, Bitdefender has customers in 170+ countries with offices around the world.View all posts
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