Cloud security principles – asset protection and resilience

Posted on 22 August 2017

In the second of our blog posts looking at the National Cyber Security Centre’s Cloud Security Principles, we will be looking at asset protection and resilience.

This states that “User data, and the assets storing or processing it, should be protected against physical tampering, loss, damage or seizure.” There are a number of factors to be considered here.

Physical location and legal jurisdiction

In order to understand the legal circumstances under which your data could be accessed without your consent you must identify the locations at which it is stored, processed and managed.

You will also need to understand how data-handling controls within the service are enforced, relative to UK legislation. Inappropriate protection of user data could result in legal and regulatory sanction, or reputational damage.

Data centre security

Locations used to provide cloud services need physical protection against unauthorised access, tampering, theft or reconfiguration of systems. Inadequate protections may result in the disclosure, alteration or loss of data.

You should be confident that the physical security measures employed by the provider are sufficient for your intended use of the service.

Data at rest protection

To ensure data is not available to unauthorised parties with physical access to infrastructure, user data held within the service should be protected regardless of the storage media on which it’s held. Without appropriate measures in place, data may be inadvertently disclosed on discarded, lost or stolen media.

You should have sufficient confidence that storage media containing your data are protected from unauthorised access.

Data sanitisation

The process of provisioning, migrating and de-provisioning resources should not result in unauthorised access to user data.

Inadequate sanitisation of data could result in your data being:

  • Retained by the service provider indefinitely
  • Accessible to other users of the service as resources are reused
  • Lost or disclosed on discarded, lost or stolen media

Equipment disposal

Once equipment used to deliver a service reaches the end of its useful life, it should be disposed of in a way which does not compromise the security of the service, or user data stored in the service.

Physical resilience and availability

Services have varying levels of resilience, which will affect their ability to operate normally in the event of failures, incidents or attacks. A service without guarantees of availability may become unavailable, potentially for prolonged periods, regardless of the impact on your business.

You should be sufficiently confident that the availability commitments of the service, including their ability to recover from outages, meets your business needs.

To read more about the Cloud Security Principles – go here

Or, if you would like to talk about your cloud security and how we can help, please contact us.

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