It is an indisputable fact that cloud services have significantly changed the way businesses operate. Shifting to the cloud allows your business to stay on top of your competition, as you can view your essential data in real-time, troubleshoot any glaring errors, and share projects and services with other users effortlessly.
While migrating your business to the cloud is an exciting journey with greater flexibility for your IT team to create and provision resources, there are risks associated with operating your organisation via the cloud. Nefarious hackers can execute cyber-attacks and compromise your data assets, or technical issues may occur. This will wreak havoc on your systems and temporarily cripple your company’s functionality, resulting in a loss of revenue and team productivity.
Therefore, every company must employ proper cloud governance practices for heightened risk management and data security. Let us share the details on cloud governance, and why utilising it is paramount for your business to thrive.
What is cloud governance?
Established by organisations operating in a cloud environment, cloud governance is a detailed framework comprising principles and protocols to dictate how their cloud solutions are used. It also carries out several critical IT responsibilities, such as enhancing your data security, managing risks, and running all cloud computing services smoothly.
Because the shift from an on-premise IT infrastructure to a cloud environment adds layers of complexity and complication to your overall enterprise ecosystem, these cloud governance initiatives need to be set in place to ensure that your organisation can practice optimal security measures to keep your crucial data safe.
By utilising the cloud governance principles, it allows your cloud architecture to be sound and sustainable – effectively improving efficiency and flexibility for your business.
Why is cloud governance important?
The convenience of the cloud also comes with a breed of security concerns. For instance, even if your services on the cloud itself are secure, assets that are deployed with poor access controls or configuration vulnerabilities can jeopardise your IT systems and cause them to be prone to data breaches. There are also no firewalls on the cloud, which means that anyone armed with the right technical skills can break into your system.
However, with a comprehensive cloud governance model, you can monitor, manage, and amend the rules as necessary for optimal management of your system resources. This way, it will enable you to attain objectives for your organisation better.
Furthermore, having a cloud governance program also makes for enhanced compliance readiness. No matter the industry that your business is in, you are required to pass regular audits and compliance assessments. Reviewing your compliance policies can be tedious as you have to vet through many findings and processes. However, with cloud governance, you can streamline your compliance and ascertain that your processes align with the existing laws.
The challenges of cloud governance
Whether you are developing a cloud governance model from scratch or retrofitting existing policies in your cloud system, there are bound to be challenges that your organisation will face amidst the incorporation process. This is because there are a vast number of policies, such as security and compliance, that you are required to address and update while introducing a comprehensive governance framework.
While moving to the cloud is a transformational process that reaps several benefits, one common challenge that many companies struggle with is proper cost management – also known as “cloud sprawl”. This sprawl refers to the uncontrolled proliferation of your business’s cloud services and providers, whereby your company lacks visibility or budget control over its various cloud computing resources. This results in extra expenditure as you are unaware of where your cloud costs are stemming from.
A lack of defined metrics to measure security performance and risks is yet another concern. This is because it stifles executive visibility into the pressing security issues in the system – in short, you cannot address fallacies promptly. However, establishing an extensive cloud governance model that prioritises building metrics in your system can support fast decision-making in eliminating any security threats.
Best practices for cloud governance
The best practices that each enterprise should perform varies – it all boils down to your company’s current objectives and growth stage. As such, you should analyse your cloud resources and performance to determine which policies work best for your business.
For example, one such process that you can consider adopting for your business is to include strong identity and access management. By doing so, only several trusted individuals can access your cloud resources, and it staves off the possibility of infrastructure break-ins and data breaches within your company.
Additionally, automating routine security tasks will minimise risks. With the scope for human error significantly reduced, your business can enjoy enhanced security. The automation can also run security checks to verify if your software or applications are being used and deployed per your organisation’s compliance policy.
As outlined above, incorporating cloud governance is undeniably a vital ingredient to the success of your organisation. An ideal cloud governance structure can reduce any security risks and missteps your business may encounter. Furthermore, you may want to consider sending your employees for relevant IT security courses so they are equipped with the relevant cybersecurity knowledge to mitigate the risks associated with cloud services.
When dealing with a complex concept such as a cloud governance structure, it is best to consult professionals. At BridgingMinds, we are hosting an upcoming webinar – a joint collaborative effort between Palo Alto and CompTIA – where experts in the industry will be sharing the importance of cloud governance and how organisations can comply with its best practices. If you are keen to learn more, you can consider signing up for our event now!