What is Vulnerablity scanning in AWS?

For most companies, their AWS infrastructure is the core of their business. When you store data and run your business on top of AWS, according to the AWS Shared Responsibility Model, you need to be sure that your applications and data are secured correctly. 

Organizations looking to migrate their application stacks from on-premises to the cloud often face the same dilemma: 

How do I know if my application stack is secure? 

Even if it’s secure and safe at the time of the migration and validated by an ethnical hacker, what should I do to keep it secure in the time, knowing that everyday new vulnerabilites are detected and new CVE’s are published.

Although the cloud ecosystem is maturing, we still see organizations entrusting their enterprise workloads to cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud without knowing if their application stack has vulnerabilities. This article will look at how we can run a Vulnerablity scanning in AWS infrastructure and how to interpret the results.

What is Vulnerablity scanning in AWS?

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Finding vulnerabilities in AWS deployments, including apps running on AWS and data management procedures, is known as Vulnerablity scanning in AWS. An automated vulnerability scanner is used to find anomalies, deviations from security best practices, and security misconfigurations in the cloud.

The service level agreement between the cloud provider and the cloud customer and the security testing guidelines set by AWS govern the scope of the vulnerability scan.

What steps comprise the AWS vulnerability assessment process?

The scanning process can be divided into three parts: discovery, verification, and eradication. Discovery is where the scanner looks for vulnerabilities. This can be done manually or with a vulnerability discovery engine. Guarantee is where the scanner checks whether a vulnerability is present.

Understanding the different vulnerability types is essential to protect your AWS environment best. 

AWS vulnerability assessments can be completed in three steps. The first step is selecting a vulnerability scanner that meets your needs and AWS requirements. The actual scan is the second stage. Finally, after analyzing the discovered vulnerabilities, you repair them based on a priority index. We’ll go over each of these processes with you.

Select the appropriate vulnerability scanner.

Installing a virtual vulnerability scanner instance straight into AWS is the simplest method for performing an AWS vulnerability scan. You must pick a scanner that can operate under the AWS shared responsibility paradigm. To avoid breaking any of the rules, there are vulnerability scanners that conduct automatic scans while adhering to the AWS restrictions.

Running the scan

You can start or schedule a scan after the scanner is installed and configured. It will search across the AWS deployments using a vulnerability database to look for weaknesses and openings in your systems. The scanner can recognize the following flawness:

Coding mistakes such as SQLi, XSS,..: When your software is attacked, hackers may be able to attach an endpoint and retrieve data or delete data entirely.

Security misconfiguration: An incorrect security setting that might result in a breach is a security misconfiguration.

Unpatched software: To address security flaws, software patches are frequently provided. An intrusion could result from using obsolete, unpatched software.

In addition to this, a vulnerability scanner can identify potentially harmful IP addresses and domains, access control problems, and incorrectly configured S3 buckets.

There are some tests that AWS forbids you from running because they are disturbive, including

  • DDoS assaults or dummy operations
  • standard flooding
  • flooding of resource requests

These tests are in anyway not really relevant to detect the lawness described above.

Analyzing and Fixing the vulnerabilities

A reliable vulnerability scanner provides a list of vulnerabilities organized by risk level. The risk score combines a vulnerability’s CVSS rating and the potential harm it might do in a given circumstance. To establish an appropriate positioning, the risk score should consider a vulnerability’s general and situational features.

Based on the risk rankings assigned to vulnerabilities, you may create a remediation strategy and distribute resources to minimize developer involvement while addressing the most serious flaws.

You can find some suggested actions for repairing the vulnerabilities in the vulnerability scan report itself. However, your engineers’ task will be made significantly easier if you can enlist security professionals’ aid in reproducing and resolving the problems.

5 considerations when selecting a Vulnerablity scanning in the AWS tool

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This article is generic and doesn’t take into consideration specific commercial products, license costs and customers feedback.

Instead, we’ll discuss some under-the-radar problems that could have a significant influence on your AWS vulnerability assessment experience.

  1. Your time can be saved by using a product with a CXO and CISO friendly dashboard. You can monitor vulnerabilities, assign remediations, and work with security specialists from a single location. It makes life simpler for everyone involved, lets you move more quickly, and puts less strain on your brain.
  2. Look for an evolving scanner. New vulnerabilities are continually developing, and CVEs are constantly changing. A tool lags behind if the scanning rules are not always reviewed and updated.
  3. It helps to have a reliable security team behin d a tool. While attempting to remedy vulnerabilities, your developers or infrastructure team will run into several difficulties. At that time, some assistance from security professionals could help things go more smoothly.
  4. You may advance with vulnerability management more quickly if you have actionable reports and detailed remedy instructions.
  5. If you have also an on-prem datacenter or that you have a multi-cloud vision, it’s probably a better choice to have one unified interface to manage all your virtual machines from one interface.

Amazon has developped AWS Inspector, which is a AWS product for vulnerability scanning, agent based. AWS Inspetor is not activated by default and must be foreseen and deployed by an AWS Architect. AWS Inspector automatically identifies all relevant resources and launches ongoing checks for accidental network exposure and software flaws. Also, Amazon Inspector scans in reaction to specific occasions, such as adding a patch or new program.

Final Verdict

Given the nature of the policies and the delicate nature of the assets involved, security checks in the cloud environment are challenging. However, you must frequently engage in this activity since it is vital. It appears that Vulnerablity scanning in AWS is a challenging but essential operation that all companies using AWS EC2 or S3 services must carry out. You benefit greatly from having a firm understanding of the specifics of the procedure. To make things simpler, you need a vulnerability scanning solution tailored for the job and simple to deploy and scale.

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