The Doppler Quarterly Spring 2019 - Page 75

Encryption and Key Management The first rule of cloud is: encrypt everything! While many firms have data classification strategies in place, data tag- ging is less common, and a consistent deployment of encryption tied to the classification strategy is seen even less. To simplify implementation, encryption is embedded in the platforms of the three major cloud service providers. You no longer have to bear the computational or time expense of encryption because it is provided, rapidly, by the platform! As always, when you encrypt something, you need a key. This is similar to your house key—anyone you give it to has access to your house. So if you want to limit access to a set of data, you must limit the people to whom you give the encryption key. You will also want to limit your “blast radius,” and define your key scoping by the levels of risk in your data classification policies. Here is a simple example. You have four business functions: finance, trading, marketing and customer service. All have confidential data to protect. While it is possible to leverage just a single key to protect the private data across all these functions, if that one key is compromised, all the data is compromised. In this scenario, you could use two keys to manage blast radius: one key that covers everything in your AWS account, and a second key for each business unit’s private data. At a minimum, each group gets one key, and for private informa- tion that can span all the groups, each gets one key that all four groups can use. This simple model is typically expanded to distinguish between service types (e.g., AWS S3), but should be extended to support your specific data classification strategy. A Strategy for Data Leakage Since data does not always stay stationary, you will also need to put strategies in place to deal with data leakage monitoring and protection. Data loss prevention (DLP) is the ability to understand and prevent data from going someplace it should not be. In the cloud, it is easy to monitor leakage, but it is more difficult to stop, because cloud DLP tools are not as mature as on-premises ones. Even the more cloud-ready DLP tools remain focused on the perimeter, while neglecting a more robust focus on workload orientation. Paying attention to where your data is located, and wrapping a DLP tool around it, offers a layer of protection, but it will impose an on-prem- ises oriented architecture. Cloud providers also offer tools to help with DLP, such as AWS’ Amazon Macie and Azure Advanced Threat Protec- tion, both of which have data leakage monitoring and alert- ing capabilities. These tools are still maturing and need to be augmented in the near term with enforcement capabilities. How It All Evolves As your cloud estate grows, so too does its data gravity. This requires evolving and scaling your data management and data protection strategies in the cloud. In order to understand if data gravity and location is creating friction, you will need to expand your logging and monitoring capa- bilities, and continue to actively monitor performance across the chasms of your hybrid IT environment. Increased cloud data gravity requires automated compliance enforce- ment and remediation, in order to effectively deliver secu- rity and data protection. Finally, your business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities must expand to protect this growing critical asset. With a well-planned data protec- tion foundation, all these important characteristics can be scaled effectively. Conclusion Organizations are leveraging their data to its fullest extent in an effort to improve operations and gain market share. Protecting data is therefore a mission-critical priority. To fend off threats and manage data resources well into the future, organizations should take specific steps and develop comprehensive data security policies. Data gravity compli- cates the landscape. Leaders need to look at practices gov- erning aspects such as classification, tagging, encryption and key management, with an understanding of where their data will be located. Using this information, they will need to reexamine the use of on-premises tools for data protection in a hybrid IT environment, and confirm they can meet the needs of hybrid IT workloads. SPRING 2019 | THE DOPPLER | 73