Can You Trust the Cloud? Only If You Trust It Less.

By Andrew Lance | CEO

It may not seem like it, but making decisions on cloud computing boils down to trust. Whether you are a first-time adopter, moving towards a cloud platform, or you are experienced in handling your company’s precious data in the cloud, every decision you make relates to trust. Not only do you put your trust in the hands of your cloud service provider, you also place it in the welcoming embrace of the global geopolitical theater and the volatility of human emotion. In short, though you may trust your cloud service provider (CSP), do you trust the environment around them?

Recently, I was featured in a webinar with Google Head of Security Solution Strategy, Anton Chuvakin, and Ionic’s Robert Ball and Christy Smith. Together we discussed the importance of understanding how to manage, externalize, and implement trust within Cloud systems.

The following summarizes and details the topics we discussed.

Externalizing Cloud Management for Improved Security

To trust cloud computing, you need to be able to trust it less. That requires being able to take greater ownership of your data by externalizing its management from the cloud. Doing so requires a practical understanding of how to implement and control data within the cloud.

That’s where Sidechain comes in.

When you’re pivoting your data security strategy, you want to make sure that you’re aligning it with the service capabilities and security controls the cloud has to offer. For example, in a legacy or data center environment, clients typically pour a lot of time and energy into determining how to encrypt data. However, in the Google Cloud, encryption at rest is provided by default, which satisfies a vast majority of encryption needs. Further, Google External Key Manager (EKM) allows you to keep hold of your encryption key and better insulate your essential data. That is why it is crucial to understand how to leverage integrated controls within your cloud system. Finally, having a firm grip of policy and its relationship to the cloud provides an additional, primary layer to ensure your security control. Having a policy engine, like Ionic Machina allows you to regulate and manage how data is accessed and by whom. With regulation around data protection continually changing, having both a platform and strategy to deal with regulatory flux in-house is hugely beneficial.

Practical Examples of Decentralized Cloud Management

The following practitioner-focused examples illustrate the utility in externalized management of the cloud.

  1. Key proliferation is a massive risk for organizations. While a specific class of keys will likely remain in the cloud, the most critical keys require additional attention. Large enterprises often oversee a sophisticated key management infrastructure (KMS) with processes and policies designed around it. Having the ability to utilize your KMS and, thus, supervise your data externally from the cloud is invaluable.
  2. There is extreme pressure to release applications faster to keep up with the market. Security teams are trying to align with new paradigms of development while working to ensure threats are contained. Managing keys externally and utilizing a system like Ionic Machina, which automates policy controls to protect data, supports DevSecOps teams’ ability to write native security policy into new applications.
  3. For many cybersecurity professionals, compliance and audits are a way of life. When you manage the keys that protect your data, it is easier to satisfy these requirements. It is far simpler to provide evidence when you own and manage a key versus when that is key is controlled by your cloud provider.

With a practical understanding of how to externalize and manage your data, you will better be able to innovate across a diverse infrastructural environment and meet compliance mandates. Comprehending this challenge will support higher levels of trust in the cloud, even if you do not trust the system as a whole.

Take Control of the Cloud in Your Organization

If you want to learn more about the critical trust decisions we make daily in the cloud, check out the full length of the Ionic Webinar. It is packed with valuable insight from other thought leaders in cybersecurity.

If you already know the benefits of externalized cloud management, are you confident in your organization’s infrastructure for execution? If you are not satisfied with its ability to hedge risk and respond to an unpredictable regulatory environment, speak with us about free security assessment. We will guide you through the process of implementing programs to manage risk and provide continuity while simultaneously protecting your critical data. Take greater control of the cloud by placing more trust in your own hands with the help of Sidechain.

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