The IT industry has made significant strides with cloud computing security and many organizations remain anxious about emerging cloud security risks. A new generation of malware and hacking techniques continue to threaten different organizations’ data and apps on the cloud. We are seeing many different cloud security vulnerabilities being introduced through bringing your own device (BYOD) risks, web application risks and incomplete cloud visibility.
To fight off these cloud risks, organizations need to act quickly to seek the cloud’s advantages while maintaining control over their assets. So how do organizations grow with the cloud and ensure they’re acting responsibly when it comes to cloud security?
The Cloud is Not as Secure as You Think
When we think of cloud security, the first thing that comes to mind is data loss but that is the wrong way to think about it. When organizations implement different cloud services, one of the main security factors that is focused on is if the network and resources are safe. Instead, we should be additionally focusing more on how employees are using cloud services. One of the lesser-known challenges with the cloud is if your team is implementing and taking the appropriate cautionary steps when deploying resources.
Organizations need to implement different cloud security tools that encrypt data and access control and implement organization-wide cloud policies. By implementing these tools they will fix or play safeguard with the appropriate amount of cloud security hygiene. But at the end of the day, it all starts with a strong cloud security policy.
What is a Cloud Security Policy?
With the increasing global adoption of cloud computing, having a cloud security policy is essential for every organization. Cloud security policies are the guidelines under which companies operate in the cloud, often implemented in order to ensure the integrity and privacy of company-owned information.
When most organizations migrate to the cloud, they often mistakenly indicate that the current security policy will cover the cloud security rules in their policy. While there is some sense to this, it’s rather lacking and it can create specific holes exposed to potential risks. However, organizations need to consider incorporating the importance of cloud security into their existing security policies and standards. A cloud security policy needs to be flexible and interchangeable in order to meet the new security rules of the organization.
Your policy must be simple to understand by all of your employees. In order to keep training costs down, it’s best to avoid overcomplication and technical complexity in the policy. The best security policy will be one that is clear and concise. Don’t be afraid to state the obvious, as that way nobody can claim to have missed the point. Every cloud security policy should start with a definition of intent, which clearly outlines the whole point of the policy.
The Key Principles of a Successful Cloud Security Policy
The policies for your organization’s cloud security must come from all corners of an organization; from your developers, security team, management team, and so on. These policies are the basis for all cloud security planning, design and deployment. These policies should be able to provide direction on how the issues should be handled and what are the best technologies to be used.
While security policies are very easy to decide on, the main issue is to implement them properly. The organization’s security policies depend on the different content on which they are implemented. These security policies of an organization are required to protect the cloud security of an organization.
Here are the key principles of successful cloud security policies that you can implement at your organization:
Implementing Security Awareness Program
Educating users on the need for security is important as it will help them understand the importance of cloud security, and how it will benefit them in their daily work. Implementing a security awareness program is a major step with your cloud security policy.
The program should explain why security is everyone’s responsibility and show the users about their role in maintaining security. This is because people often tend to think that only the security team’s responsibility in protecting the security of their company.
Once an organization has implemented the policy, it has to be clearly communicated to all the people responsible for enforcing and complying with it. It can include employees, service providers, and other relevant users.
The policy can be introduced to the employees during their start at the organization and incorporated into the company’s Employee Handbook. A key part of the communication process is to establish a record that those involved have read, understood, and agreed to abide by the policy. It is a challenge to ensure that users understand and accept the policy that governs them. A clear, concise, coherent, and consistent policy is more likely to be accepted and followed.
Authorized Access Regulations
To prevent any unauthorized access to your cloud network environment or cloud resources, organizations need to implement precise access control regulations internally. By implementing access regulations it will prevent potential holes in your organization’s network on the cloud.
By implementing these regulations in your cloud security policy you will be only giving access to the users that actually need access for their day to day job. The policy should include authentication protocols, identity and authorization management, authorization, and authentication protocols, like in the Zero Trust security model.
Encrypting Cloud data
When creating a cloud security policy one of the most important sections has to be data encryption. By enforcing cloud data encryption, organizations will be more secure knowing that only authorized users will be able to access sensitive data and cloud resources. Additionally, organizations should encrypt data and cloud resources that are being uploaded to the cloud to ensure that they are secure and protected.
We recommend that you schedule a monthly data encryption update to make sure that your data and resources on the cloud are secure and protected.
Monitoring your cloud environment
Monitoring is a critical component of cloud security policy. By implementing automated tools helps your organization get a macro view of your entire network. Cloud monitoring provides an easier way to see different activity patterns and any potential vulnerabilities in your network on the cloud. By implementing an effective cloud monitoring solution it will put the organization’s security and compliance team at ease knowing there is a system in place.
An organization’s cloud security policy can be a decisive factor when deciding the right direction by implementing different cloud services and resources. However, it shouldn’t change the organization’s mission. With that in mind, it’s important to create an employee-friendly cloud security policy that is aligned with an organization’s culture and helps the employee work more smoothly without interfering with their day to day work environment. In conclusion, a more complete cloud security policy will keep your company safe but don’t forget the policy starts with your employees.