As story after story shows up in the news about security breaches experienced by commercial and government enterprises, it’s clear that more needs to be done to shore up security resources. That goes double for organizations reliant on cloud services to support their business functions.
There’s no point in investing in the latest cloud tools if you don’t implement a robust cloud compliance policy.
The Challenges of Cloud Security and Compliance
While cloud computing can transform the way companies organize their data and access business tools, implementing the corresponding cloud server infrastructure can bring about additional complexity. Services that were originally managed by a centralized IT team may become the responsibility of individual teams without the experience or knowledge needed to properly address compliance issues within the cloud.
As company workforces become more mobile, hackers can find new ways to exploit holes found within a cloud server’s insecure network. It only takes one vulnerability to make an organization the victim of a ransomware or malware attack that cripples company functions and puts them at the hacker’s mercy.
Another big issue in cloud compliance and security is a failure to properly monitor who has permission to access sensitive information. When you have multiple IT shops within a company, or a shadow IT organization, it can become easy for someone to be given higher-level permissions and more access to company resources than is necessary.
Other compliance issues that often crop up when it comes to cloud security include:
- No consistent security controls placed around enterprise cloud storage and on-premise data sources
- No clear line of sight into the information held in a cloud server
- No comprehensive insight into the current security placed around a cloud environment
- No staff with the skills to handle a complex cloud environment
Compliance Versus Security
Compliance programs should establish a baseline for the controls placed around enterprise cloud solutions. However, establishing a compliance program isn’t enough to keep your environment secure. Advances in technology and development by others within an organization can quickly lead to multiple security gaps within a company’s cloud infrastructure.
Security protocols should address potential threats to your infrastructure, like hostile actors launching attacks, like phishing schemes, to steal credentials, social engineering techniques to fool individuals into giving up vital information, or injection attacks that give hacker’s access to your organization’s systems.
You don’t want your organization constantly reacting and playing defense against inside and outside threats. Staying compliant and secure requires having the right talent within your organization, so that they can build secure cloud solutions and follow your industry’s compliance requirements.
Ways to Improve Cloud Security and Compliance
Focus on the Data
You can’t implement proper security around information you don’t know exists. Start by tracking down every data source accessed by your cloud infrastructure (this can be especially challenging with microservices). Having well-defined resources makes it easier to maintain proper compliance while making it easy to scale and monitor your enterprise cloud services.
Track the movements and activities of individuals with privileged access within your organization. That should include:
- Looking into unusual behavior patterns or repeated attempts to access classified data
- Performing a system configuration assessment to ensure you’re meeting the standard of best security practices
- Implementing security monitoring and changing event capabilities to support real-time monitoring of changes made to sensitive files
Map Out Your Compliance Framework
Base your compliance program on the needs of your industry. Your technology team should have the skills and knowledge necessary to implement the technology needed to configure your cloud services to that policy.
If your industry doesn’t have specific federal or state regulations to follow, look at what it takes to protect the information of customers and clients you serve. You can reach out to the National Institute of Standards and Technology for help crafting common-sense business compliance standards.
Turn to Automation
It can be hard for even the most skilled security professional to monitor every aspect of a system, especially in a cloud environment. Instead, use automation to handle remediation workflows like:
- Adding and removing users
- Handling order processing
- Creating high-volume logs
- Running threat scanning and analysis
Partner With IP Networks For Better Cloud Security and Compliance
Global IP Networks’s team of cloud architects and technicians bring the skills and knowledge necessary to handle your organization’s cloud technology. Our company provides customized cloud services that fit your business’s size and needs. If you need help transitioning to the cloud, or properly managing a cloud environment, schedule a consultation today