Learn the “shift left” approach and other key practices for tackling cloud data security at enterprise scale
While 70% of the world uses cloud data and applications, not all organization’s security requirements are created equal. The scale, volume, and tradeoffs that enterprise security teams have to manage require a different approach to cloud data security. This article will cover enterprise cloud security’s unique challenges and how security teams can overcome each of them.
Learn more about cloud data security with Cloud Data Security – The Ultimate Guide.
How to manage enterprise cloud security at scale
As technically sophisticated as many small and mid-sized companies are, their data and application landscape rarely matches the scale of their enterprise counterparts. Large organizations often have a vast and complex array of data stores spread across on-premises, public cloud, and private cloud environments. The security teams responsible for overseeing this sprawl should focus on achieving infrastructure visibility and employing rigorous data deletion practices.
- Cloud visibility: The lack of sufficient visibility into cloud infrastructure is the second most prevalent issue in cloud security. Without a direct line of sight into all of an enterprise’s data stores and flows, a security team cannot properly assess vulnerabilities, adapt their strategy, and implement the appropriate policy and technology changes. This is one of the primary reasons Symmetry Systems built DataGuard. DataGuard is a data store and object security (DSOS) solution that provides complete data asset visibility across an organization’s entire IT infrastructure – cloud to on-premises. To see how DataGuard could enhance your cloud visibility, reach out.
- Data deletion: One of the most important ways companies can protect their information assets is by deleting data that is no longer useful but could nonetheless pose a threat if compromised. While organizations of all sizes should be wary of this risk, the scale of enterprise operations makes it easy for sensitive data of this nature to float within the cloud infrastructure, remaining vulnerable to malicious actors. To mitigate this risk, security teams should implement a rigorous data deletion protocol. This means developing data expiration dates according to utility, outlining regulatory requirements, creating a disposal schedule, describing the process methodology, and designating the personnel responsible for deletion.
How to mitigate the risks posed by volume
Volume is another key difference between the cloud data security risks enterprises and smaller organizations face. Companies with thousands of employees using cloud applications and data from various work sites need to have a security strategy that can handle that bandwidth of activity. Two essential components of that strategy are enterprise-grade identity and access management (IAM) and encryption.
- Cloud IAM: Cloud data asset access is one of the most challenging things for enterprises to handle. The sheer number of users and applications supported across the IT infrastructure leaves ample room for information leakage to occur through unintended information exposure. To prevent this, enterprises should use a robust cloud IAM solution to ensure sensitive data is only accessed by the right personnel. A modern cloud IAM solution should include features like a single-sign-on control interface, graduated security measures, and resource-level access control. These features enable uniform access control across cloud applications, ensure that security practices match data sensitivity, and apply granular resource restrictions. In addition, security teams can also use solutions like DataGuard to evaluate the effectiveness of their IAM policies, provide recommendations, and shore up weaknesses.
- Cloud encryption: Cutting-edge encryption is another essential for security teams dealing with enterprise-level cloud usage. A larger volume of users, datasets, and applications means more opportunities for compromise, and encryption helps prevent this. For data at rest, teams should aim to have all assets encoded with AES 256-bit encryption – the highest commercially available standard. For data in transit, TLS 1.2 encryption is the current state of the art. It should be noted that while many cloud service providers (CSP) offer encryption services, they do not always meet the demands of modern enterprise cloud data security. This is why many security teams invest in dedicated cloud data encryption solutions.
How enterprise security teams can balance speed and security
Cloud applications allow companies to accelerate technical innovation, but this speed comes with a corresponding concern: Security. If security teams don’t take the appropriate measures, an accelerated developmental cycle can significantly lower the security profile. This is especially true within enterprise IT infrastructure, which can lead larger companies to adopt a dangerously slow rate of innovation. To ensure their organizations can innovate without creating undue risk, enterprise security teams should involve themselves early on in the cloud application development cycle.
- The security team as part of the dev team: Instead of waiting until an application is built to create a strategy, security teams should consider working with the dev team at the outset of the software developmental process. The security team can then provide input, hash out concerns, and begin formulating their practices long before the application ever goes live. According to a recent global study by EY, this approach, known as “shift left,” has been adopted by 36% of the organizations surveyed.
- The dev team as part of the security team: Training your dev team to spot security vulnerabilities as they build software is another excellent way of heading off security risks early. This means developing a curriculum that lists critical flaws, explains how they can be identified, and shows devs how to remediate the issue themselves. By arming your dev team with this kind of education, you effectively multiply the size of your security team.
The foundation of enterprise cloud security
Because data is the most valuable asset modern enterprises have, data security has become the foundation of enterprise cloud security. To fully protect their organization’s data, security teams need to understand where that data is, surface vulnerabilities, shore up IAM policies, and detect potential breaches across their entire IT infrastructure.
Built for the unique demands of enterprise cloud data security, Symmetry Systems DataGuard delivers on each of these critical areas. From generating a comprehensive map of your data stores to providing IAM policy recommendations across your application landscape, DataGuard will help any security team significantly raise their enterprise’s data security posture. To see the power of DataGuard first hand, reach out. Our team will get you set up with a demo immediately.