How to Approach Cloud Security Like a CIO

SaaS applications are designed to keep businesses running efficiently, manage costs and keep IT teams agile. However, security is and must remain a top priority for any organization that invests in cloud solutions. At the same time, tech leaders need to be confident in the security of their SaaS and IaaS platforms so they can stay focused on driving IT strategy.  To do that, you must approach cloud security with a CIO’s mindset.

Cloud Security Best Practices

While your data and applications may be housed in the cloud, your team must keep its feet rooted firmly on solid ground when it comes to security. Here are some of the best practices you should adopt to help protect your company from threats.

  • Demand air-tight SLAs. Before adopting any third-party cloud software, study the SLA closely. Be sure the contract includes infrastructure availability, coverage for DDoS attacks and plans for other security incidents. If the contract is not iron-clad, you will not have any recourse against the provider if their work or their negligence leads to a hack. Make security a non-negotiable item in any contract.
  • Implement specialized perimeter protections. You need more than just firewalls in place to protect perimeters. Be sure that cloud providers offer both application and next-gen firewalls, intrusion detection tools, migration tools for DDoS attacks, and log correlation.
  • Segregate functions. Make sure the data center and the system have segregations in place to ensure that people with direct access don’t have logical access unless absolutely necessary.
  • Include data disposal in contracts. Make it clear in any contract how server storage, backups and data disposal will be handled.
  • Be vigilant with access control. When anyone accesses the system outside of the physical confines of the office, be sure there are added layers of authentication beyond username and password. Consider physical tokens, a password card, a digital certificate, SMS authentication or even biometry.
  • Role-based access. Don’t ignore internal security. Many breaches occur within the confines of the organization. A well-meaning employee can wreak havoc if they are able to access, download or copy data they don’t need. Use role-based access controls ensuring that team members can only get to the data required for their job.
  • Detect unusual behavior. Be sure the system can detect and alert to unusual actions like unauthorized copying of data, unauthorized installs, out-of-domain logins or suspicious commands.
  • Test, test, and retest. Continuous security and authorized ethical hacking keeps the IT team on its toes and one step ahead of threats, alerting potential weaknesses before a nefarious attack.
  • Make log management a priority. Log reviews are not just for compliance, they are an integral part of any security protocol, allowing the team to monitor for malicious or unusual activity.
  • Stay two steps ahead. Hackers get the best of companies because they are one step ahead. Stay two steps ahead by hiring IT security professionals who are well informed and have their fingers on the pulse of what’s happening in the deep dark corners of cyberspace.

Thinking like a CIO when it comes to cloud security is important, but the best security practices are only as good as the team that implements them. The award-winning team at Talon can help you find the technology talent you need to ensure your systems and data stay secure. Contact us today to learn more about the ways our talent network can help you approach cloud security like a CIO.


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