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A Business Case for Cloud Security

Open-CISO

A Business Case for Cloud Security

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”

I somehow agree and relate cloud security adoption with this famous quote from a world-famous visionary, Charles Darwin. Moreover, unless you’ve been living on Mars, it is pretty evident to every business dwelling on planet earth that the importance of cloud adoption is of supreme importance. Ancient civilizations were buried deep underground to build new civilized societies and towns. Likewise, cloud infrastructure has been manufactured over a prosperous history of corporate data center technology, requiring a crew 24x7 to monitor and maintain it. This is where the concept of cloud computing, or commonly denoted as “on-demand” services, emerged with a paradigm of services that could be offered and scaled in minutes and seconds. However, when security is coupled with cloud computing, that’s when running a business makes more sense. Let’s find out how.

Motivation to adopt Cloud Security

Modernization has got every business thinking about how to scale their businesses faster and reasonably affordable at the same time. Of course, there are endless reasons to ponder around right from speed, scalability, security, simplified implementation, hosting services, and so on. However, as and when you begin to draft a business case for your business, it is essential to identify and comprehend the triggers for change.

Some of these are driven by:

  • Replace legacy infrastructure components
  • A need for enhanced security and centralized infrastructure management
  • Deliver faster scalability and 99.99% guaranteed uptime
  • Cut down maintenance costs
  • Strategize infrastructure investments with a considerable ROI
  • Ability to prepare and respond to emerging risks and vulnerabilities
  • Product revamp or keep up with the latest market demands
  • COVID-19 (It is deemed as a critical trigger for change in 2021)

Therefore, adopting a digital transformation with a keen interest in cloud computing must lead to a few business drivers that strongly influence business decisions. These can be internal or external drivers, IT infrastructure demands, or depend solely on the services being offered by your Organization. Regardless of the current state of architecture, this must be the very first step to understanding and building a solid cloud security business case.

Types of Cloud Service Models

By now, you may have already got an idea that the future of computing is in the cloud. However, by not adapting to this revolutionary change quickly, the Organization is turning a blind eye to the cost impact with the economy of scale offered by Cloud Infrastructure and can only slow down the business to a large extent. As a result, organizations are experiencing unprecedented pressure to shift their business to cloud and security rapidly, with an affordable sense of robustness and cost-effectiveness in mind. But before we discuss the depth of cloud-based security services, let’s shed some light on the types of cloud offerings first that may be suitable for your business, shall we?

The following are three main types of cloud service models:

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) IaaS or Infrastructure as a Service is essentially a cloud model that focuses on delivering and owning the virtualized version of servers, storage, and networking. This means that the cloud user or the cloud customer is only responsible for dealing with everything other than virtualization.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) PaaS or Platform as a Service is a cloud model that primarily focuses on virtualization, including other services like operating systems, middleware, and runtime. This takes off a large chunk of operational responsibility from the cloud customer, making them less responsible for managing daily operations and injecting more cost.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) SaaS or Software as a Service is a widely used cloud service model across all businesses wherein the cloud customer is only responsible for their data on the cloud. Everything rest is the cloud vendor’s responsibility to manage, operate and keep them available at all times.

Each of the above cloud models differs and offers a range of benefits, but it is up to the business to decide which models complement best considering the nature of their business.

Types of Cloud-based Security Services

Adopting cloud infrastructure for your Organization without security is like storing your jewelry in a closet without a safety lock. Cloud-based security is an essential element that must be well strategized and thought after step while building a solid cloud business case. As and when businesses are thriving and growing solely on the cloud, so are the gamut of risks around it. In 2021, almost all security service vendors will offer a cloud version of their products. Here are some of the critical areas where cloud-security adoption impressions have been expanding:

  • Infrastructure and Network Security
  • Vulnerability Management
  • Web Security
  • Application Security
  • Email Security
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Encryption
  • Data Loss Prevention

These are only a standard set of services widely adopted by most organizations currently on the cloud, but they are not limited to these services only. There may also be multiple C-level conversations around why and how to move from a traditional operational business state to a cloud. Whether to move onto a Private Cloud or rather a Public Cloud. Questions may be asked about what happens to our data stored in the cloud. Perhaps if the enterprise is a part of a highly regulated industry, for instance, the finance sector, there might be questions around how they can still be compliant if they consider cloud adoption. What is the Business Impact during the transformation? What is the downtime to be considered for risk tolerance? How rapidly can it be done? The good news is that all of this can be answered and addressed seamlessly by just partnering with experienced cloud experts and consultants. The crème de la crème of the consultants can make a big difference.

Cloud Security Assessment

A cloud security assessment is another answer to many business questions that help organizations and business executives build a sane roadmap in building a legit cloud security business case. Below are some of the following citations that a cloud security assessment may hold:

  • Defense in depth cloud and IT understanding
  • Discovery and analysis of the current state of infrastructure
  • Pulling together an analysis to achieve the desired target
  • Cost factors
  • Considerations to begin the journey

Roadmap to becoming Cloud-Ready

Once the Organization has looked at critical drivers, the motivation, and has successfully assessed their environment holistically, a rationale approach must be considered while forming the foundation of a real business case. This approach helps in building an appropriate cloud security migration strategy or a new strategy altogether. Keeping in mind the individual approach of every Organization, there are a few salient ingredients to look for while designing a business case.

Cloud security can offer a variety of different opportunities when it’s done right. However, to do it right, businesses and enterprises must adhere to a transformative approach with a clear vision and the ability to gain knowledge and expertise through proper planning and effective management. In today’s world of emerging threats, risks, vulnerabilities to the business, and constant pressure to stay afloat amidst an ocean full of competitors, cloud security adoption is a sage decision to comfortably stay ahead of time and follow a well-organized cloud ecosystem. Doing this won’t take your Organization to cloud 9, but it certainly would fly high enough!

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