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By 2025, 95% of all new digital workloads are expected to be deployed on the cloud, according to Gartner. But this doesn't mean businesses can transition their critical infrastructure to the cloud with their eyes closed. 

Incidents involving cloud-based security make headlines even today. Major cybersecurity incidents are constantly brought to light, whether it is of Microsoft's Azure DevOps server credential misuse or the Pegasus Airline's AWS S3 bucket misconfiguration.

Determining whether cloud infrastructure adoption in enterprises will be hard or easy depends a lot on how well an organization can understand the considerations for deploying a cloud for their operations.

In this blog, we will explore some of the factors that are critical to enabling the smooth conduct of digital operations with cloud infrastructure services.

Broad Network Access for Remote Workers

It is very unlikely that all organizations will revert fully to a 100% in-office work environment. That said, empowering employees to work remotely also mandates the need for tuning their digital infrastructure to be flexible and easily accessible.

Enterprises must ensure that business applications are secured to enable seamless operations. When deployed on a cloud environment, this consideration would necessitate focusing on ensuring no vulnerabilities in the cloud open unmanned doors into the enterprise network. 

This again brings back the focus on ensuring that vendors have security frameworks and guarantees in place and fitting with the overall enterprise security policies. Clear SLA’s must be defined on who protects what and this accountability should critical in guaranteeing long term partnership agreements.

Enhanced Asset Security

With remote work flexibility being welcomed in the corporate workplace, Bring Your Own Device or BYOD trends are gaining traction. Studies show that over 67% of employees use their personal devices for work-related tasks. This translates into a need for enhanced security traits for enterprise digital assets. 

From a cloud infrastructure perspective, enterprises need to have proactive monitoring of all entry points in the cloud to allow only authorized devices with zero-trust security approach irrespective of their teams. 

In addition to proactive monitoring, enterprises may also need to evaluate data policies and governance models in place. This will control the flow of information from different business systems managed in the cloud and accessed by employee devices from around the world. It is very important that organizations manage the endpoints (Owned / BYOD) as per their security standards and best practices.

Understanding Cloud Responsibilities, Agreements, and SLAs

Adding to the previous consideration, organizations need to have a clear and transparent understanding of the cloud security assurances provided by their vendors. Most enterprises make the mistake of believing that their vendors will handle all aspects of cloud infrastructure security that their applications must enforce to run successfully. 

There should be a well-defined boundary as to where the provider security responsibilities end and where the businesses' guardrails need to start. In areas where shared responsibility exists, there should be a clear understanding of what each party is responsible for and how they can implement individual security measures that work seamlessly with vendor offerings. In the end, it is all about assuring a secure experience for end users.


Enforcement of Legal and Regulatory Compliance

In the last couple of years, the increased dominance of digital channels across consumer segments has set off alarms in regulatory bodies to tighten their watch over measures to prevent misuse of data. More countries are coming out with privacy frameworks similar to GDPR, that govern how businesses can use citizens' data in their digital channels.

Additionally, organizations are increasingly demanding geographical control over data stored and processed in the cloud. In other words, they want cross boundary approach wherein data of their customers are to be stored by cloud vendors across defined and agreed geographic boundaries only.

With more digital channels planning a cloud makeover, regulatory compliance becomes a top priority consideration for leaders. Businesses must define protection measures for data not just in storage but also in transit between same cloud environments or systems running in multi cloud environments.

Handling Cloud Misconfigurations

Mistakes in configuring enterprise digital assets on the cloud can lead to disastrous consequences. The Estee Lauder leaks of 2020 were a popular example in which over 440 million customer records were exposed due to an unprotected database used by their digital systems. 

As privacy laws and regulations tighten their nooks, companies cannot afford to let vulnerable configurations of systems go live on the cloud. Hackers or fraudsters may not show any mercy, and subsequent lawsuits have the potential to even bankrupt big organizations. Cloud misconfiguration is undoubtedly one of the biggest threats in the cloud infrastructure security domain and is thus a major consideration for leaders.

Having the Right Cloud Security Strategy

As businesses grow bigger, they would add on more new cloud infrastructure systems. More number of applications would mean more attack points and vulnerabilities to monitor and guard. An effective cloud security strategy must be defined to tackle any vulnerability and ensure that the right governance and risk management practices are in place. 

In the shorter term, the strategy needs to aim for bringing every stakeholder into a well-defined framework that focuses on cloud security as a critical pillar. What leaders must consider here is the to follow a zero-trust approach while dealing with data management and  digital applications. 

In other words, they should always follow a cautious path with cloud security frameworks, not trusting anyone else with their security credentials and following best practices laid out by the organization. This would require regular training, cybersecurity awareness sessions, and other programs to instill the need to securely operate digital systems by any team member. Eventually, this goal will progress into a mature and secure digital infrastructure guarantee for the organization in the long run.

Wrap Up: Take the Enterprise Cloud Journey Challenge

All in all…

Moving or maintaining enterprise workloads into the cloud is an imperative that no business can ignore today. It gives them the flexibility to adapt to new innovative business practices, serves digitally-savvy consumers, and evolves quickly to dominate markets continuously. The above considerations determine how easy or difficult it is for organizations to securely guarantee the success of their cloud journey.

What is assuring though, is the fact that leveraging a knowledgeable partner helps in improving your chances of success tremendously. This is where a preferred technology partner like Xoriant can be the game changer. Our Cloud Infrastructure and Security experts have been helping global customers for over three decades and can secure your business using our rich and extensive experience. 

Check out our related PDF: : Cloud Infrastructure and Security

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