The modern world is full of signals. A select few are critically important, others are interesting or informative, and the overwhelming majority are less useful or painfully irrelevant. All of these signals that are neither useful nor relevant are best categorized as noise.

For security professionals, it's easy to get lost in this noise. Many of them get email, text, or Slack notifications for every helpdesk ticket that is issued, updated, and closed. The average security manager might get hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly reports from a variety of different tools that they and their teams may or may not interact with on a regular basis. And at some point, the thousands of alarms and notifications that these same tools generate on a weekly basis end up causing mind-numbing alert fatigue that bogs down security teams. Research has found that 75% of companies are actually spending more time chasing down false positives than responding to genuine security incidents, TechRepublic reports.

Are these signals important? Maybe. Are they getting to the right people at the right time? Hopefully. But hope is not enough when it comes to cloud security.

Misconfigurations add to the clamor

Our 2021 Cloud Misconfigurations Report confirms that data breaches attributed to cloud misconfigurations are still a significant concern for enterprises across all industries. It's hard to go a few days without hearing of yet another incident in which the data is breached, leaked, or otherwise mishandled. In fact, according to our data, there are 2.3 data breaches per week... and that number doesn't include those that aren't reported.

There are many reasons why cloud misconfigurations remain such a significant problem. One contributing factor that continues to be front and center is the overabundance of noise that comes with the ephemeral, fast-evolving nature of cloud environments. The cadence at which security teams are bombarded with alerts and notifications is overwhelming. Yet these teams are still responsible for ensuring the security of the sensitive data in complex cloud environments.

As stewards of this data, security teams must have a comprehensive cloud security solution that allows them to continuously monitor and react to threats. Security teams are trying to understand the high-priority issues that actually matter, all while keeping up with the fast, continuous pace of innovation. To accomplish this, they must invest in a solution that gets the right signals to the right people at the right time, through the right means.

Many of the tools that enterprises use to be better, faster, and stronger are incredibly powerful, but sometimes this power can create chaos and noise. This is especially true for the many cloud security solution types available today. Almost any cloud security tool should be able to tell you if you have a storage bucket open to the public. But what if that storage bucket is meant to be open? What if it's in a protected environment? What if your developers have created strategic exemptions to specific rules for a legitimate reason?

At best, the security team receives the alert, investigates it, and then determines that there is no issue. While this is by no means an efficient or scalable approach to handling cloud security incidents, nothing catastrophically bad has happened. There wasn't an actual data breach, and the developers weren't impeded by security, since their instance wasn't shut down automatically.

But there are other, more likely scenarios to consider. For example, what if the security team's investigation of a harmless exemption diverts their attention from a more critical alert? If the real alert is ignored amid the noise and the threat remains unresolved, the entire organization is at risk. As we know, there are huge repercussions of a data breach — from financial to legal to operational to reputational. In fact, according to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach is now up to $4.24 million.

Cutting through to the signal

With this much at stake, security teams can't become immune to critical alerts or blind to the information that is essential to maintaining continuous cloud security. InsightCloudSec helps reduce noise through its extensibility and the level of granularity through which you can determine the scope of alerts (and actions in response to those alerts).

Unified visibility and terminology

InsightCloudSec sets the noise-reduction table by providing a single source of visibility into cloud environments that spans across AWS, GCP, Microsoft Azure, Alibaba Cloud, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, and Kubernetes. By offering a standardized asset inventory across cloud service providers, security teams can apply policy and leverage real-time automated remediation consistently.

Curated, context-rich information

We've added value to this unified visibility by giving you the ability to finely tune the scope of what information you want to capture through our filters, insights, and exemptions.

Filters

InsightCloudSec filters provide a way to explore your cloud environment and surface problems of interest. You can specify the conditions that InsightCloudSec searches to identify matching resources. Currently, InsightCloudSec offers almost 1,400 out-of-the-box filters, with almost infinite possibilities for customization.

Insights

An InsightCloudSec insight is a check on a specific behavior, condition, or characteristic of a cloud resource. Built from the abundant (and continuously growing!) library of filters, an insight allows you to view all of your clouds and provides an in-depth understanding of your infrastructure's security, compliance, optimization, or other characteristics that you specify.

Insights can be defined around any individual resource or resource type to identify resources that may need to have limited public accessibility. Insights can focus on specific characteristics or configuration issues, identify a network missing an internet gateway, or identify a database without encryption. As with filters, insights can be customized to fit almost any need.

Exemptions

As with any rule, there are always exceptions… or in this case, exemptions. InsightCloudSec allows you to specify resources that should be exempt from an insight. Exemptions can even be tuned to a specific time period. Using this functionality allows organizations to have a highly curated, context-rich approach to the data, and to notifications about that data.

Get the alerts you want, how and when you want them

InsightCloudSec integrates with SMTP/email, Slack, Microsoft Teams, ServiceNow, PagerDuty, Jira, Jinja2, and more. These integrations empower security teams to specify how they want to receive their alerts to monitor and address problems efficiently and effectively.

For example, let's say that you only want to receive notifications related to a specific regulation (e.g., PCI-DSS). Through our pack-level notifications, you can send notifications (via email, Slack, etc.) based on a collection of insights that together form the compliance framework. InsightCloudSec offers both out-of-the-box compliance packs and the ability to create custom packs to fit your organization's specific needs.

The pack-level notification capability includes cadence settings, so you have the ability to send it weekly, daily, or hourly. It allows for the delivery of information around an entire category of insights, enabling organizations to cut down on the noise of individual notifications that might not provide the full context your team needs.

With the persistence of data breaches due to cloud misconfigurations, it is essential for organizations to invest in tools to help them tune into the right information about their complex cloud environments.

Interested in seeing firsthand how InsightCloudSec can reduce noise for your organization? See it in action in our demo.

To learn more about the essentials of good cloud security, see our previous blog post on shifting left here.