As enterprises increasingly rely on cloud-based resources for their IT infrastructure, proper governance of that infrastructure – and ensuring that access to it is restricted to those who need it – is critical. A variety of vendors offer cloud governance solutions, and it can be difficult to decide which is best for the organization based on its security objectives.
What is meant by Cloud Governance?
Cloud governance is the process of protecting all aspects of an organization’s cloud workloads, applications, and data from cybersecurity threats. Essentially, this means focusing on the various ways in which attackers try to infiltrate cloud systems and compromise an enterprise’s ability to do business. The growing adoption of enterprise clouds has led to the need to manage and protect critical organizational cloud resources.
Cloud governance is a set of rules and policies adopted by companies that use or run services in the cloud. Cybersecurity-focused cloud governance solutions help organizations build an authentication strategy to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of cloud-based enterprise information and resources.
Regardless of where an organization’s data resides or where its critical systems are deployed, cloud governance solutions ensure that this sensitive information is visible and can be trusted and appropriate security controls are in place. Cloud governance isn’t just about technology—it’s also the best practices, processes, and policies that teams follow to protect their organization’s cloud environments.
Significance of cloud governance
Cloud governance may assist in the segmentation of cloud systems into distinct accounts that represent departments, initiatives, or cost centres within the corporation. This improves expense management and visibility while limiting the commercial impact of security vulnerabilities. If a business is uninformed of which systems and data are deployed, the dangers and costs of cloud solutions skyrocket.
When regular IT services do not respond quickly, it is very typical for employees to turn to shadow IT systems. Cloud governance allows workers to request cloud resources in a simple manner while also ensuring that the resources are properly managed and monitored. This may be done instead of turning to shadow IT, where personnel must rely on unauthorized techniques.
Without a cloud governance program and technology solutions to support it, organizations tend to use spreadsheets or other manual processes to track cloud accounts, costs, and compliance issues, or to control access and budgets for cloud resources. This can be inefficient, error-prone, and broken down at a large scale.
A cloud governance solution enables organizations to centrally define policies and apply them to the entire cloud infrastructure, which can centralize control over access and costs, raise alerts, and make it easier to respond to violations. This can save time and effort, and reduce the risk of non-compliant activities and unexpected cloud costs.
The cloud governance model creates an authentication strategy to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. It allows the organization that no matter where data resides or what critical systems are deployed, there will be visibility to sensitive information and assurance that appropriate security controls are in place.
Best practices of cloud governance
Now that you understand the importance of cloud governance, consider these five best practices for a secure and efficient infrastructure:
- Embody a business approach mindset
A successful cloud computing management model must put business goals first, regardless of the management model you use. This means you need to design every process and method in the cloud to achieve the desired business outcome. Communicating business goals throughout the organization should always be your first priority.
Make sure all teams understand them, as miscommunication can lead to cloud management policy confusion. Although you may not notice the effect right away, in the long run, it can hinder your main goal. At the start of your cloud journey, take the time to understand your business goals and clearly define them for your organization.
- Incorporate strong security protocols
Your business should give top emphasis to cloud security and compliance. The number of linked devices and tool integrations in cloud systems is frequently high, which expands the regions that are vulnerable. To prevent such threats, your surroundings must be secure. You may use a variety of guidelines, such as strict Identity and Access Management (IAM) standards, to safeguard your cloud settings.
One straightforward thing to do would be allowing access to IAM users while adhering to the least-privilege principle. In your cloud governance guidelines, you should also place a strong emphasis on audit and compliance. The instruments, procedures, and persons in charge of ensuring compliance and carrying out required audits should be specified in cloud governance rules.
- Emphasize resource management
Cost and resource optimization are essential tools for businesses to reach their financial goals. A sound governance policy can help your IT teams identify and eliminate idle resources, which can help reduce costs. Right-sizing your computing services for performance can also help you optimize costs. Using other tools and services, like getting a cloud checkup, can help you sustain your efficiency while optimizing costs.
- Leverage automation
An effective framework for cloud governance relies heavily on automation. The majority of manual tasks can be successfully automated with the help of cloud service providers. Make a note of the repetitive tasks and automate them as you go through your cloud governance rules and policies. This will reduce human error and improve cost-benefit. Additionally, by eliminating manual and repetitive tasks, you’re allowing your team to concentrate on other projects.
- Keep a solid framework in place
Organizations should always strive to maintain a well-architected cloud framework that ensures the agility and resilience of their applications/workloads. The well-architected cloud framework consists of five pillars that ensure the efficient and secure running of systems and applications in the cloud. These pillars include:
- Operational Excellence Pillar which focuses on improving processes and procedures.
- Security Pillar which focuses on protecting information and systems.
- Reliability Pillar, which focuses on ensuring that workloads work as intended.
- Performance Efficiency Pillar which focuses on reducing latency.
- Cost Optimization Pillar which focuses on controlling costs.
The establishment of a cloud governance strategy using the insights outlined above is important in reducing risk and optimizing organizational efficiency. As your cloud governance program evolves, your approach to each best practice will likely change as needed to meet the needs of your business. However, the value of a strong framework will provide long-term benefits for your company and customers. CloudArmee has over a decade of experience providing exceptional cloud services to clients, and we can help incorporate the best cloud governance strategy to ensure your organization’s reputation and growth.