Difference between revisions of "Cloud-10 Nonproduction Environment Exposure"

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user can steal the sensitive production data. Examples of such data
 
user can steal the sensitive production data. Examples of such data
 
are credit card and social security numbers.
 
are credit card and social security numbers.
 +
 +
To mitigate non-production environment exposure risk, an organization
 +
should consider the following:
 +
 +
1. Ensure that the credentials used for accessing non-production environments
 +
are strong, and conform to the same standards as the production environment.
 +
 +
2. The data in the non-production environment is not a copy of the data in
 +
the production environment.

Latest revision as of 22:14, 15 February 2010

An IT organization that develops software applications internally employs a set of non-production environments for design, development, and test activities. The non-production environments are generally not secured to the same extent as the production environment. This is to ease and facilitate the development and test cycles. Such non-production environments are not only accessed by the employees of the organization, but also by the outsourced vendors. In a non-cloud environment, the non-production environments are in the data-center of the organization, and are under complete ownership of the organization. Therefore, the organization can appropriately control the access of these environments.

If an organization chooses to use a cloud provider for a non-production environment, then the organization loses control over them. Since cloud is publicly accessible, there is a high risk that an unauthorized user may get access to the non-production environment. A malicious user may alter the environment in such a way that it becomes unusable. Or even worse, a malicious user may completely delete the environment.

A non-production environment may use generic authentication credentials. The passwords used in non-production environment may not conform to the standard password policy of the organization. In such a case, unauthorized access becomes very easy.

An organization may create a non-production environment by copying data from its production equivalent. In such a case, an unauthorized user can steal the sensitive production data. Examples of such data are credit card and social security numbers.

To mitigate non-production environment exposure risk, an organization should consider the following:

1. Ensure that the credentials used for accessing non-production environments are strong, and conform to the same standards as the production environment.

2. The data in the non-production environment is not a copy of the data in the production environment.