Making The Cloud Transition – A Best Practice Approach To GRC

One of the major concerns businesses have when transitioning to the cloud is how to manage cybersecurity risks and demonstrate solid governance and compliance. Failure to comply with regulatory requirements or guard against new cyber threats clearly poses reputational and operational risks for organizations.

An effective cyber governance, risk and compliance (GRC) program is therefore a fundamental aspect of confidently transitioning to the cloud, enabling companies to proactively meet their security and compliance objectives.

It’s clear that the increase in cloud adoption needs to be met with an increased scope of GRC programs, to encompass cloud services and provide visibility into related risks.

This GRC program should be agile to support the constant changing and evolving cloud environment, covering security and compliance requirements, as well as data protection and security requirements. It should also span the implementation of security controls on cloud components, alongside the continuous monitoring and automation of security and compliance requirements, as well as continual improvements to processes and services, transforming the perimeter approach in an identity surface approach.

Rising to the challenge
Getting to this point isn’t always straightforward, not least because many larger organizations will have multiple independent cloud initiatives operating simultaneously. This can mean that there is no standardized and well-defined cloud GRC program.

The result of this is a potentially weakened security posture, as well as an inability to fully and efficiently meet compliance and regulatory requirements.

Making the transition
The first stage in creating an efficient cloud GRC program is an assessment of the current maturity of the capabilities deployed on cloud, with reference to the existing industry standards and regulations, or even knowing best practices frameworks like Well-Architected Framework (mainly the Security, Operation Excellence and Reliability pillars).

This will involve identifying any existing cloud cyber risks and gaining insight into how any gaps can be addressed. This process should also identify applicable threat actors for the overall cloud transition, as well as for any specific applications or data that are part of the planned cloud transition. Ultimately, this stage will allow gaps to be prioritized as part of a roadmap for building a secure cloud strategy, connecting AI-enabled automated services, for example, for information identification and classification or thread detection and response (SOAR).

This should be supported by the creation of a strategy that ensures applications can be migrated to the cloud with almost zero downtime, ensuring there is minimal disruption to user productivity and maximizing the business results from a cloud-native approach, with gains on TCO (total cost of ownership), IT productivity and time to market.

Beyond this, it will be important to develop an automated solution for governance and compliance – reducing time and effort involved in deploying applications in cloud environments – while putting in place a plan for continuous monitoring, evolving the integrated business focused culture with DevSecOps.

Integrated approach to security
Building business resilience means ensuring a robust and holistic cybersecurity strategy is in place. At Stefanini, our GRC services help clients improve existing governance and risk management through identification, continuous monitoring and evaluation, as well as detailed reporting and coordination of resources.

Importantly, GRC forms part of our broader portfolio, which also spans Managed Security Services (MSS), cyber defense services and cybersecurity advisory services.

Successfully responding to the challenge of a fast-changing business landscape means harnessing the expertise and best practice of expert partners in a holistic way, meeting operational, tactical and strategic requirements. 

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