Businesses are continuing to accelerate cloud adoption due to the numerous advantages associated with cloud technology platforms and services. Worldwide, the public cloud service market is expected to reach a valuation of $623.3 billion by 2023.

Despite massive cloud transitions, cloud security maturity varies. This article discusses key steps in building an efficient and effective cloud security governance model.

What is cloud security governance?

The term ‘cloud security governance’ refers to the management model that supports successful security management and operations within the cloud environment. Cloud security governance is a set of rules, policies and principles that secure people, processes and technologies.

Why cloud security governance?

Cloud security governance enables organizations to reach new levels of agility, efficiency and cost-savings while operating within the cloud. It helps reduce the proliferation of shadow IT, helps ensure privacy of resources, facilitates data compliance, and prevents budget overruns.

Cloud security governance helps organizations implement frameworks that allow for easy access to cloud resources in spite of zero-trust, compliance, budgetary or technological constraints. In other words, cloud security governance makes life easier.

How to develop a cloud governance strategy:

Building a governance strategy can feel overwhelming, but breaking down the process into key steps can help.

  1. Before starting out, understand what’s in your organization’s cloud. Take the time to inventory the assets that have already been deployed in the cloud, learn about how they inter-operate, and note potential security concerns.
  2. Optimize for cost and performance. Ensure that the cloud strategy aligns with the broader business and IT strategies. On this account, you may choose to swap out one cloud provider’s services for those of a vendor whose structure better fits in with your operational needs. You may also opt for another vendor to take advantage of discounted pricing offers.
  3. Develop processes and practices. Clarify how different departments intend to use cloud-based resources and understand their access requirements. Collaborate with the appropriate stakeholders across your enterprise to create optimal rules for cloud governance. Keep the need for flexibility and the prospect of possible revisions to policies in mind as you move forward.
  4. Security policy management. Security policies are undoubtedly the most important element of cloud governance. The absence of effective policies almost guarantees that your organization will experience a security breach. Deploy security policies to assets in the cloud, in relation to access control, encryption key management and more. Many organizations rely on a standard set of policies and compliance standards that pertain to their specific industry.
  5. Consider cloud governance automation software. This technology can execute predetermined procedures in the event of a rule violation. Cloud governance automation software can also request approval for an event beyond the parameters of set governance rules, or automatically remove an asset. In short, cloud governance automation software can remove a large portion of the manual work involved in cloud governance.

In summary

Cloud security governance is essential when it comes to improving agility, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and cloud security. It’s a foundational element of any cloud operation.

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