Risk Prioritization is Not Enough, Mitigation Must Be Part of Your Strategy

Blog Author
Abhinav Mishra

Solving your Hybrid Cloud Risk Through Runtime and Shift Left Visibility, Protection, and Remediation


The expanding cloud attack surface and the Shared Responsibility Model

In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, cloud security emerges as a pivotal concern for organizations worldwide. The complexity of modern cloud-native environments, spanning both cloud and on-premises infrastructures, presents unique challenges. Organizations struggle to effectively prioritize and mitigate security risks, often hindered by multiple layers and silos that increase response times and delay the protection of essential assets.

Can you sleep well at night with just a well-maintained hygienic cloud environment?

Bad actors exploit vulnerabilities and misconfigurations, but they also engage in phishing attacks and credential theft. No level of hygiene alone is sufficient to protect against these threats. While many market products can indicate what happened after an attack, it's crucial to implement processes, procedures, and technology that prevent future incidents—before it's too late. 

In order to prevent future incidents, a more proactive approach is needed. First, it’s important to start with a unified risk prioritization approach that analyzes security signals, not just agentless posture management and static risk, but through runtime insights and shift-left visibility in order to eliminate blind spots. However, with the increase in attack complexity, you need to be able to play defense as well and protect against malicious attacks through automatic workload protection and shift-left prevention in your software pipelines to reduce risk before it reaches your cloud environment.

At Uptycs, our customers tell us that our unified risk management platform, be it on- prem or in the cloud, combined with cloud workload protection, real-time remediation, and shift-left prevention allows them to reduce alert fatigue, operate with more efficiency, and protect their business with greater resiliency. Let’s dive deep into risk prioritization and how Uptycs enables you to take your risk management strategy to the next level. 

What you need: A mitigation-based risk prioritization approach with Uptycs

To combat the risk prioritization challenges and siloed security layers of hybrid-cloud environments, a mitigation-based approach is essential, focusing on:

  1. Prioritization: Uptycs helps you prioritize and identify risks by analyzing security signals across a fleet of assets in multiple clouds, ensuring you know what to address first.
  2. Protection: Uptycs can stop malicious attacks like cryptominers or data exfiltration in real-time, safeguarding your digital environment instantly.
  3. Remediation: By identifying key misconfigurations and vulnerabilities that led to attacks, Uptycs facilitates swift fixes, closing these misconfigurations and vulnerabilities before they can be exploited again.
  4. Prevention: Uptycs enables controls to prevent insecure configurations or code from entering your runtime environment, bolstering your defenses from the ground up.

How Uptycs works: Deep dive into operational excellence

In order to combat alert fatigue and noise from multiple attack surfaces and security signals, Uptycs integrates several innovative features to streamline cloud risk prioritization:

  • Unified risk scoring and detailed evidence:  Uptycs combines static agentless posture management with runtime security insights from cloud and container workloads. This comprehensive approach, including activity from the development pipeline, helps security teams prioritize critical risks and attack paths in real-time. Combining static detections with runtime insights significantly reduces alert fatigue for security teams where they can prioritize threats and vulnerabilities more effectively.  For example, understanding vulnerability processes that are actually loaded in memory and being used by applications helps remove a lot of noise during the prioritization process.
  • Centralized risky combinations: By bringing all risky combinations into one single location from across attack surfaces, be it a cloud workload or an S3 bucket, Uptycs enables security teams to focus on the most critical risks in their infrastructure and not be tied to asset-based or security silos.
  • Real-time threat detection: Using advanced analytics and threat intelligence, Uptycs detects and alerts on malicious activity and anomalies combining insights from the control plane as well as runtime workload activity allowing security teams to respond in real-time and take protective and remediative actions. 

Screenshot 1 - AWS All Risks

Figure 1 - Unified Risk Listing


First Uptycs prioritizes risk across different risk factors including static risk and real-time security data such as vulnerabilities and detections across multiple cloud resources and presents findings in one unified view allowing security teams to prioritize their risks.


image (7)-2

Figure 2 - Unified Risk Prioritization


Next, Uptycs allows you to drill into detailed evidence presenting potential attack paths, lateral movements, real-time threat detections, and key security findings all in one single evidence graph along with information on how the risk was scored. 


Uptycs doesn't just prioritize; it provides a single platform that can integrate with your existing tools and workflows for you to take action through protection, remediation, and prevention. 

  • Uptycs workload protection actions: Stop cryptominers, reverse shells, and other malicious activity on any cloud or on-prem workload in real-time as well as through automatic process blocking capabilities enabling you to protect your crown jewel data assets and the integrity of your business.
  • Auto-remediation rules: Uptycs provides guided remediation as well as built-in auto-remediation for cloud and Kubernetes misconfigurations such as internet exposure, compliance breaches, and threat detections.
  • Shift-left security policies: Using image security policies that span build to runtime, Uptycs enables security teams to shift-left and catch key security issues earlier in the software development life cycle based on key security criteria including vulnerabilities, malware, image integrity, and dev pipeline security posture via image provenance. Uptycs also scans for insecure infrastructure configurations on demand, as well as when insecure code is checked into software repositories.
  • Collection of forensics and historical data: Collect and analyze historical activity using Uptycs flight recorder to analyze threat patterns and perform root cause analysis to understand gaps in security coverage and implement key remediations across your infrastructure. 


Figure 3 - Workload Protection

Figure 3 - Real-Time Workload Protection

Uptycs gives you real-time workload protection capabilities enabling you to take action to stop malicious activity as well as automatically stopping key threats such as cryptominers, reverse shells, and data exfiltration attacks. 


Figure 4 - Image Security Policies

Figure 4 - Image Security Policies

Implement Shift-Left preventative measures to enable security controls before it affects your cloud runtime using image security policies across CI and Runtime deployments.


As cloud environments become increasingly integral to organizational IT infrastructures, the role of sophisticated tools like Uptycs in enabling effective risk prioritization becomes crucial. By focusing on the most critical threats and integrating preventive and reactive security measures, organizations can not only protect their digital assets but also ensure operational resilience against evolving cyber threats.