Cloud Security Audit – 5 Steps to Better Security

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Written by: Jason Meilleur
Published: October 12, 2021

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    It’s a common misconception that migrating one’s data, applications, and infrastructure to the cloud means never having to worry about cybersecurity again. Although it’s true that most software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers take responsibility for keeping your data secure, if you’re deploying your own servers in the cloud, security is still your problem.

    The good news is that you’re not left to fend for yourself altogether. Cloud service providers, such as Microsoft Azure, do offer robust security tools that may be more capable than the traditional security tools you would deploy in your own data center. But there is much to learn about them and the options may be overwhelming.

    Security is important, and you want a comprehensive cybersecurity setup without overspending on tools you don’t need. The best security setup is different for every organization, and the best way to determine what it is for you is investing in a cloud security audit.

    What Is a Cloud Security Audit?

    A cloud security audit is performed by experts who can examine your existing or planned cloud environment and design a right-sized security system to go with it. For existing cloud environments, the auditors will identify any serious issues that need immediate attention and recommend a course of action to remediate them.

    Even if you have in-house cybersecurity experts, it’s often a good idea to get a “second set of eyes” to look at your environment and catch things your in-house staff might miss.

    Preparing for a Cloud Security Audit

    You can save some billable hours on your cloud security audit, and see better results, by doing some homework ahead of time–before you even sign the contract. Here are 5 ways you can get a head start on your cloud security audit:

    • Characterize your users: Are they all employees, or do contract workers, vendors, and customers need access to your systems? Is everyone physically located in one building, or are there branch offices, remote workers, or “road warriors”? How many of each type of user do you have?
    • Characterize your data: Do you store sensitive company, customer, or employee data (such as intellectual property, credit card information, Social Security numbers, driver license numbers, and health records)? How much do you have, where do you store it, and what security do you already have in place? Does the data move around from application to application, or does it remain mainly at rest?
    • Characterize your existing security tools. What do you have, how is it managed, how is it kept up to date? Who is responsible for it, and do they have the right knowledge and skills?
    • Dust off your security policies. If your policies and procedures haven’t been updated in a while, they may be woefully out of date. Now is the time to give them a close review and bring them up to date.
    • Be prepared to listen. The auditors’ job is not to make you feel bad or frighten you into buying something you don’t need. At the same time, they aren’t going to sugarcoat their feedback if they find serious issues. Understand that whatever they recommend will have a price tag, and if it seems a bit steep, you may need to rethink your security budget expectations.

    Cloud Security Audits with 360 Visibility

    Among 360 Visibility’s areas of expertise is cloud security. We specialize in assessing cloud security in the Microsoft Azure world. Contact 360 Visibility today to learn more about how our security experts can help design the right mix of tools to keep your cloud environment safe.

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