Infrastructure-as-code templates are source of cloud infrastructure weaknesses

TechCentral.ie | February 06, 2020

In the age of cloud computing where infrastructure needs to be extended or deployed rapidly to meet ever-changing organisational needs, the configuration of new servers and nodes is completely automated. This is done using machine-readable definition files, or templates, as part of a process known as infrastructure as code (IaC) or continuous configuration automation (CCA). A new analysis by researchers from Palo Alto Networks of IaC templates collected from GitHub repositories and other places identified almost 200,000 such files that contained insecure configuration options. Using those templates can lead to serious vulnerabilities that put IaC-deployed cloud infrastructure and the data it holds at risk. “Just as when you forget to lock your car or leave a window open, an attacker can use these misconfigurations to weave around defences,” the researchers said. “This high number explains why, in a previous report, we found that 65% of cloud incidents were due to customer misconfigurations. Without secure IaC templates from the start, cloud environments are ripe for attack.”

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