Written by: Dylan Goldberg
With the rise in demand for efficiency, security, and data management solutions for financial institutions, one of the trending topics in this space is the use of cloud governance. Cloud governance is being adopted by financial institutions due to its benefiting resources, aiming to ensure secure and compliant utilization of cloud services that include data protection, risk management, compliance, and vendor management.
How to Achieve Risk Mitigation
Cloud security governance mitigates risk by implementing policies, procedures, and controls that focus primarily on security, compliance, and efficiency. To achieve risk mitigation for internal and vendor-based use cases, the following should be considered and implemented:
- Audits and reviews
- Cloud adherence
- Cost optimization
- Disaster recovery and business continuity
- Risk assessments
- Security measures (i.e., access controls, multi-factor authentication, data loss prevention)
- Training and awareness
- Vendor management
Defining the Approach
All the cloud computing attributes contain a secure structure for financial institutions’ confidential information and provides a strong framework for risk management around access to significant resources and assets via the cloud. Based on this information, it is critical that a cloud governance policy can appropriately define the approach around:
- Inventory uses cases of the cloud.
- Identifying and mitigating threats and risks associated with the financial institution or vendors utilizing cloud services.
- Implementing risk management techniques to effectively manage cloud-related risks, such as:
- Establishing hardening standards for cloud infrastructure and applications.
- Establishing and supervising compliance with policies for storing and handling information, including data on mobile devices and cloud services.
- Ensuring oversight and monitoring of financial data stored in a public cloud environment.
- Detecting and responding promptly to any security incidents or anomalies in the cloud environment.
- Defining policies and procedures for cloud storage management, including third-party cloud storage.
- Implementing a risk management monitoring approach to ensure controls to specific key threats associated with cloud-based services are operating effectively, as designed.
Financial institutions can ensure the security and compliance of bank-required regulations and security best practices for cloud security with these considerations in mind. Useful resources, including the Cloud Security Alliance’s “Cloud Controls Matrix,” AWS and Azure Hardening guidelines, or industry risk management frameworks such as NIST 800-53, can provide a great starting point for institutions looking to manage risks for these cloud use cases.
Additionally, implementing strong monitoring techniques for the cloud resources is critical for the success of cloud governance. These activities ensure there is compliance with the policies and standards, therefore, the techniques include the following:
- Compliance monitoring: Assessments must be used to ensure the cloud service providers are complying with regulations and policies through due diligence and ongoing monitoring techniques.
- Resource monitoring: You should work with virtual machines, storage, and databases.
- Security event monitoring: This is used to detect breaches with event management tools.
Cloud governance provides the necessary framework to proactively address these challenges, ensuring that security measures, access controls, and data protection protocols are in place to safeguard critical financial information. If you have any questions about cloud governance or where to get started, Wolf’s IT Assurance team is here to help.