Enterprises contemplating a move to a cloud solution often cite security concerns among their chief reservations for a shift. It’s important to determine whether these concerns are indicative of a security tradeoff, and if so, whether that tradeoff is worth the gains of a cloud migration, or if they can be addressed with a cloud security strategy.
In most situations, the switch to a cloud solution is an upgrade to system security, but it depends heavily on whether workload design and implementation is correctly administered. There are three key areas to be addressed in a cloud security strategy:
Security Is Never Automatic
Cloud solutions offer an array of benefits, including some features that make some cloud options inherently more secure, such as geographically diverse data centers, frequent upgrades and a high level of physical security protection. In addition, take a look at the security landing pages for your prospective cloud provider.
They often list several investments they’re making in securing their solution. They likely offer encryption, audit trails and monitoring, but these aren’t automatically in place when you migrate a workload to the cloud. You’ve got to have security integrated into your deployment configuration, or these benefits may be lost or never perform at the level expected.
Collaboration Is Necessary, but Can Be Risky
There’s generally collaboration required between stakeholders and vendors, though the level can vary by industry. This collaboration requires some levels of trust and access, and it can put critical assets at risk. Any cloud security strategy should address the necessary access and way to mitigate the risk to proprietary information and systems.
Your Cloud Security Strategy Isn’t Limited to Technical Perspectives
Addressing security should be approached as a core business discipline, not just from a technical viewpoint. A cloud migration includes many business decisions that impact business units and the broader organization, including relationships with vendors.
This is a new approach, because in the past, security was often considered to only impact the technical realm. When security is considered in its place as a core business discipline, the importance of addressing it from a corporate strategy perspective becomes critical.
Mitigating Cloud Security Issues
A threat model identifies three components that must be addressed with a cloud security strategy: assets that require protection, adversaries that pose a threat and the possible vulnerabilities that may be used for malicious intent. The threat model becomes the foundation for the decision-making around security, helping the enterprise determine where to invest resources and how to define risk within a business context, as well as measure success.
By contrast a trust model uses parameters to define the interactions between the enterprise or its representative and the vendor. These parameters include information about why the enterprise trusts the vendor, how that trust will be provisioned, and under what circumstances the trust will be removed. These guidelines help the organization make critical security decisions.
For more information about creating a reliable cloud security strategy to support your cloud migration, contact us at eXemplify. We can help you leverage the best cloud solutions while protecting your most critical data and systems assets.