The guide, introduced as “The 12 Most Critical Risks for Serverless Applications,” was published for both security administrators and software developers dealing with serverless architectures but goes well beyond giving the clues of the risks associated. It is not just meant for this but also provides a basic understanding to implement the best practices for all other platforms as well.
Top 12 most potential risk factors are characterized as under:
Risk 1: Function Event-Data Injection
Serverless functions can take input from different types of event sources, and each event source has its own system configuration and encoding framework. Various parts of these event messages may contain assailant controlled or untrusted inputs that ought to be cautiously investigated.
Risk 2: Broken Authentication
Since serverless advances a microservices-oriented framework design, applications may contain dozens or even hundreds of other functions. Applying robust authentication can easily go awry and that’s why it should be executed carefully.
Risk 3: Insecure Serverless Deployment Configuration
Cloud service providers offer many different configuration setups to adapt services for specific needs. Out-of-the-box settings are not necessarily always going to be the most secure. As more organizations are joining to the cloud, cloud configuration flaws will become more progressively predominant.
Risk 4: Overprivileged Function Permissions and Roles
Supervising function permissions and job role is one of the most overwhelming security tasks companies are facing when moving applications to the cloud. It is quite common to see administrator cut corners and apply a “wildcard” (catch-all) authorization model.
Risk 5: Inadequate Function Monitoring and Logging
Most of the cloud organization arrange extremely capable logging services, these logs are not always capable for the purpose of providing a full proof security event audit trail at the application layer.
Risk 6: Insecure Third-Party Dependencies
While the problem of insecure third-party libraries is not explicit to serverless, being able to identify malicious packages is more difficult in serverless environments given the lack of ability to apply network and behavioral security controls.
Risk 7: Insecure Application Secrets Storage
One of the most frequently recurring mistakes related to application secrets storage, is to simply store these secrets in a plain text config file that is a part of the software project. Another common mistake is to store these secrets in plain text, as environment variables.
Risk 8: Denial-of-Service and Financial Resource Exhaustion
Serverless architectures bring the guarantee of automated versatility and high accessibility; in any case, as with any other kind of application, it is basic to apply best practices and good framework in order to stay away from bottlenecks.
Risk 9: Serverless Business Logic Manipulation
Business rational manipulation is a typical issue in numerous kinds of programming. Still, serverless applications are one of a kind, as they are made to follow the microservices framework and contain various functions put together to form the overall logic. Without proper authorization, hackers may be able to crack with the intended logic.
Risk 10: Improper Exception Handling and Verbose Error Messages
Line-by-line troubleshooting options for serverless-based applications are very few (and more difficult) when compared with troubleshooting capabilities for normal applications. Thus, programmers most of time adopt the use of verbose error messages, which may release sensitive data.
Risk 11: Legacy/Unused Functions & Cloud Resources
Over time, serverless application and related cloud assets may become outdated and may be decommissioned. The explanation behind pruning obsolete components is to diminish unnecessary costs and take out avoidable risks. Old serverless application components may incorporate deprecated serverless function versions, unused cloud resources, unnecessary event sources, unused roles or identities, and unused dependencies.
Risk 12: Cross-Execution Data Persistency
Serverless frameworks offer application developers local disk storage, environment variables, and memory to complete their tasks. To make serverless platforms effective in handling new invocations, cloud providers might reuse the execution environment for subsequent invocations. If the serverless execution environment is reused for subsequent invocations, belonging to different users or sessions, it is possible that sensitive data will be left behind and might be exposed.
It’s important to note that the main objective of this information is to make aware and assist organizations to create serverless securely, not to spread fear. Security flaws always stay in any type of platform, and serverless is also the same. CSA’s main objective is to raise these issues to encourage organizations to follow new technologies while avoiding risk factors and silly mistakes.