When companies decide to move their operations to the cloud, there is the inevitable question of security. Will our information be safe in the cloud? Will hosting our data in the cloud make us more susceptible to cyber attacks? What is cloud security and what is the correct way to implement it for our business?
Well-applied cloud security is the solution to all these questions, which is why it is essential to create a suitable cloud environment for companies and their customers. As web presence grows, sites must prepare to defend against attacks against their infrastructure.
What is cloud security?
Cloud security is a group of policies, controls, procedures, and technologies that together protect cloud-based systems and data. These security measures are configured to protect company data and customer privacy, as well as establish authentication rules for users and devices. From access authentication to traffic filtering, cloud security can be configured to individual business needs. And because these rules can be configured and managed in one place, administration overhead is reduced and IT teams can focus on other areas of the business.
Benefits of cloud security
Among the most important benefits offered by cloud security are the following:
· centralized security
Just as cloud computing centralizes applications and data, cloud security centralizes protection. Cloud-based business networks consist of numerous devices and endpoints. Managing these entities centralizes traffic analysis and filtering, streamlines monitoring of network events, and results in fewer software and policy updates. Disaster recovery plans can also be easily implemented and enforced when managed in one place.
· Costs reduction
Cloud storage and security eliminate the need to invest in dedicated hardware for this purpose. This reduces maintenance and administrative costs. Cloud security offers 24/7 protection with little or no human intervention.
Cloud computing services offer the ultimate in reliability. With security measures properly implemented in the cloud, users can safely access data and applications within the cloud no matter where they are or what device they are using.
· business benefits
Cloud computing enables organizations to operate at scale, reduce technology costs, and use agile systems that give them a competitive advantage. However, it is essential that organizations have full confidence in the security of their cloud computing and that all data, systems and applications are protected against data theft, leakage, corruption and deletion.
· Traditional security plus a plus
All software models are susceptible to threats, cloud security offers all the functionality of traditional IT security and allows businesses to take advantage of the many benefits of cloud computing while keeping it secure and ensuring compliance. data privacy and compliance requirements.
How to choose a cloud service provider safely?
Being a growing sector, we find more and more options for cloud service providers, so if we are not experts in the field, it can be difficult to find the most convenient one according to our needs. Therefore, we present some aspects to take into account to make this important decision.
The first thing to keep in mind is that you must be sure of your specific business needs, although it seems like a fairly obvious topic, having this clear before evaluating providers will help you choose the one that best suits your business model. . It’s also worth noting that when migrating applications and workloads to the cloud, the specific environments you choose and the services offered by your cloud service provider will determine the configurations required, the work you need to do, and the help you can get. get from the supplier. Ideally, therefore, you should choose your providers once you have identified your candidates, in parallel with analyzing and preparing these workloads for migration.
Once the previous point has been resolved, there are 7 aspects that you should review in order to buy from suppliers objectively:
· Certification and standards
If security is a priority look for accredited vendors with certifications like ISO 27000. More generally, look for structured processes, effective data management, good knowledge management and visibility into service health. Also understand how the provider plans to provide resources and support ongoing compliance with these standards.
Software Development Planning or Roadmapping is an important point to consider, depending on your particular cloud strategy, you may also want to assess the overall portfolio of services providers can offer. In this way you can ensure that in the future the service you chose can accompany you in the development of your company.
· Security Policies and Data Governance
You must take into account the regulations that govern personal data as well as the local laws of the place where the servers are hosted. Cloud service providers must be transparent about the locations of their data centers, but you must also take responsibility for finding this information. The CIF Code of Practices framework has useful guidance to help identify relevant data governance and security policies and processes as part of a supplier assessment.
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· Service dependencies and associations
Service providers may have multiple supplier relationships that it is critical to understand. Consider whether the services being offered fit into a larger ecosystem of other services that could complement or support it. In general, think twice before considering providers with a long chain of subcontractors. Especially with mission critical business processes or data governed by data privacy regulations.
· Service level agreement
Cloud agreements can seem complex, and this is not helped by a lack of industry standards for how they are built and defined. For SLAs, many jargon-challenged cloud providers continue to use language that is unnecessarily complicated or, worse yet, deliberately misleading. Agreements generally range from out-of-the-box “terms and conditions” agreed to online, to individually negotiated contracts and service level agreements (SLAs).
· reliability and performance
First, check the service provider’s performance against their SLAs over the last 6-12 months. Make sure the monitoring and reporting tools offered are sufficient and can be integrated into your overall management and reporting systems. Verify that your chosen provider has established, documented, and tested processes for dealing with planned and unplanned downtime, and seek to understand the provider’s disaster recovery provisions, processes, and their ability to support your data retention expectations (including recovery time objectives).
· Migration support, vendor lock-in, and exit planning
Cloud services that rely heavily on proprietary or custom components may affect their portability to other providers or internal operations. This is especially true if the applications have to be re-engineered to run on a service provider platform. Avoid the risk of vendor lock-in by ensuring your chosen vendor has minimal use of proprietary technology or minimizes use of services that limit your ability to migrate or transition. Similarly, make sure you have a clear exit strategy at the beginning of your relationship. Moving away from a CSP service is not always a smooth or easy transition, so it pays to learn about their processes before signing a contract.