Almost every company out there now recognizes the importance of cloud security as millions of cybersecurity attacks are carried out by hackers all over the world. Cloud-based cybersecurity threats are not that common if you have configured the cloud in the right way. Cloud misconfigurations can be an open invitation to hackers. Cloud security and the management of the data are also called Cloud Security Posture Management and CSPM should be the priority of every business and engineering team as more and more hacking attacks are expected due to the adoption of new technologies by the hackers.

Most of the organizations pay attention to the most obvious configurations and security measures only. They think that setting strong passwords for their cloud accounts is enough to ensure cloud security. The importance of production accounts is obvious as most of the data reside in these accounts and amid all of this; developers’ accounts are overlooked by the security experts.

Read: Basics & Fundamentals of IT Security

The working principles of cloud security are different so you cannot use the same approach as the datacenters for the cloud Dev accounts. Here are some questions that are critical to understand the importance of Dev account security:

  • Are you willing to allow infectious actors into the Dev accounts ?
  • How will you detect the malicious files and actors in the developer’s account?
  • What information can be acquired by using Dev account to exploit your business?
  • Can hackers use Dev account to access your production accounts?

The answers can vary depending upon your understanding of cloud security. Let’s have a look at risks that are posed by the unsecured Dev account for the businesses:

Risks of not securing Development accounts

Every business and engineering team seems to be focused on taking security measures to secure the production accounts. No doubt these security measures and cybersecurity practices are really necessary to secure the production account but bypassing the security measures for the Dev accounts can also be a disaster. Even many top-level cybersecurity teams have been seen making this mistake at the organizational level by leaving the Dev accounts unsecured.

Here are some common cloud misconfigurations that can give access to unauthorized persons and the major reasons can be:

  • Security ports left open for the public
  • Admin access is not secured or monitored
  • Poor passwords and unsecured login credentials
  • Using storage buckets that have configurations for the public access
  • Using outdated interfaces

Dev Accounts can reveal a lot about Production Accounts

Once the Dev account is under attack, hackers can use these accounts to gain access to production accounts also as Dev accounts are configured similar to the production accounts in most cases. Here are some details that can be gained by using the Dev accounts:

  • Details of the shared accounts
  • Resource naming conventions
  • IAM roles
  • Database management schemes and system architecture

Steps to protect your Business 

Most of the businesses prefer cloud services over datacenters as the work is made efficient and products can be launched easily to the digital market. Well, these facilities and, most of the developers tend to speed up the process of development without taking security measures for the protection of Dev accounts. The login credentials of the Dev accounts are left unsecured and that can be a problem later on.

See: What is Security Operations Center (SOC) ?

There are many intentional and accidental events that can expose the Dev accounts to hackers. Here are some important steps to take if you want to protect Dev accounts from any kind of public exposure.

Imagine your Accounts are exposed

There is no way you can be 100% sure about the security measures of your engineering team. If you want to minimize the damage in case of any mishap, you should suppose that your login credentials are already exposed to the hackers and they are in your systems. This approach will help you to work on limiting the damage in case of any attack so you can focus on making the response better in case of any attack.

Limit Permissions

Most of the developers are given permissions to the files and production credentials that are never going to be used by them. The best way to minimize the damage and the chances of the breach is to limit the permissions. Once only authorized persons are allowed accessing the production account credentials, less exposure to the hackers is obvious.

Early Threat Detection

The best strategy to avoid any cybersecurity disaster is to use continued scans and monitoring to point out any suspicious activity in Dev account or production accounts. Access for suspicious locations, use of malicious APIs and unscheduled access can indicate the account has been compromised. Perform scheduled scans and monitoring to detect any kind of suspicious activity in any of the accounts.

See: Common data security threats for Business

Speed and the flexibility of work are two major reasons for using cloud services over datacenters. If you want to empower developers with quick access to resources, make sure that all security measures and protocols are intact or you will end up sabotaging the business data.

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