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Cloud Security Authors: Elizabeth White, John Katrick, Mamoon Yunus, Ravi Rajamiyer, Liz McMillan

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Cloud Security Strategic Action Items for 2016 By @MariaHorton | @CloudExpo #Cloud

Formulating strategic & tactical defenses against adapting & evolving threats requires both business & technological viewpoints

Cloud Security Strategic Action Items for 2016
By Maria Horton, CEO of EmeSec

The recent uptick in cyber attacks across all sectors of the economy, have reinforced for CIOs the need to be able to address corporate boards and customers on their strategies for protection and resilience for the coming 2016 year.

Cloud, Big Data, and the liability issues in the news, have exposed the increased both the virtual, legal and physical risk bases and attack surfaces related to cloud and cyber. More than ever, formulating strategic and tactical defenses against adapting and evolving threats requires both a business and technological viewpoints. With external attacks, ransomware, and potential malicious insiders, CIOs and CISOs are faced with unprecedented challenges that require updating and re-thinking security policies, cyber hygiene, and technology migrations.

My recommended top three New Year’s priorities for cloud and cyber consideration are:

  1. Employ Holistic Risk-Mitigation

The 2016 risk mitigation strategy should be built upon a comprehensive understanding of the organization’s business and technological assets, threats, and vulnerabilities. Identifying assets and data ownership can be more complicated when working with cloud providers. Protecting intellectual property and consumer or client data identified by cloud business strategies must also be incorporated into daily security operations. Shadow IT and escalating monthly cloud services are likely to be a pain point for many organizations, unless security and acquisition controls are in place. It may not be as simple as one may think given the virtual bits and bytes of the cloud and mobile applications; plan accordingly. Cloud and cyber security has broadened beyond the technology and internal process issue. Ongoing operational services, establishing and monitoring SLAs, and partnership agreements, are the newest liability from a resource and cost perspective. And, as always, healthy security practices and regular reviews are critical to lowering risk exposure.

  1. Prepare for ‘Everything as a Service.’

IoT and Cloud computing are revolutionizing companies’ relationships with their customers. Re-use, new use, and expanded utility of service information and apps performance, fosters both an “always-on” mentality and a need to identify competitive advantages and new services for your organization. As a result, CIOs must prioritize between establishing new technical support services for the “always-on competitive advantage and the always-on protection” need. Cloud and cyber security continuous monitoring has multiple meanings in the “everything as a service” world. CIOs and CISOs should implement additional and ongoing reviews of systems and protocol implementations, policies, and updated strategies to protect the information and data under their responsibility.

  1. Update Your Policy Protection for Cloud Services.

Due to a high number of massive security breaches, 2015 was an exceptionally transformational year in terms of defining Safe Harbor responsibilities, PII breach liabilities, and other privacy protection issues with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) impact. Many cloud providers offer extremely high-level security and encryption options, but without proper processes, policies, or compliance evaluations, corporate liability may still exist. Often this liability falls to the CIO or CISO in a variety of ways including incident response, corporate communications regarding events and event findings as well as the proof points of resilience and compliance. Review your SLAs, data ownership agreements, and policies to ensure that your organization is making use of all available protection measures.

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