Security In The Cloud: Logs, Audits, Encryption

Logs, Audits, Encryption

Considering a move to the cloud for one or several of your key services? If so, you are not alone. Cloud computing is growing exponentially as more and more vendors are starting to offer services, and as more businesses are beginning to see the potential for cost savings as well as the ability to offer new services that were beyond their capacity. When moving services to the cloud, you are moving critical parts of your IT infrastructure and corporate information assets to systems that you will not have direct administrative access to. You will be relying on your vendor to provide security, auditing, and change management for these components, and will be relying upon them to secure your data.

Security in the cloud is very good, and in many cases the economies of scale vendors have at their disposal along with the specialized staffing means it will be better than what you could reasonably accomplish on your own, but you do want to make sure you understand all aspects of security in the cloud.

Audits

Let’s get the biggest one out of the way first; audits. Find out what security audits and accreditations your vendor goes through, and make sure they are compatible with any requirements (contractual or legislative) you may be under. ISO 20000, 27001, SAS70 Types 1 and 2, and others are all relevant, but your vendor will obtain one or more of these on their own, and share those results with their customers, but they will almost never let you perform your own audit unless you they are hosting a private cloud for you, and then your access scope will be limited to that which is dedicated to you.

Logs

Logs will usually be accessible or provided to you by request, but the retention period may not be as long as you would like to have on premise. Make sure you discuss logging, retention periods, access requests, and the level of detail with your provider so that you are comfortable with it.

Physical security

Cloud service providers will frequently have extremely good physical security, and that may mean that customers are not permitted to visit datacenters. Remember, we are discussing cloud services, not hosted datacenters, so your data might move from one datacenter to another dynamically anyway, so scheduling a site visit might prove fruitless anyway, unless you merely want to see an example site for your own satisfaction.

Encryption of data at rest

If you require encryption of data at rest, make sure you discuss this with your vendor early on in the sales discussions. Many cloud service providers won’t use encryption for data at rest. Key management between cloud datacenters can be a challenge, and the physical security already in place may make this an unnecessary (to them) extra bit of overhead.

Encryption of data in motion

Discuss how certificate management will be handled to make sure you understand all PKI requirements. Your provider may handle certificate management for you but don’t assume that means you won’t have any responsibilities for validation or authorization. At the same time, even if you are willing to accept the risk of clear text transmissions, you may find that unsupported by your vendor.

Physical location of data

Some countries have laws requiring that data reside within the borders of that country. Your customers may also want to make certain all their data remains in-country. Check with your legal team to make sure you understand those requirements and work with your vendor to understand their datacenter geographic boundaries.

Datacenter employees

Discuss the interviewing, background checks, vetting, bonding, drug testing, etc. that your vendor goes through for all employees to make sure you are comfortable with that. You may have to create or accept generic admin accounts, rather than working with a named account for every individual, and if you have requirements regarding the citizenship of administrative users, make sure you go over that with your vendor too.

There are a few things you want to make sure you understand about your relationship with your vendor of choice, and what you will and will not be able to do as it relates to security settings and audits, and you will need to work with your legal team to ensure that any existing contracts or legislation are compatible.

So work with your vendor to make sure you understand these things completely, and to your satisfaction. Ask questions, request audit reports and customer references, and do your homework. Security in the cloud is not something to take on faith; responsible vendors should have all the information you require and be willing to provide it within reasonable time frames. Just don’t be surprised they request an NDA before sharing specific audit findings, and if they don’t permit site visits.

By Casper Manes

This article was written by Casper Manes on behalf of IT Channel Insight, a site for MSPs and Channel partners where you can find other related articles to cloud services 

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comic
Despite Record Breaches, Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority

Despite Record Breaches, Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority

Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority Research has revealed that third parties cause 63 percent of all data breaches. From HVAC contractors, to IT consultants, to supply chain analysts and beyond, the threats posed by third parties are real and growing. Deloitte, in its Global Survey 2016 of third party risk, reported…

Why Security Practitioners Need To Apply The 80-20 Rules To Data Security

Why Security Practitioners Need To Apply The 80-20 Rules To Data Security

The 80-20 Rule For Security Practitioners  Everyday we learn about yet another egregious data security breach, exposure of customer data or misuse of data. It begs the question why in this 21st century, as a security industry we cannot seem to secure our most valuable data assets when technology has surpassed our expectations in other regards.…

Which Is Better For Your Company: Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment?

Which Is Better For Your Company: Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment?

Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? You know how enterprise resource management (ERP) can improve processes within your supply chain, and the things to keep in mind when implementing an ERP system. But do you know if cloud-based or on-premise ERP deployment is better for your company or industry? While cloud computing is becoming more and…

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap You’re out of your mind if you think blocking access to file sharing services is filling a security gap. You’re out of your mind if you think making people jump through hoops like Citrix and VPNs to get at content is secure. You’re out of your mind if you think putting your…

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Five Requirements for Supporting a Connected Workforce It used to be that enterprises dictated how workers spent their day: stuck in a cubicle, tied to an enterprise-mandated computer, an enterprise-mandated desk phone with mysterious buttons, and perhaps an enterprise-mandated mobile phone if they traveled. All that is history. Today, a modern workforce is dictating how…

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Data Governance Data governance, the understanding of the raw data of an organization is an area IT departments have historically viewed as a lose-lose proposition. Not doing anything means organizations run the risk of data loss, data breaches and data anarchy – no control, no oversight – the Wild West with IT is just hoping…

Security: Avoiding A Hatton Garden-Style Data Center Heist

Security: Avoiding A Hatton Garden-Style Data Center Heist

Data Center Protection In April 2015, one of the world’s biggest jewelry heists occurred at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company in London. Posing as workmen, the criminals entered the building through a lift shaft and cut through a 50cm-thick concrete wall with an industrial power drill. Once inside, the criminals had free and unlimited…

Three Tips To Simplify Governance, Risk and Compliance

Three Tips To Simplify Governance, Risk and Compliance

Governance, Risk and Compliance Businesses are under pressure to deliver against a backdrop of evolving regulations and security threats. In the face of such challenges they strive to perform better, be leaner, cut costs and be more efficient. Effective governance, risk and compliance (GRC) can help preserve the business’ corporate integrity and protect the brand,…

Cloud Computing Price War Rages On

Cloud Computing Price War Rages On

Cloud Computing Price War There’s little question that the business world is a competitive place, but probably no area in business truly defines cutthroat quite like cloud computing. At the moment, we are witnessing a heated price war pitting some of the top cloud providers against each other, all in a big way to attract…

SaaS And The Cloud Are Still Going Strong

SaaS And The Cloud Are Still Going Strong

SaaS And The Cloud With the results of Cisco Global Could Index: 2013-2018 and Hosting and Cloud Study 2014, predictions for the future of cloud computing are notable. Forbes reported that spending on infrastructure-related services has increased as public cloud computing uptake spreads, and reflected on Gartner’s Public Cloud Services Forecast. The public cloud service…

Cloud Computing Then & Now

Cloud Computing Then & Now

The Evolving Cloud  From as early as the onset of modern computing, the possibility of resource distribution has been explored. Today’s cloud computing environment goes well beyond what most could even have imagined at the birth of modern computing and innovation in the field isn’t slowing. A Brief History Matillion’s interactive timeline of cloud begins…

Shadow IT To Remain A Focus For Both Cloud Vendors And CIOs

Shadow IT To Remain A Focus For Both Cloud Vendors And CIOs

Shadow IT To Remain A Focus Shadow IT, a phenomenon defined as building internal IT systems without the official organizational approval has been a growing concern for CIOs over the last few years. In 2015, it climbed to the top of the list of the emerging IT threats, with as much as 83% CIOs reporting…

Low Cost Cloud Computing Gives Rise To Startups

Low Cost Cloud Computing Gives Rise To Startups

Balancing The Playing Field For Startups According to a Goldman Sachs report, cloud infrastructure and platform spending could reach $43 billion by 2018, which is up $16 billion from last year, representing a growth of around 30% from 2013 said the analyst. This phenomenal growth is laying the foundation for a new breed of startup…

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter The city of the future is impeccably documented. Sensors are used to measure air quality, traffic patterns, and crowd movement. Emerging neighborhoods are quickly recognized, public safety threats are found via social networks, and emergencies are dealt with quicklier. Crowdsourcing reduces commuting times, provides people with better transportation…

Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Cloud Architecture These days, Multi-Tier Applications are the norm. From SharePoint’s front-end/back-end configuration, to LAMP-based websites using multiple servers to handle different functions, a multitude of apps require public and private-facing components to work in tandem. Placing these apps in entirely public-facing platforms and networks simplifies the process, but at the cost of security vulnerabilities. Locating everything…

Big Data’s Significant Role In Fintech

Big Data’s Significant Role In Fintech

Data Banking Fintech covers a range of financial fields such as retail banking, investments, and lending and thanks to the mobile and internet innovations of late is a thriving sector. Offering improvements which drive customer satisfaction and education in an area previously inscrutable and dictated by gigantic inflexible corporations, fintech is helping put the power…

Battle of the Clouds: Multi-Instance vs. Multi-Tenant

Battle of the Clouds: Multi-Instance vs. Multi-Tenant

Multi-Instance vs. Multi-Tenant The cloud is part of everything we do. It’s always there backing up our data, pictures, and videos. To many, the cloud is considered to be a newer technology. However, cloud services actually got their start in the late 90s when large companies used it as a way to centralize computing, storage,…

Infographic: 9 Things To Know About Business Intelligence (BI) Software

Infographic: 9 Things To Know About Business Intelligence (BI) Software

Business Intelligence (BI) Software  How does your company track its data? It’s a valuable resource—so much so that it’s known as Business Intelligence, or BI. But using it, integrating it into your daily processes, that can be significantly difficult. That’s why there’s software to help. But when it comes to software, there are lots of…

Cukes and the Cloud

Cukes and the Cloud

The Cloud, through bringing vast processing power to bear inexpensively, is enabling artificial intelligence. But, don’t think Skynet and the Terminator. Think cucumbers! Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) conjures up the images of vast cool intellects bent on our destruction or at best ignoring us the way we ignore ants. Reality is a lot different and much…