Understanding platform as a service (PaaS) security issues in cloud computing is essential in cloud security. Platform as a service (PaaS) is a cloud-based development and deployment environment that includes tools to help you deliver anything from simple cloud-based apps to complex, cloud-enabled enterprise applications. Pay-as-you-go cloud services model are purchased from a cloud service provider and accessed through a secure Internet connection.
PaaS, like IaaS, includes infrastructure – servers, storage, and networking – as well as middleware, development software, BI facilities, database management systems, and more. PaaS is intended to support the entire web application life cycle, including development, testing, deployment, management, and maintenance.
You can avoid the cost and hassle of purchasing and maintaining software licences, underlying application infrastructure and middleware, container orchestrators like Kubernetes, development tools, and other resources by using PaaS. You are in charge of the software and services you create, and the cloud service provider is in charge of everything else.
AWS Lambda, Microsoft Azure PaaS, Google App Engine, Apache Stratos, and Force.com, which is a development platform for Salesforce clients, are all examples of platform-as-a-service. PaaS providers may specialise in a variety of areas. There are database-specific PaaS providers, as well as a newer category known as high productivity application PaaS (hpaPaaS), which uses a graphical, low-code creation approach.
PaaS security practices
Security in the cloud is a joint responsibility of the cloud provider and the customer. Security of software, records, and user access is the responsibility of the PaaS customer. The operating system and physical infrastructure are both secured by the PaaS provider.
The following are seven PaaS security best practises for maintaining data and application security in the cloud for an enterprise.
Look at the protection of the service provider. According to the 2019 McAfee Cloud Adoption and Security Risk Report, only 8% of today’s 25,000 cloud providers meet the data protection standards identified by the CloudTrust Program.
Just one out of every ten businesses encrypts data in transit, and only 18% support multi-factor authentication. Inquire about the provider’s patch management strategy and whether it employs current security protocols.
Employee connections to IT systems and physical facilities should be checked for security procedures. Inquire whether they have a security breach contingency plan in place, as well as a disaster recovery plan in place in case the whole system goes down. What happens if a PaaS service fails?
Implement access controls based on roles. Developers and other users may have access to the services and tools they need, but not to other computing resources, thanks to role-based identity and access management.
Manage accounts that are no longer involved. Hackers may use unused accounts as a base of operations. Former employee accounts and other inactive accounts should be deprovisioned.
Hackers use LinkedIn to find people who have recently left or joined businesses, and then take over their accounts. To avoid unauthorised access to administrative accounts, lock the root account credentials.
Use hazard modelling to your advantage. The bulk of security bugs are implemented during software development’s early stages. Using threat modelling practises and tools, security-conscious developers can detect and correct possible bugs in the application design.
Threat modelling is covered by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), and Microsoft provides a free threat modelling tool and details.
Check for program flaws that have been passed down over the generations. Vulnerabilities in third-party platforms and libraries are common. If developers fail to search for these potential liabilities, they will inherit them.
Basics of PaaS practices
- Secure coding practice. Application security starts at the code level. By following secure coding practices, the application is protected against known vulnerabilities as well as probably the yet to be discovered vulnerabilities. This can be achieved by regularly conducting penetration tests to reveal such exploits.
- Dependencies. Ensure that the libraries the application depends on follow secure coding practice as well. Check for online documentation and security reports for each dependency.
- Function keys. Use functions keys to protect functions/APIs from unauthorized calls.
- Monitoring and logging. Leverage Azure Monitor to collect and log security data which can be queried.
- In transit. Enforce HTTPs to encrypt data in transit, thereby protecting the integrity and privacy of data while travelling the ether.
- At rest. Encrypt storage facilities including databases to protect the integrity and privacy of data from unauthorized access.
PaaS security issues in cloud computing: Security Concerns
• PaaS enables businesses to develop, run, and manage Web applications without the need for expensive infrastructure.
Security issues are generally centred on mission-critical information that hackers may access during a data breach since PaaS is built on the concept of sharing resources (such as hardware, network, and security provisions).
Additional security concerns may occur if hackers are able to obtain unauthorized access and alter configurations if PaaS tenants have Administrator/’root’, or shell access to the servers running their instances.
In addition, if the PaaS platform’s security controls and self-service entitlements aren’t properly configured, they could cause problems. Providers should be able to have consistent policies and procedures, as well as follows industry standards.
Once again, responsibility for security cannot be exclusively the of the PaaS provider. Before making a final decision on a PaaS provider, keep the following points in mind:
• What forms of encryption are used?
• What is the data center availability and independence? (Are you able to transfer all of your virtual machines and their sensitive data to a different provider? What kind of people have access to it? What if a cloud instance moves to a different country?)
PaaS security solutions
To secure their data and software from hacking or unauthorised access, businesses should use their own security technologies. Cloud access control brokers, cloud workload safety platforms, and cloud security posture management are three critical cloud security solutions.
Security broker for cloud access (CASB). CASBs, also known as cloud security gateways (CSGs), provide a number of security services, including monitoring for unauthorised cloud services, implementing data security policies, such as data loss prevention (DLP), restricting access to cloud services based on user, computer, and application, and auditing cloud configurations for compliance and danger.
Platforms for securing cloud workloads (CWPP). Unsecured workloads and containers provide a way into the cloud environment for cybercriminals, so cloud workload security platforms identify and track containers and workload instances. CWPP services also defend against malware and make security management easier across multiple PaaS environments.
Control of cloud protection posture (CSPM). A security posture manager audits the cloud environment on a regular basis for security and enforcement problems and offers manual or automated remediation. CASBs are increasingly incorporating CSPM features.