Continuous Security Control Enforcement & Governance in the Cloud Ecosystem
Blog Article Published: 06/23/2021
Written by Raghvendra Singh, Head, Cloud Security CoE, Cyber Security Unit, TCS
Digital transformation across industries has witnessed unprecedented acceleration in recent times. Cloud, with its greater flexibility, agility, resilience, and scalability, is invariably the cornerstone technology in enterprise digitalization. But, embarking on a cloud transformation journey poses several risks and challenges such as regulatory compliances, increased exposure to threat, distributed data and identity, misconfigurations, and issues with consistent enforcement of enterprise security policy.
Although many cloud and cybersecurity technology providers have evolved to reduce complexity and answer the majority of these challenges, continuous security control enforcement and governance to ensure adequate and effective security across multi-cloud environments is still evolving. Continuous security control enforcement is complex and tedious when done manually, although digitizing and enforcing security controls automatically reduces chances of errors, violations, and inconsistency. While considering these factors for cloud environments, due to the inherently dynamic nature of cloud environments and the pace of technology evolution in the cloud, continuous cloud security governance and visibility become essential functions and more critical than ever.
Not having a well-defined security control framework which can drive effective definition, design, enforcement, and measurement of security controls, may result in inconsistent security policy enforcement, missing visibility of cloud resources, lack of overall governance and standardization across cloud service providers and the technology stack.
Improving Cloud Security Control Enforcement & Governance
Following are the ways in which cloud security governance and control enforcement can be enhanced:
- Imposing technical controls: Incorporating multi-cloud security governance solutions such as cloud security posture management and cloud entitlement management solutions for effective identity management and governance. Security solutions to enforce security policy as a code.
- Establishing process-oriented controls: Defined security baseline across enterprise services and businesses, translation and automated enforcement, well defined and consistent security standards and frameworks.
- Setting up operational controls: Defined monitoring, detection, remediation flow and methodology for timely and effective detection, protection, and response; ensuring adequate coverage and pace of response and remediation; continuous visibility across the multi-cloud environment and compliance adherence measurement against industry standards.
Strategic Approach for Cloud Security Governance & Management
- Prevent before breach: Shifting security towards the left is the key to achieve this. Building secure guard rails and automatically enforcing stringent policy as a code to digitize and automate security standards consistently across cloud providers are the various steps towards preventing security breaches.
- Detect as early as possible: Automated and continuous discovery of new workloads and resources across the multi-cloud environment and comparison against a defined security baseline can detect policy violations. A well-capable and configured security monitoring and governance tool, and an effectively defined discovery and detection process are essential.
- Remediate at speed and scale: There must be a defined and automated remediation workflow to ensure timely response and action against a security violation. There are various ways to achieve this using cloud security posture management solutions, security orchestration and automation tools, and/or a defined DevSecOps cycle.
Security governance and management is an essential and critical function of cybersecurity and should be focused and considered holistically. In the world of multi-cloud adoption, distributed data, identity, and workload, it is important to ensure all-around assurance through shift left, shift right, and consistent monitoring. A well-defined enterprise process and digitalization of security controls, processes, and violations are paramount to achieve this.
Raghvendra has more than 12 years of experience in enterprise security. His primary responsibilities include defining cloud security strategy, implementing cloud security controls, guiding and advising on end-to-end cyber security modernization journeys for customers across the different Geo and various industries. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication, and is also certified in CISSP, CCSK, and CEH.
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