What is cloud security governance?

Cloud security governance is a framework that outlines the policies, procedures, and guidelines for ensuring the security and protection of data, applications, and infrastructure in a cloud computing environment. It encompasses the management of people, processes, and technology to secure cloud services and data.

It involves defining roles and responsibilities, setting security standards, establishing risk management processes, and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations. Effective cloud security governance requires collaboration between security, IT, and business teams to ensure that security is embedded into the design and operation of cloud services.

The goal of cloud security governance is to provide a secure and trusted environment for data storage and processing, while also enabling innovation and agility in cloud services.

Using a a framework, such as NIST Cybersecurity framework can help you prioritize and structure many of the elements that you need for successfully create a security governance program. 

Basic steps for creating your cloud security governance program

The basic steps for starting a cloud security governance program are:

  1. Define the scope and objectives of the program: Determine what needs to be protected, what risks need to be mitigated, and what the desired outcomes are for the program.
  2. Assess the current security posture: Evaluate the existing security controls and identify any gaps or weaknesses.
  3. Develop a governance framework: Create a structure that defines the policies, procedures, and standards for securing the cloud environment.
  4. Establish roles and responsibilities: Assign specific roles and responsibilities to individuals and teams, such as security, IT, and business, to ensure collaboration and accountability.
  5. Implement security controls: Choose and implement the appropriate technical, operational, and physical security controls to protect the cloud environment.
  6. Monitor and maintain security: Regularly monitor the cloud environment for security incidents and vulnerabilities, and take corrective action as needed.
  7. Ensure compliance: Verify that the cloud security governance program is aligned with relevant regulations and standards.
  8. Continuously evaluate and improve: Regularly review and update the cloud security governance program to keep up with changing threats, technology, and business needs.

Cloud security governance challenges

Cloud security governance can be difficult for several reasons. Cloud environments are often highly complex, with multiple components and technologies that need to be secured. This can make it difficult to manage security risks and ensure data privacy.

The shared responsibility model between the cloud service provider and the customer can create confusion about who is responsible for which security tasks, making it challenging to implement effective security governance.

Cloud service providers may have limited visibility and control over their cloud environment, making it difficult to manage security risks and ensure data privacy.

Ensuring compliance with multiple and evolving regulatory requirements, such as data privacy and security standards, can be difficult in a cloud environment.

Finding and retaining the right talent with the necessary cloud security skills can be challenging, especially for smaller organizations.

Some organizations may resist changes to their security processes and controls in a cloud environment, making it difficult to implement effective security governance.

Allocating sufficient budget and resources to secure cloud environments can be challenging, especially for smaller organizations.

The fast pace of innovation and change in cloud technology can make it difficult to keep up with security updates and patches.

These challenges can make cloud security governance complex and time-consuming, requiring organizations to have a well-designed framework, skilled personnel, and adequate resources to implement and maintain effective security measures.


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