3 Key Guidelines for CISOs in the Era of the Cloud

by Brad Garland

Before the cloud, most business chose to store their data on internal servers they managed. Because of this, accessibility typically was limited to helping reduce how vulnerable a business's information was to hackers. With the inception of the cloud, companies have poured billions of dollars into this technology and the corresponding cyber security features. As information is instantly sharable anywhere in the globe and potentially no longer locally managed, this exposes vulnerabilities for both users and their companies. As the needs grow for access and data management including these enhanced security features, it was the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and his or her team that were delegated with the task of information security, storage, and data protection.

From the vantage point of the CISO, a growing concern may stem from not just having an increased budget for cyber security concerns, but having solutions that do not constrict operational efficiency. Problems exist with ill-fitting security products that aren't tuned to meet the customers or business needs. To help CISOs target the most important cloud security features they need and to give them the protection they require for their compliance departments, best practices and regulations, they may need the help of a third-party agency, testing and process improvement. The goal is balancing security with functionality.

Here's how to accomplish just that.



1. Utilize automation and third-party security agencies

With increased concern over information that's shared online, the CISO should have their security team work in conjunction with a third-party security agency and cybersecurity consultants that can help them to identify potential security gaps, ensure and/or increase efficiency and help minimize security breaches and threats.

Information Security Benefits

Garland Heart is a third-party agency that offers security personnel, tools, and industry perspective to help identify and reduce threats while focusing on increasing technology support for stronger risk management. The benefit in using an agency like Garland Heart is it increases the effectiveness of your CISO and the information available, while ensuring the IT department can focus on operation needs.

Security Policy Control Panels

Automation can be key in addressing the speed and sophistication of hacking incidents. It can be important to automate the security policies and utilize a control panel for observations. However, one must ensure that automation is set appropriately and tested with some frequency to ensure controls and systems are functioning appropriately. Furthermore, a consistent policy should be in place logically and on paper to ensure that any changes in infrastructure or framework align with the ecosystem of your cloud security program. A qualified external firm can help validate the controls in place and should be utilized on a frequency that aligns with industry best practices and regulatory expectations.

2. Don't think restriction – give permission

permissionCISOs can be overly concerned with locking down their data so it can't be stolen, and that's where security analysts can help. With new cloud-based technologies, security analysts and third-party agencies that focus on layered controls, integration and ease of use with third-party security tools, and enhanced control panel features can thereby allow the CISO to have the best of both worlds working in conjunction with security analysts to minimize vicious attacks.

Working in Partnership to Protect the Infrastructure

Garland Heart is ideally suited to help businesses meet the expectations of their security departments. By bridging the gap of needs while identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities, the agency can streamline complex compliance and risk management issues and simplify them for the CISO and Management. The CISO can then provide a layered and secured environment in an integrated manner with continuous and consistent testing, thereby increasing return on investment, securing the infrastructure's existing tools, and reducing the need for further compliance-related costs. This can provide the most cost savings during potential events by being able to identify and restrict incidents reducing widespread breaches and data loss.

Using Honeypots to Improve Efficacy

A feature that innovative organizations are tapping into is the honeypot and these can be via high interaction or low interaction. This is a specific tool that uses isolated areas to elicit exploitation and lure in a potential attacker into a quarantined area. The deception network can then help to improve the layer of detecting attacks by logging in the activity to better decipher the types of attacks that are occurring and minimize the ability of the threat from gaining access to the business's data center.

A benefit to using this feature is it helps to give the advantage of a genuine OS service and application, thereby, mirroring a genuine user experience where an attack can take place. This insight, with the help of a third-party security team, can then provide data about compromised areas to develop the proper defense.

3. Keep in mind the basics of good security

To put together a cloud security system that works well might seem like a Herculean feat, but it can be accomplished. CISOs and their companies may see it as a daunting task that's being stitched together, but remember, this is just one part of the security system that is in place. It is still important to keep in perspective the basics of security including threat detection, routine software updates, strong access controls and vulnerability management, but it's also important to focus on consistency with all of the technological advances and to scale them accordingly.

Forward thinking CISOs know that every step matters as it relates to focusing on best practices, while working in an ever-evolving technological environment. It's also important that third-party agencies meet the needs of the firm based on what the CISO's business requires. Look for third party agencies that will provide security control capabilities and also offer flexibility to help as the business's cloud strategies evolve over time.

Garland Heart offers dynamic security tools and resources that can test and validate your infrastructure and vendors, thereby giving the CISO all the tools they need to mitigate attacks and incase the ability to take immediate action. With their customized solutions, they can tune into a business's diverse and unique needs to minimize threats, increase return on investment and help a business to protect their infrastructure.

Garland Heart has helped businesses in multiple regulated and non-regulated industries with their cloud infrastructure security features. At the forefront of cloud security, they work to validate the tools that businesses need to increase innovation in the workplace. With consistent results, Garland Heart has developed a thorough understanding of cloud features, the demands of users and IT departments, and ways to support the needs of CISOs and their firms.

Contact us today to learn more about how your organization can protect itself in the cloud era.
Info Security Cheat Sheet