Continuous Cloud Security for Financial Services Workloads

Maintain customer trust and Financial Services compliance while enhancing your cloud security posture

Financial organizations of all sizes are going through a digital transformation journey. While businesses need agility to progress, IT security and compliance management seem to hold them back. Even with increased scrutiny and attention from regulatory bodies, the goal of total protection remains elusive. Governance, risk management and compliance frameworks developed by NIST, PCI-DSS, ISO 27001, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB, GLBA or the Financial Services Modernization Act), and the FFIEC all strive to assess risk and identify security gaps.

This article is to help organizations understand some of the growing trends in cloud security. An attempt is made to illustrate security and compliance management with cloud native tooling and security management.

1. Cloud security implementation is slowing down digital transformation of financial organizations

A healthy, growing business is a risky business. Why? Modern businesses must innovate, change and grow continuously to stay ahead of the competition and cloud adoption is broadly touted to be the driver of that agility.

However, from a security viewpoint, all this fast paced changed is a problem.

Security is normally a function of competency. If organizations don’t know what they’re doing, they tend to do the wrong thing. Jay Heiser, Research VP Analyst, Gartner

DevOps, as a cross-functional mode of working, drove sets of practices, toolchains and reduced the time between committing a change to a system to rolling out the change to production environments.

However, information security professionals, processes and tools has been still out of the purview of the DevOps led transformation that businesses are adopting. This leads to bottlenecks at each of the lifecycle stage handoffs. And in many cases offsetting the entire momentum due to the wait times required for “signoffs” before value is realized.

2. You can’t secure cloud workloads with manual tools and traditional technologies

In a 2017 survey by Forrester, North American enterprise decision makers vehemently indicated the need of imbuing security into development and operations.

In an early 2018 cloud security survey report, Misconfiguration of cloud is often touted as the biggest risk to the modern workloads

IT Security and Compliance requires dedicated resources, a good governance program design and oversight by senior management to be truly effective. However, lack of automation results in a significantly greater effort and directly impacts the frequency of assessments. IT audits remain a mainly manual and infrequent occurrence for most part.

3. Automating cloud security drastically simplifies compliance management

Incorporating security controls across all stages of the development lifecycle ensures safe, secure and compliant cloud adoption.

governance program that automates proof of visibility into workload configuration with real-time prevention, detection and remediation controls assures ongoing confidence into managing business risks.

Image Title: Importance of continuous assurance programs

IT security teams have been using the layered approach to security management for a very long time. With a growing set of cloud adoption workloads, automating your continuous assurance needs is an effective strategy, reducing security and compliance costs. Moreover, automation reduces the size of the teams required to achieve a smoother security operation, helping business move their focus on business agility.

4. Recommendations

Cloud providers like Microsoft Azure/AWS along with its ecosystem partners offers a variety of choices

4.1   Reference Architecture Guidance and Deployment Automation

Here’s a quick list of available financial industry related Azure blueprints and architectures that Microsoft and Cloudneeti jointly released in the last year or so, especially for organizations to deploy and learn how to build secure workloads adhering to multiple compliance frameworks and controls.

4.2   Continuous Security and Assurance products available for securing Azure and AWS workloads

Cloudneeti, a SaaS product, automates most popularly used security and compliance frameworks for financial services industry like PCI-DSS automationFFIEC CAT automationISO 27001 automationGDPR automationNIST CSF and much more.

About Cloudneeti

Cloudneeti is a global leader in Cloud Workload Assurance, is a privately held company headquartered in Redmond, WA, USA with offices and development centers in US, India and Eastern Europe, enables organizations to accelerate cloud adoption by proactively managing their security and compliance posture natively. Cloudneeti solves the challenges of managing security and compliance by providing instant visibility of cloud security posture, active validation of cloud configuration & compliance, and ongoing governance of cloud assets.