Cloud vs Security

What is a security-first cloud strategy?

A security-first strategy lays the foundation for a secure cloud architecture BEFORE an organization migrates to the cloud. This method makes security central to business operations rather than a detail to be added later.

Cloud vs Security
Cloud vs Security

A combination of internal drivers, such as the need to optimize costs, increase efficiency, and scale to reach new markets combined with external pressures from competitive changes in markets and the need for constant innovation to improve customer experience, mean that business deliverables often take priority over taking the time to establish a comprehensive security-first cloud strategy.

The lack of understanding of cloud technology combined with a rushed cloud adoption can pose security risks for ill-prepared businesses – the lack of a clear understanding of cloud technology, opens up security vulnerabilities, meaning that enterprises are tending to fall into two cloud security traps:

  1. those that delay migration projects due to lack of cloud skills
  2. those that rush to deploy workloads due to business pressure, despite an identified cybersecurity skill gap

In their white paper “Architecting ‘Security-First’ Into Cloud Strategy,” experts from Cloud Academy note that while many businesses are moving to the cloud, they are often doing so without proper security knowledge and precautions in place. They show that one in three companies moving to the cloud is doing so without a solid security architecture in place.

Migration to Digital business requires a security-first approach that is understood by everyone in the business, here we lay out the three key considerations to achieving a security-first approach.

  • Concern about the security of public clouds in and of themselves is misplaced; the real concern lies with organizational, team, and individual security awareness, processes, and practices. Security must be a core part of your business strategy; a ‘security-first’ culture must be reinforced from the very top of your organization. For a successful security-first cloud strategy, senior leadership should promote this strategy from the top down and invest in ongoing training and resources to align everyone around this mindset. The risks of an ill-defined security strategy remain very serious and real to the financial and reputational success of your business. By considering security first and foremost, organizations can implement a more secure cloud architecture and reduce the risk of major security vulnerabilities.
  • Your organization must clearly understand the shared responsibility model. This dictates which security responsibilities sit with the provider and which sit with you, the customer.
    • The service provider manages security throughout their entire global infrastructure, from their physical presence to the underlying foundational resources that provide compute, storage, database, and network services.
    • Customers who import data and utilize the provider’s services are responsible for using those services and features provided to design and implement their own security mechanisms. This may include access control, firewalls (both at the instance and network levels), encryption, logging, and monitoring, and more.
  • Make teams responsible for architecting the relevant security safeguards within their respective parts of the development and deployment lifecycle. At a minimum, support any ‘security-first’ strategy by investing time and resources into ongoing training. Ideally, build your own internal certification that ensures teams understand how to effectively design and deploy solutions that are safe, secure, auditable, and traceable.

Security should not be a reason to shy away from running services on the cloud!

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