Risk mitigation in cloud

Best Practices for mitigating insider threats in the cloud

Cloud computing, Cloud Migration, Uncategorized , ,

Most business owners prefer cloud computing as a must-have technology in their enterprise because of its fast-reaching benefits. But often, this adoption is left incomplete because of the lack of a full-fledged risk management methodology. Some businesses simply activate the security and authentication controls, without an in-depth evaluation of the risks inherent in the business.  Overlooking this can leave your organization vulnerable and open to risks, which can have a cumulative effect on businesses.

It’s important that organizations address the inherent risks relevant to computing right from the adoption stage so that the risks don’t falter the performance of your business. IT managers must look at the holistic approach to implementing controls following successive assessments so that it also addresses the residual risks that the existing controls fail to eliminate. This blog article explores the different types of risks your business is likely to face and what are the steps that can be taken to rightly mitigate the risks.

Risk Mitigation in the cloud.

The efforts to address the risk-mitigation should be based on standardized processes based on their business. However the core components remain the same in all of the methodologies.

-To determine the organization’s needs (such as key security requirements)
•To assess risk
•To select and implement controls to mitigate those risks
•To assess the controls and identify any shortcomings
•To monitor the controls to ensure that they are functioning effectively

Business owners need to understand that the ‘one size fits all’ risk mitigation strategy doesn’t really work for all types of businesses. There should be enhanced security controls that need to be imparted to step out of the usual risk-mitigation.
In the past, businesses had been focussing on a system-centric approach to risk-mitigation. But in recent years, experts have shifted to a more information-centric view, where the focus is on safeguarding information-. However, the system still needs to be changed and tailored to the business needs.

Types of risks in the cloud

As IT shops consider the cloud, they must address a variety of risks.

Policy and organizational risks

Even though the applications have moved from a traditional data centre to cloud, organizations face challenges such as complying with various regulations in addition to the perpetual vendor lock-in policy.

Cloud service failure

IT shops should be prepared to deal with the risk of cloud failure through disaster recovery or remediation. This type of risk can cause loss of business reputation as a result of the breach.

Technical risks

Organizations can face technical risks like resource exhaustion which is caused due to not managing the resources properly and not
preparing to automatically provision additional resources when needed. Oftentimes, this can lead to degradation or loss of cloud services.

Distributed Denial-of-Service Attacks

Although the cloud provider and their Internet service providers are typically responsible for dealing with DDoS attacks, customers should discuss DDoS with cloud providers to ensure that the proper controls are in place to mitigate a DDoS attack rapidly should it occur.

Legal Risks

Compliance regulations like HIPAA, PCI-DSS are important to be implied. But many organizations find it difficult or even impossible to achieve compliance while using cloud architecture. IT leaders should thoroughly research any applicable regulations before planning a cloud migration. The consequences of not implying could be hard enough to bear from a legal stand-point.

Data Privacy

This also poses a legal risk. For example, some cloud providers state in their contracts that they have the right to monitor customer data in the cloud and harvest information from it, then sell this information to third parties.

Actionable risk-mitigation steps

Step 1: Examine the business Context
Begin with an assessment of the risk from the business standpoint. Assess the types of services and data handled by the business and then consider the threats against these data.

IT leaders face numerous questions when analyzing these threats such as
– Which groups would have the greatest interest in obtaining unauthorized access to the service or data?

•Why would these parties want to obtain access to the service or data? What would they do with the service or data once they gained access to it?

•How likely is it that a party seeking unauthorized access (such as a well-funded competitor or a disgruntled ex-employee) would succeed in compromising the service or data?

In this step, businesses implements the basic management and operational security controls for services and data like security policies and associated procedures, service-level agreements (SLAs), basic audit controls and other forms of governance

Step 2: Application Security

An important consideration is assessing if the application is suitable enough for risk-mitigation. IT managers need to analyse how strong the application and key combination are and what can be done to strengthen the application. For example, it may have to be overlaid with additional security controls such as Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnel to wrap and strengthen the unsecured network protocols transiting the unprotected networks. Moreover, IT staff can use the features like back-ups that the
Operating system offers to ensure availability.

Step 3: Data-Centric Governance plan

A recent 2013 Rand Survey revealed the fact that nearly half of the organizations didn’t have a data-governance policy- which could increase the chances of being vulnerable to attacks.
It is important for organizations to know where their data is stored. They need to restrict the access to the data and the virtual machines on which it resides to authorized individuals only. Technologies such as data loss prevention (DLP) can help to prevent the unwanted proliferation
of sensitive data to unauthorized locations.

Schedule a FREE DEMO with Tekpros!

Tekpros approach goes far beyond just imposing security controls. We examine the credible threats , understand the likelihood of a real-world abuse case and measure the magnitude of business impact if a breach should occur, well ahead in time. We take in-depth measures in preventing, detecting and remediating today’s ever-evolving threat landscape and help you establish a greater control of your IT infrastructure.

Talk to us on your Azure cloud security services to understand how we safeguard your IT landscape, and deliver a tailored use- case for your security, governance and compliance needs.

Register for the free Azure security and vulnerability assessment to get an understanding on your security posture and a tailored set of implementations for your security, governance and compliance needs .

For more information:
Call us at 972 267 8357 or drop a mail at contact@tekpros.com 

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