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Evolving cybersecurity risks

Cloud security will become a top priority for all organizations. As it continues to evolve, federal government agencies and private sector companies will aggressively pursue moving to a cloud environment. This is essential to help offset costs within the organization.

With many federal government agencies, moving to a cloud environment is already a top priority. However, there are various concerns because shared cloud service environments can become very unstable and unsecure as the demand and subscription fees increase. Companies of all shapes and sizes will need to ensure their Service Level Agreements (SLAs) adequately address the expectations and environments for the business as well as their Cloud Service provider.

Shifting focus from prevention to protection is essential. With endpoint security breaches drastically increasing, many organizations are being forced to move away from their traditional prevention models and into protection-based security models. With the expectation, proactive auditing, and monitoring of access to critical systems and the data within will be paramount for the businesses’ survival.

Education of security personnel will be crucial. As the requirements for protective data within cloud environments increase, the IT environments within these businesses will need to ensure that they are educated in many areas of cloud security and Business Continuity Plans (BCPs.) The lack of education will center on the ways the data is being secured, understanding any more data handling procedures, surveying new technology, and ensuring remediation time frames are adhered to, documented within SLAs, and artifact evidence is provided by the cloud hosting environment to the businesses.

Implementing a good risk management strategy will be pivotal. Many companies lack the education for implementing this within the organization. Therefore, these companies will need to focus on third-party contractors who specialize in security audits and understand what will be required for security regulations compliance. Risk-based strategies will need to ensure that priorities are established, and decisions are made for a process of evaluating data sensitivity, outstanding system vulnerabilities, and the likelihood of ongoing threats.

Privacy by design is another key consideration. Putting data protection measures at the forefront of employees’ minds at each stage of the project will be crucial towards the company’s success. Organizations will need to implement appropriate technical and procedural measures, be able to quantify how successful they are in risk assessment, and be able to implement solutions at a more rapid pace.

Data governance and accountability are crucial as well. Company personnel will need to enhance their understanding and the implementation of security measures in relation to data governance, building appropriate budgets for securing the environment, and ensuring all departments are briefed and fully understand the task each department is required to undertake.

Incident response is another key consideration. With the heavy push of the cloud initiative, organizations from the smallest business size to the largest must review and fully understand their strategy for file sharing services within the cloud environments. This will include sensitive intellectual property, proprietary information, source code and source code escrow accounts. SLAs will need to state each party’s responsibility in relation to source code escrow account protection measures.

Better security communication should also be a priority. A greater responsibility will be placed on the security function to ensure that all parties involved in securing the data understand their roles, procedures, and business requirements to align security with the rest of the organizations’ inner departmental workings.

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