Discovery Engine

Discovery Engine

How to Evaluate Cloud Service Provider Security

Top Criteria on How to EvaluateCloud Service Provider Security

Since a few years, many businesses are engaging with the cloud by using a cloud service provider. A cloud service provider offers computing in the form of infrastructure, software or platform as a service. Since 2020, many organisations have deployed remote and hybrid work environments. They migrated to the cloud to ensure that their business could operate and the staff could work remotely. A lot of businesses moved from on premise solutions to cloud service providers. The main goal was to ensure that their staff and customers could be provided with cloud service-based applications. It is essential to evaluate the security of your cloud service provider. You are basically trusting your business to an external party. Hence it is important to ensure that your data, systems, business and reputation are protected.

As a lot of companies have increased the usage of their public cloud, a lot of security challenges have emerged. Issues with cloud and misconfiguration are the main causes of breaches and outages. Companies need to understand their needs before vetting a cloud service provider for their business. Every cloud security provider has different controls and policies, so it is vital to do your research before making a selection to make sure that the provider aligns with your business needs.

Understanding Shared Responsibility

how to evaluate cloud service provider security

Challenges of cloud security

First and foremost, the biggest challenge is to protect a business against any data breach. Lack of architecture and security misconfiguration is another serious challenge associated with cloud security. Denial of service attack, which usually results in a crashed system and can cause heavy financial losses is another cloud security challenge. Protection against cyber-attacks is also a big security threat.

When do you need to select a cloud provider?

security analytics

Before selecting a suitable provider, you need to understand the requirements of your business. Clarifying your specific requirements and expectations in advance ensures that you choose a provider that would work best with your business. You need to have clarity on technical, security, what service they are providing and data governance to make sure that you select the best provider from a group of potential service providers. Ideally, you need to choose a provider after you have shortlisted and identified your cloud migration candidates, along with analysing and preparing what data needs to be migrated.

Cloud computing enables you to basically set up a virtual office, enabling you to connect to your company from anywhere and at any time. With expanding number of web enabled devices like smartphones, tablets being used in the work environment today, it has become easier to assess your data. Cloud management service providers support your work environment by providing cloud compliant services, regardless of whether you have a multi-tenant environment or a hybrid cloud. As cloud computing has become more essential in the modern world, there is no business plan that does not include a cloud strategy.

cloud service provider security

Want to demo our Providers?

Top Criteria on how to evaluate cloud service provider security:

No two what is providers are alike. Let us go through a few points that we need to consider when choosing a cloud service provider.

7500+ active Companies on

Discovery Engine

Sign Up to set up your Vendor profile.

1. Check if the cloud service provider is adhering to standards and frameworks. Some standards which indicate that your cloud service provider is following the best security practises and is striving to reduce risks are ISO-27001, ISO-27002 and ISO-27017. ISO-27018 makes sure that your provider protects personal and identifiable data. You need to make sure that your cloud security provider follows government and regulatory protocols.

2. Your cloud security provider needs to audit operational and business processes. When choosing a cloud service provider, you need to go a step beyond the information that your provider is offering and request additional information. Look for third-party security reports from auditors who are independent. Your cloud provider should offer access to all the security events and the log data. They need to provide insights into security and should be accommodating with providing data and event requests. If your provider is failing to provide the required information, it could be a red flag that they are pushing back and are not operating with your best interests in mind.

3.Check the authentication and identity controls of your service provider. There is an increased likelihood of theft as the data can be assessed from any global location. For this reason, it is very important to hire cloud providers that offer proper authentication and identity controls. Your cloud service provider needs to offer multi factor authentication for logins as well as real-time identity monitoring and keep a close check on all the person I'm nonperson identities.

4. Get to know the vendor governance and access policies of your provider. There needs to be great trust between your business and the cloud provider. When you migrate to the cloud, your workload flows through the providers’ infrastructure. One needs to protect the business and for this, it is important to outline all the access policies and vendor governance. When you do that, you have a clear understanding of what your provider is controlling and what they can do with your data. If your cloud provider does not have a robust access policy and governance, you good put your organization at risk of losing security incidents.

5. Make sure that your cloud service provider is giving you access to corporate audit trails. Your cloud provider should provide you access to the date and time of specific cloud transactions, who is taking these actions and when are they performed. If your cloud provider is not offering you complete visibility and transparency, you need to consider whether they are right for your business.

6. Have a thorough understanding of internal management resources. When using a cloud service provider, keep in mind that you need to have a thorough understanding of all the resources that you're using and also need to protect your cloud environment.

7. Scour the service level agreement of your cloud. The SLA is an official agreement between your business and your service provider. The service level agreement is responsible for outlining what kind of service, shared responsibilities, maintenance, support and governance your business receives. Since this agreement cover has your relationship with your provider, it is vital to scour the SLA and have a proper understanding of what it contains. You can include legal teams and other decision makers to avoid miscommunications that might happen in the future from failing to scan the service level agreement. You can reduce privacy violations, high costs and breach of data if you go through the agreement properly.

8. Understanding the pricing of the security service that your cloud service provider is offering. Some security providers offer advanced security services that provide threat intelligence and centralised visibility and control at an additional charge. You need to communicate with your security advisor and determine whether you need these services at an additional cost or if you are better off using standard tools.

9. Look into the location of your data storage. Before hiring a cloud service provider, you need to determine what kind of security and confidentiality your data needs. Classifying your data will help you analyse the storage environment of your cloud service provider and help you determine whether it suits your business needs. You need to look into where your provider is storing your data. Some providers store data in countries which have limited security standards, potentially threatening your personal data in the cloud and exposing it to privacy violations.

10. It is important to check whether your cloud service provider supports third party integration capabilities. This is critical to determine whether we can have control and customisation. Your cloud provider should not limit you to their services, but should provide you with flexibility and third-party integrations.

11. Look into the uptime and performance of your cloud service provider. When outages and downtime happens, your business is directly impacted. You need to evaluate the uptime and performance metrics to make sure how your provider experiences these outages and the average time they take to resolve them.

12. Investigate the history of breach or loss of data by your cloud service provider. If you want to vet a cloud service provider for security, you need to investigate the amount of data breaches or loss of data. You need to consider the the size and scope of your provider and if they are offering any level of shared responsibility. Make sure that you get a sense into whether your provider has a high number of incidents and if they take blame or responsibility or if the entire blame falls on the customers.

13. Understand the process of back up and the process of disaster recovery. If you want to protect your data and assets in the cloud, you need to have a strong backup and recovery process. When choosing a cloud provider, look into the provisions and processes they provide for disaster recovery. Your cloud service provider should have the ability to seamlessly preserve your data and also to restore it. Your service level agreement should have the details of all back up and disaster recovery, so that everything is clear from the start.

14. Look for services and support for migration. Migrating all your workload from an environment that is on MS or the cloud can be a big step. Organisations that use in-house resources to attempt to migrate the data to the cloud can often struggle. This can lead to migration challenges and security planters. To avoid such complications, check whether your cloud service provider offers support and services for migration.

15. Avoid lock in and review any exit planning if you need to change your provider due to security reasons, high costs, performance or any change in strategy. You need to review any lock in that might occur and make it difficult for you to sever ties with your service provider.

16. Ensure all the technologies align with the environment of your business and supports your cloud objectives. When choosing a cloud service provider, make sure that the architecture, standard and services offered by your provider suit your management preferences. You need to assess if there is scope for any customisation that you might have to make to make your data suitable for the providers platform. There are many service providers that offer assistance in the initial planning phases. Have a good understanding of what support they are offering. Often, service providers have technical staff or use third-party support to fill skills gaps.

17. Know about the service roadmap of your cloud service provider. You need to proper information about the service development of a provider. Make sure you know if their roadmap fits your needs in the long run. Some factors that you need to consider are how there are two specific technologies and how well they work with other vendors.

18. You need to be aware about the security objectives of your business, what is security protections your supplier is offering, what is security controls the employee to safeguard your intellectual property and data. As security is of primary importance in the cloud, it is critical to ask extensive questions about what security services your cloud service provider is offering.

19. An important variable to consider while choosing a cloud security provider is support. You need to consider factors like how quickly and easily you will be able to receive support when you need it. Some service providers may just offer check services or calling a call centre, which you might not find acceptable. Make sure that you receive a good level of support from your provider.


cyber security analytics

You need to include all factors in your assessment of perspective cloud service providers. It is vital to recognise what standards they adhere to, what services they provide, their back up and disaster recovery process, if your provider supports third-party integration, including other hard and soft factors. Take your time to establish whether a service provider is the best for your organization. While your business can outsource the processing of their intellectual information and data, what needs to be considered is that they cannot outsource the responsibility for compliance requirements for the said data.

cloud service provider