Cloud Security: A Guide to Vulnerability Management and Malware Detection

Moving to the cloud offers a wide range of benefits for businesses, including increased productivity, flexibility, and scalability. That's why around 60% of corporate data globally is stored in the cloud.

However, using this technology comes with its own set of challenges, where security is one of the biggest ones. Recent statistics show that 79% of companies find it challenging to ensure cloud security.

Additionally, the State of Cloud Security Report 2022 shows that 80% of organizations have fallen victim to at least one cloud security incident. That's why it's critically important to prioritize cloud security, and implementing a strong vulnerability management system can help you with that.

In this article, we'll discuss everything you need to know about vulnerability management in cloud security, including its importance and detailed steps and best practices for its implementation.

What is Vulnerability Management in Cloud Security?

Definition for Google Snippet: In simple words, vulnerability management is an ongoing process of discovering, assessing, prioritizing, and remediating security vulnerabilities in a cloud system. The main purpose of this approach is to minimize bugs and security weaknesses that malicious online actors can exploit.

Implementing a vulnerability management system allows you to improve cloud security for your organization and prevent malware attacks by keeping a constant eye on security holes and deploying updates to fill them.

Most Common Cloud-Based Vulnerabilities

To keep the cloud safe, it's essential to understand the most common cloud-based security vulnerabilities. Doing so will help you enhance the security posture of your cloud vulnerability management system and make it resilient against potential threats.

Here's a list of the most common cloud-based security vulnerabilities.

  • Misconfigurations
  • Data Loss/Theft
  • Non-Compliance
  • Weak Access Management
  • Vulnerable APIs
  • Lack of encryption

Importance of Cloud Vulnerability Management

The importance of cloud vulnerability management can never be overstated because of the following reasons.

Enhanced Security

The main purpose of any cloud vulnerability management system is to enhance the security of the cloud platform, the apps linked to it, and all the data it handles.

It provides constant surveillance for your applications and data, ensuring protection and identifying flaws which can be addressed instantly.

Highly Preventative

Due to continuous detection, assessment, and correction of flaws and weaknesses, a vulnerability management system can help you prevent a variety of cyberattacks targeted at your organization.

Not only does it protect the sensitive data and applications on your cloud system but it also keeps it working optimally, ensuring around-the-clock availability.

Time and Cost Saving

When an application and its cloud-stored data aren't properly monitored, it increases the risk of successful cyberattacks. To deal with the aftermath, you need to spend extra time and money on fixing the damage, as well as vulnerabilities exploited due to these flaws.

This is precisely where a robust cloud vulnerability management system comes in. It helps you address vulnerabilities before they lead to significant damage and minimizes the need for time-consuming and costly fixes.

How to Implement Cloud Vulnerability Management

As mentioned already, cloud vulnerability management is the ongoing monitoring of the cloud environment for the identification and correction of security vulnerabilities.

You can implement it using these steps.

Vulnerability Detection

The first step of cloud vulnerability management is vulnerability detection, which means identifying malware and built-in security flaws in the system. The easiest and most effective way to perform this step is to use a vulnerability scanner.

Ideally, you would want to use a scanner that can detect most cloud vulnerabilities mentioned in different industry standard frameworks, such as SANS 25, SP 800-40, CIS Controls, and OWASP Top 10.

Assessing Risks

Assessing risks is about determining the extent of each vulnerability's threat level. You can achieve it by correlating the vulnerabilities with the common vulnerability database and evaluating their impact scale and likelihood of occurring.

Performing this step will allow you to determine which vulnerabilities require urgent attention and develop a comprehensive mitigation plan.

Addressing Vulnerabilities

After analyzing the vulnerabilities according to their risk levels, the next step is to fix them based on the data you obtained from the risk assessment.

Vulnerability Assessment Report Generation

Once you have fixed the vulnerabilities, the next step is to create a thorough vulnerability assessment report using a cloud-based vulnerability scanner. It'll contain detailed information about all the flaws found in the cloud system, along with their threat levels and the methods you used to identify them.


As the name implies, re-scanning is about performing the vulnerability detection step again. It'll allow you to make sure that all the vulnerabilities discovered during the first scan have been patched properly.

Best Practices for Cloud Vulnerability Management

Now that you understand what cloud vulnerability management is and how you can implement it, let's discuss the best practices to maximize its effectiveness.

Use Proxy Servers

Proxy servers make for a valuable security tool as they encrypt your online data and preserve your online anonymity. These servers establish a secure tunnel between the client and the cloud server to make sure that all data transmission takes place through an encrypted channel.

Not only does it ensure data protection and privacy, but also lightens the load on the vulnerability management team.

Implement Comprehensive Malware Detection

Malware detection should be an integral part of your vulnerability management system because stats show that there are more than 1 billion malware out there.

You can use a reliable vulnerability scanner that can scan for and detect even the most minor malware and flaws continuously. While opting for a vulnerability scanner, make sure that it:

  • Comes with an extensive vulnerability database
  • Performs behind-the-login scans and malware checking
  • Spots logic problems
  • Eliminates any false positives
  • Ensures there are no false negatives

Perform Regular Pentests

One of the most effective ways to manage cloud vulnerabilities is to perform regular pentests. Unlike simple scans, these tests actively exploit identified weaknesses and show exactly how much damage a potential malware or cyberattack could cause.

They help you identify vulnerabilities and loopholes in your system and provide actionable insights to address them before they can be exploited by hackers.

Use Vulnerability Prioritization Approach

The basic purpose of vulnerability prioritization is to separate the high-risk vulnerabilities that need immediate attention from the less critical ones that can be addressed later or might not even need fixing.

You can use the CVSS (Common Vulnerability Scoring System) for this purpose, as it guides you in sorting/scoring vulnerabilities based on their threat levels and helps you focus on what matters most for your organization.

Final Words

Cloud security isn't just about reacting to cyberattacks aimed at your organization. It's about taking proactive measures and making your cloud systems resilient against all types of potential threats.

Implementing a comprehensive vulnerability management system is one of the most effective ways to achieve that. It can help you identify weaknesses and flaws, along with their impact scale, in your system so that you can fix them before they're exploited.

Remember, vulnerability management is an ongoing process, so make sure that you update the system constantly to combat the latest cyber threats.

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