The cloud has brought with it a host of benefits for businesses. But it comes with its own set of risks that businesses were, until now, not exposed to. So, it is important to put in place effective cloud governance measures to keep these risks in check.
With on-premises IT infrastructure, enterprises have fixed capital costs and fairly constant operating costs. All employees use the same software, and the network resides behind a firewall. The cloud, on the other hand, is a different ball game.
The cloud allows users to launch assets with one click and take advantage of all sorts of software and apps. The best part is you only pay for what you use. But the thing is, the agility, affordability, and flexibility brought about by the cloud come at a cost – security.
Who is Responsible for Cloud Security?
Protecting your cloud data is not the responsibility of your cloud service provider. It does play a role, however. After all, it has watertight systems designed by the best cloud security experts. But, at the end of the day, most vulnerabilities and breaches emanate from the customer’s end. These vulnerabilities include:
- Human error
- Poor security practices
- Application vulnerabilities
- Insecure APIs (application programming interfaces) and UIs (user interfaces)
- Insufficient credential, access, and identity management
The above vulnerabilities have a much higher threat rating than malicious insiders, account hijacking (through phishing), and nontargeted malware attacks.
How Does Cloud Governance Resolve These Issues?
Cloud governance refers to the policies, rules, and processes used by enterprises to operate in the cloud. These policies dictate the time, purpose, and persons who can access assets. They also dictate the protocols for protection against malicious attacks.
You can create rules that govern user accounts, audit trails, encryption key management, asset configuration, and multifactor authentication. You can also create password policies and rules for data recovery. Load these rules onto a cloud management platform (CMP) that monitors cloud activity and responds automatically to violations with preconfigured processes. The CMP notifies key personnel, terminates nonconforming assets, revokes account access, and requests approval before allowing events to take place. The automation of responses eliminates the element of human error in data breaches.
Other Ways Cloud Governance Helps
You want to identify the workflows you can execute in the cloud and the ones to keep on-premises. To guarantee consistency throughout your cloud operations, you must outline common tasks for applying a cloud solution. You can, then, apprise your teams of that solution.
Most cloud providers claim that their services are cost-efficient. However, you need to take a more proactive approach toward managing cloud costs. You want to make sure your cloud operations are cost-efficient. The unnecessary use of cloud resources usually leads to a spike in costs. Create a policy on resource usage dictating when and how you use them.
You must have policies in place to examine how well your cloud environment is performing. This helps to pinpoint key areas of improvement. You can use third-party tools for this, or the native monitoring tools provided by your cloud provider.