Proper management of data has always been essential. Now, with the dramatic rise in remote work, it is critical. Bad guys are everywhere, and their methods are constantly changing and becoming more sophisticated. It means that any company that does not establish a culture of following good governance practices is at risk.
The good news here is that any business can take steps to ensure that their data is always safe, even in the enterprise cloud. It seems challenging at first glance but is extremely secure because it is managed by large organizations that constantly monitor and protect their clouds.
Here are five disciplines every organization should follow when it comes to protecting data in the cloud:
1 . Focus on standardization
Cloud Governance should be the foundation for everything your organization does with data, and standardization is key to ensuring good governance. Any organization that uses data in the cloud must have standards that govern how access is granted, how potential disruptions are responded to, and how workflows are deployed. These standards must be followed – they are not recommendations but should be part of any cloud asset deployment workflow.
2. Make sure everyone follows the rules
In firms, various team members or departments (often referred to as “shadows” IT) recipe for security breaches. Therefore, the entire organization must commit to following the agreed-upon standards. Governance standards cannot be treated as an IT recommendation. Instead, they should implement natural steps within all workflows that interact with the cloud.
3. Leverage cloud vendor tools
Each enterprise cloud platform has its suite of data security and monitoring tools. These tools are designed for the provider’s unique infrastructure and should be leveraged whenever possible. If you use multiple clouds or plan to do so in the future, it’s especially important to know and use the tools available for each platform. On the surface, they may be similar, but each has its strengths – and its learning curve depending on the platform.
4. Check regularly
Just because you have your governance rules in place internally does not mean the coast is clear. Cloud Governance is not something you can just set up and forget about. To ensure consistent data integrity, you should regularly review your standards and procedures for access, recovery, and overall data security. It is especially important for growing companies, as governance breakdowns are more likely to occur as you scale.
5. Understand your data and compliance requirements
Before developing governance standards for data in the cloud, organizations need to thoroughly understand it:
- The sources of their data
- What type of data do they have access to
- How that data is used
- The global region where the data will be stored
They also need to know their requirements inside and out. Healthcare organizations, for example, must comply with several strict privacy laws that dictate how their data is accessed and used. These laws and their compliance also dictate how their management is standardized.
Finally, be prepared for disruption
Adopting the cloud or moving to multi-cloud can be disruptive, as traditional ways of working and data security are often turned completely upside down. This can be challenging for business organizations, but it also presents an opportunity to establish governance rules to ensure data security and create efficiencies through automation. When companies make an effort to develop strong governance rules, they can spend less time “keeping the lights on” and instead focus on what matters: developing products and services for customers.