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Securing an Expanding Cloud Infrastructure

Note:  Nessus Cloud is now a part of Tenable.io Vulnerability Management. To learn more about this application and its latest capabilities, visit the Tenable.io Vulnerability Management web page.

Although cloud infrastructure is being implemented by many organizations, there still seems to be a degree of skepticism regarding its security. According to a survey conducted by SANS, 40% of organizations surveyed said unauthorized access to sensitive data from other tenants was the most pressing concern with public cloud deployments. Another 33% said they do not currently have enough visibility into their public cloud providers' operations. Do you share similar concerns? How can you address them, or at the very least mitigate them?

When we take into account how quickly an organization can set up various systems in a cloud infrastructure, the security of these systems must be brought to the forefront of discussion. Having the flexibility to quickly deploy, tear down, and redeploy systems is great, but how are you going to secure them?

Tenable solutions

Tenable delivers a comprehensive cloud security solution based on continuous network monitoring. This is accomplished by leveraging several of Tenable’s network sensors: active scanning, intelligent connectors, host data, and agent scans. Implementing these sensors in a cloud deployment delivers multiple data points to ensure continued security as your organization continues to grow.

Active scanning

Procedures and processes can get very convoluted when cloud infrastructures are implemented. It's another environment for which you must monitor credentials, system access, and privileges. With Nessus® Manager and Nessus Cloud, you can run audit and vulnerability scans on demand, or in pre-scheduled intervals to assess your systems in the cloud.

Intelligent connectors

While there are multiple vendors offering cloud solutions, Tenable has taken the extra step in providing seamless integration with some of the most widely used cloud providers. Nessus Manager and Nessus Cloud enable organizations to have access to unique templates created for several major cloud providers. Whether you have chosen to go with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Rackspace, Tenable has you covered with an easy to use security platform that integrates with these popular cloud services.

Nessus Cloud is now pre-authorized to scan Amazon Web Services (AWS) environments. Any customer with a Nessus Cloud license can launch a scanner into their AWS environment from the AWS Marketplace, point it at the targets they'd like to scan, and then view and manage the scan results in Nessus Cloud. Proper setup of the AWS scanner can be found in the How-To Guide.

Host data

As stated in the SANS survey, 40% of organizations said unauthorized access to sensitive data by other cloud tenants was the most concerning topic regarding cloud deployments. Tenable SecurityCenter Continuous View® (SecurityCenter CV™) is equipped with host data analysis capabilities to review many event types, such as stopped/running databases, admin and non-admin user events, and system configuration reviews. By leveraging host data such as that gathered by Tenable Log Correlation Engine®, SecurityCenter CV provides the insight you need to detect if there are any unauthorized actions happening in your cloud deployment.

Addressing the issue of securing new infrastructure, Tenable also gathers host configuration information. You can use this data to ensure that your cloud-based systems are configured to meet the security standards followed by your organization.

Agent scanning

One of the more difficult challenges facing organizations utilizing cloud infrastructure is continuous security. Using a cloud environment may increase an organization’s attack surface and inherently increase risk. By utilizing Nessus Cloud and Nessus Manager, you can better mitigate risk with their ability to perform agent scanning. Agents can be installed on cloud systems locally to collect vulnerability, compliance, and system data. By leveraging agent scans, your organization has yet another option for monitoring and securing your cloud environments. It's great having access to scan data that informs you of a cloud environment’s security posture at that time, but what about when you’re not actively running scans? You can install agents on your cloud hosts to report back vulnerabilities, compliance results, and system configurations and alert your team to unauthorized events and other items of concern.


Cloud infrastructure continues to be an incredible technology for expanding and adjusting your environment with unprecedented flexibility. However, there must be additional attention to security during implementation to ensure continued security during growth. With Tenable solutions, you can continue to expand at record rates while ensuring due diligence is applied to your cloud environment’s security.

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