Cloud Security Requirements and Policies

Manage privacy in the cloud

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When you decide that your organization will use the cloud, you then need to consider how your data remains secure. In this section, we'll discuss how to manage privacy in the cloud. Looking at cloud privacy and security, we can focus on these five key areas. We'll look at how we rely on service providers to keep our data safe, security breaches and their ramifications, the legal obligations for data owners, where the data is physically stored, and then discuss disaster recovery plans. We need to ensure that our data, wherever it is stored, is kept safe from loss, unauthorized changes, misuse, and theft.

You need to protect the data from hackers, customers, the hosting company employees, and any unauthorized users from within your own organization. Simply put, there should be no unauthorized access to the data that we own and manage. We see in the news that security breaches do occur. As data owners, we therefore need to consider how will your organization handle a data breach. Will you lock down the system? Inform the police? Audit the system? How will your hosting company handle a data breach? Your cloud provider will have a disclosure policy which explains their responsibilities in the event of a breach.

Finally, in your country, you need to find out what laws are in place that require you to be informed promptly of any breaches to your data. Following serious data breaches, governments and trade bodies have implemented laws which force organizations to ensure the privacy of employees and customer's data. Laws prohibit data being used for any reason other than the purpose it was collected. These legal obligations also include data stored in the cloud. The data is valuable, and losing it can be catastrophic for any organization in terms of fines and loss of reputation.

When we hand over the data to a cloud service provider, they become the data custodian. We need to ascertain the location of where the data is physically kept, and we need to be reassured how the data is being backed up and how often this takes place. We need to know where the backups are stored. Are they on tape, disc, or in another data center? Do we have restrictions on where the data is stored for example? We may need to ensure the data does not leave the country if this is prohibited by the data owner. However unlikely it may be, we need to consider how the hosting company will handle disaster recovery to ensure our business continuity.

If the hosting company loses their internet connection, we lose access to our data and our customers won't be able to access our services. We need to ensure the hosting company has a DR plan, that backups are done often, and the data is replicated to other sites. Finally, we need to know that the service provision is duplicated to other sites and will automatically continue. In the next movie, we will cover how to ensure that you are meeting compliance goals for your data stored in the cloud.

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Gain a new or enhanced understanding of cloud principles, service offerings, delivery mechanisms, and security requirements. This course focuses on the objectives for the first two domains of the Microsoft Cloud Fundamentals exam (98-369: Understand the Cloud and Enable Microsoft Cloud Services). IT professionals and those interested in pursuing certification can use this course as an exam preparation resource.

Topics include:

  • Cloud principles and security mechanisms

  • Cloud security requirements and policies

  • Cloud updates and availability

  • Types of cloud services

  • Signing up for cloud services

  • Configuring cloud services

  • Configuring Microsoft Intune

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