New whitepaper: Designing and deploying a data security strategy with Google Cloud

William Gibson said it best: “The future is already here—it’s just not evenly distributed.”

The cloud has arrived. Data security in the cloud is too often a novel problem for our customers. Well-worn paths to security are lacking. We often see customers struggling to adapt their data security posture to this new reality. There is an understanding that data security is critical, but a lack of well understood principles to drive an effective data security program. Thus, we are excited to share a view of how to deploy a modern and effective data security program.    

Today, we are releasing a new white paper “Designing and deploying a data security strategy with Google Cloud” that accomplishes exactly that. It was written jointly by Andrew Lance of Sidechain (Sidechain blog post about this paper) and Dr. Anton Chuvakin, with a fair amount of help from other Googlers, of course.

Before we share some of our favorite quotes from the paper, let me spend a few more minutes explaining the vision behind it.

Specifically, we wanted to explore both the question of starting a data security program in a cloud-native way, as well as adjusting your existing daily security program when you start utilizing cloud computing.

Imagine you are migrating to the cloud and you are a traditional company. You have some data security capabilities, and most likely you have an existing daily security program, part of your overall security program. Perhaps you are deploying tools like DLP, encryption, data classification and possibly others. Suddenly, or perhaps not so suddenly, you’re migrating some of your data processing and some of your data to the cloud. What to do? Do my controls still work? Are my practices current? Am I looking at the right threats? How do I marry my cloud migration effort and my other daily security effort? Our paper seeks to address this scenario by giving you advice on the strategy, complete with Google Cloud examples.

On the other hand, perhaps you are the company that was born in the cloud. In this case, you may not have an existing data security effort. However, if you plan to process sensitive or regulated data in the cloud, you need to create one. How does a cloud native data security program look like? Which of the lessons learned by others on premise I can ignore? What are some of the cloud-native ways for securing the data?

As a quick final comment, the paper does not address the inclusion of privacy requirements. It is a worthwhile and valuable goal, just not the one we touched in the paper.

Here are some of our favorite quotes from the paper:

  • “Simply applying a data security strategy designed for on-premise workloads isn’t adequate [for the cloud]. It lacks the ability to address cloud-specific requirements and doesn’t take advantage of the great amount of [cloud] security services and capabilities”

  • A solid cloud data security strategy should rely on three pillars: “Identity / Access Boundaries / Visibility” (the last item covers the spectrum of assessment, detection, investigation and other monitoring and observability needs)

  • Useful questions to ponder include ”How does my data security strategy need to change to accommodate a shift to the cloud? What new security challenges for data protection do I need to be aware of in the cloud? What does my cloud provider offer that could streamline or replace my on-premise controls?”

  • “You will invariably need to confront data security requirements in your journey to the cloud, and performing a “lift and shift” for your data security program won’t work to address the unique opportunities and challenges the cloud offers.”

  • “As your organization moves its infrastructure and operations to the cloud, shift your data protection strategies to cloud-native thinking.”

At Google Cloud, we strive to accelerate our customers’ digital transformations. As our customers leverage the cloud for business transformation, adapting data security programs to this new environment is essential. 

Enjoy the paper!

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