Cloud Security Authors: Elizabeth White, John Katrick, Pat Romanski, Rostyslav Demush, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Agile Computing, Cloud Security, @DXWorldExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Governance Strategies for Successful Cloud Initiatives

How to create and enforce policies and governance in an automated way, while maintaining cloud computing’s self-service promise

At the top of many IT group's list of concerns lie security, compliance and internal process governance - both in static data centers and in dynamic clouds. Indeed, governance should not be overlooked. And, as they say in many security circles, the best measure of successful security is silence. Although the discussion around governance in the cloud has evolved, many organizations still struggle with questions such as:

  • Which apps should we deploy to public clouds?
  • When and where should cloud environments be encrypted?
  • Who has access to cloud-based applications and infrastructure?
  • Which firewall rules should apply?
  • How do security rules differ from app to app based on the application's lifecycle phase?

At the heart of these questions and concerns is how to manage the security and compliance risks inherit in enterprises and how to build and apply fine-grain cloud controls to manage the deep complexity inherent within cloud environments. In this article, I'll take a look at how to create and enforce policies and governance in an automated way, while maintaining cloud computing's self-service promise.

Create and Enforce Governance Policies
Policy-based governance controls based on an extensible meta-model enable the creation and enforcement of an unlimited range of custom policies, which are critical for large enterprise success and innovation.

A broad range of policy types are needed to properly govern the deployment and management of applications and platforms in the cloud, especially when self-service, on-demand access is provided to business users and development teams. An enterprise-grade cloud governance model should be implemented with policy types that encompass:

  • User and group access
  • Deployment criteria that ensure workloads are deployed properly based on data and sensitivity level, such as geographical constraints or credit card data
  • Orchestration of configuration management controls; the ability to ensure secure and compliant versions of application artifacts, middleware and O/S are deployed across cloud environments and remediating any manual changes

In addition, IT should use policies to enforce security zone compliance, orchestrate host and hypervisor based firewalls, AV, HIDS, virtual networking, data encryption, and other security tools and utilities. All of these controls should be tuned to apply across the various stages of the application lifecycle (i.e., Development, QA, UAT, Production, etc.).

Fulfill the Self-Service Cloud Promise

Self-service and governance may seem at odds, but in the world of cloud computing, they come together to deliver agility with control. While the benefits of self-service are obvious - and the reason many enterprises embrace the cloud to begin with - allowing business users and developers to directly access needed IT resources through a self-service interface, IT resources become more responsive to business needs. As a result, business agility improves and the business as a whole benefits.

Governance exists to balance self-service as it imposes a set of rules for how resources should be accessed, by whom, at what times, in what quantities, and for which purposes. In the same way that traffic rules enable people to use roads to get where they need to go quickly while eliminating accidents, cloud governance seeks to ensure that cloud usage is well ordered so that self-service can happen seamlessly and without manual intervention for the business, ensuring ideal use of resources, compliance with regulatory mandates and, most important, optimal business outcomes.

Ensure Adaptability of Policy Controls
Regulations, industries and business don't stand still. As a result, when creating governance policies, IT must do so in a way that is easily adapted to meet future requirements. An extensible policy framework that allows IT to rapidly customize policies to address a broad range of current and future business needs is required for successful cloud governance. The ability to create and enforce an unlimited range of custom policies is accomplished through a policy engine with an extensible meta model, allowing enterprises to create new attributes that policies can reference to make decisions.

The dynamic nature of cloud computing may appear a hurdle to effective governance, but the reality is that static data centers also present their own, unique security, regulatory and governance challenges. While both can be secure and compliant, at the end of the day, it is about building and enforcing proper controls for the business's various activities. A policy-based security strategy will help enterprises simultaneously meet the promise of self-service cloud computing while providing a fully governed, successful cloud initiative.

More Stories By Eric Pulier

Eric Pulier, CEO at ServiceMesh, Inc. Named one of 30 e-Visionaries by VAR Business, he is a popular public speaker at premier technology conferences around the globe. Pulier is member of Bill Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative, and is the Executive Director of the Enterprise Leadership Council.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO" has announced that its Call for Papers is now open. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expe...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER give you detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO also offers s...
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.