Read this article to know more about what parameters businesses can consider while evaluating Cloud Service Providers for security. This will help to ensure organizations’ success without compromising security.
With the surge in the adoption of cloud computing across industries into business-critical use cases, the security of these solutions has become more complex. As the US government has recently launched a new cybersecurity strategy, it will push cloud providers to enhance their security to protect customers from various threats. Businesses must be vigilant while selecting the right cloud provider for their operations. As migrating to the cloud exposes enterprises to multiple hazards and vulnerabilities, it is crucial for organizations, irrespective of their size, to select a provider with proven experience in security.
Here are a few cloud security parameters that organizations can consider while selecting a vendor:
Evaluate Adherence to Security Standards and Frameworks
Every organization has to adhere to various laws, regulations, or customer contracts based on their industry and type to secure the data they store and manage on behalf of their clients. Based on the industry and demographics of the business, cloud service providers must comply with various applicable laws and regulations.
ISO-27001, ISO-27002, and ISO-27017 are security standards that businesses need to look for in the vendor they are evaluating to partner with. These standards indicate if the cloud provider adheres to the security best practices and proactively strives to reduce risks. Another security standard businesses must look for is ISO-27018, which confirms if the cloud provider effectively secures personally identifiable information (PII). Decision makers must also consider if the cloud vendor adheres to governing regulatory bodies like California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Moreover, businesses in healthcare and finance even need to check if the vendor complies with other policies such as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
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Evaluate Backup and Disaster Recovery Processes
Technical glitches and disasters can occur at any time, which can lead to business disruption. Organizations need an effective strong backup and recovery process to secure crucial assets. Hence, while selecting the right secure cloud provider for the business, looking at the disaster recovery provisions and procedures is essential. Business leaders should consider evaluating the cloud’s storing and restoring data capabilities. Moreover, defining whose responsibility is to determine backup and recovery is crucial before partnering with a cloud vendor.
“The only way to ensure an organization is resistant to loss of access to data is to ensure a full and granular backup and recovery of all cloud data – a backup that is stored independently from the SaaS vendor whose applications are part of the day-to-day operations,” says Niels van Ingen, Chief Customer Officer at Keepit.
The best cloud vendor will store organizations’ sensitive data as backups on a different server to avoid loss during a disaster.
Determine the Type of Data
While evaluating the cloud provider’s security, it is essential to identify what type of data the business will migrate to the cloud. The kind of data that organizations migrate to the cloud might vary depending on their business type or industry. Enterprises can either transfer employee or customer data to the cloud to make it more accessible. Businesses can also migrate their sensitive data, like Intellectual Property and source code data, to the cloud systems. Based on the type of data organizations want to store, they can determine the security measures required.
Execute a Risk Assessment
Once the business leaders identify the type of data they are migrating to the cloud, they can execute a risk assessment. It is an effective way to determine the potential risk to the exposed data. While conducting a risk assessment, business leaders need to consider all the security risks data might have when stored and processed on the cloud. SecOps teams need to view all the potential risks inherent to cloud computing. Moreover, all the risks exposed to the organization’s data because of the other clients the vendor deals with should also be a crucial parameter because public clouds or shared cloud ecosystems will have significant threats and risks. There are various guides available that CISOs can consider to design and execute cloud computing risk assessment on the cloud provider.
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Run a Penetration Test
Many organizations used to rely on penetration tests to evaluate the security of on-premises systems. Cybersecurity leaders can design and run multiple security tests to determine how malicious actors would infiltrate the system. This approach enabled the SecOps team to spot the security gaps that must be addressed to enhance the security measures. Once the organization decides to migrate to the cloud can execute a penetration test on the preferred cloud provider to define the security weakness. Cloud vendors do not offer multiple enterprises to run penetration testing at once. Hence, while selecting the partners, all the opportunities to evaluate the security weaknesses and strengths through penetration testing should be clear. Organizations that do not have the capabilities to execute their test can leverage a third-party vendor that has expertise in penetration tests. The vendor might not offer a detailed report, but organizations can get an overview of the findings.
Evaluate the Vendor Governance and Access Policies
Businesses need trust as they migrate to the cloud and transfer sensitive data using third-party infrastructure. SecOps teams secure their business network by defining transparent vendor governance and access policies. These governance policies help organizations keep most of the security controls in their hands.
Security is one of the most crucial parameters to be evaluated while partnering with a cloud service provider. CISOs and SecOps teams can consider the abovementioned aspects while evaluating the cloud vendor to make the right decision.
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