Cloud Security Requirements -part 1

This blog series consists of detailed set of cloud security requirements that can be used for any organization who wants to implement securely cloud services. The requirements expressed below are cloud agnostic and can be applied to any public cloud or even private clouds.

The sub domain and requirement description are mapped to *ISO 27002:2013 controls and standards. The overall theme of this blog series covers all the cloud security controls stated by NIST 800-53 series.

Domain: Governance Risk and Compliance

Sub-domainReq. NameReq. Description
Governance and OversightManagement SupportSecurity through clear direction, demonstrated commitment, explicit assignment, and acknowledgment of information security responsibilities shall be actively supported. This includes Senior Leadership review of the security policy at planned intervals (or when significant change occurs) to coordinate and update changes that enable alignment and relevance to business, legal, or other requirements
Governance and OversightArchitectureReference architectures that addresses the following shall be developed:
*  Cloud architecture
*  Development environment
*  Test environment
*  Support environment (including remote access, administrative workstations)
The reference architectures shall delineate points of demarcation of responsibilities between different groups and identify the security controls in place
Governance and OversightSecurity Program Audit/AssessmentAudit and assessment plans to validate and track compliance with internal and external requirements at scheduled intervals and required intervals shall be developed. This includes:
a. Develop a security assessment plan that describes the scope of the assessment including:
    i. Security controls and control enhancements under assessment
    ii. Assessment procedures to be used to determine security control effectiveness
    iii. Assessment environment, assessment team, and assessment roles and responsibilities
b. Assess the security controls in the information system at least annually to determine the extent to which the controls are implemented correctly, operating as intended, and producing the desired outcome with respect to meeting the security requirements for the system
c. Produce a security assessment report that documents the results of the assessment
d. Provide the results of the security control assessment, in writing, to the authorizing official or authorizing official designated representative
e. Employ an independent assessor or assessment team to conduct an assessment of the security controls in the information system
Governance and OversightData RetentionHandle and retain both information within and output from IT systems, in accordance with applicable national and local laws, executive orders, directives, policies, regulations, standards, and operational requirements
Governance and OversightPoliciesA set of policies for information security shall be defined, approved by management, published and communicated to employees and relevant external parties. Policies shall include the following:
*  Encryption
*  User access
*  Privileged access
*  Monitoring
*  Coordination with law enforcement
Governance and OversightPolicy EnforcementInformation security policies shall be enforced by management
Governance and OversightStandardsStandards shall be developed and implemented for:
*  Separation of development, test, and operational environments
*  Security testing before and after implementations
*  Secure configuration of systems (hosted, development, administrative)
Operating Model and Business AlignmentSegregation of DutiesConflicting duties and areas of responsibility shall be segregated to reduce opportunities for unauthorized or unintentional modification or misuse of the organization’s assets
Operating Model and Business AlignmentRoles and ResponsibilitiesSecurity roles and responsibilities of employees, contractors, and third-party users shall be clearly defined and documented in accordance with the information security policy
Risk ManagementRisk and Mitigation TrackingTrack risks and develop and execute mitigation efforts so that risks are mitigated to an acceptable level (based on established risk criteria) within reasonable timeframes and executive approval
Risk ManagementNon-compliance managementProcedures shall exist to provide that issues of noncompliance with security policies are promptly addressed and that corrective measures are taken on a timely basis
Risk ManagementRemediation TrackingRemediate and track progress toward remediation for areas of noncompliance to include:
a. Developing a plan of action and milestones for the information system to document planned remedial actions to correct weaknesses or deficiencies noted during the assessment of the security controls, and to reduce or eliminate known vulnerabilities in the system
b. Updating existing plan of action and milestones at each quarter, based on the findings from security controls assessments, security impact analyses, and continuous monitoring activities
Security CultureTraining and AwarenessA training and awareness program focused on cloud product security shall be in place. The program shall include:
*  Reviewing risks
*  Reviewing actions each group shall take to treat risks
*  Training and testing participants in their responsibilities
*  Requires passing before being allowed to participate in the development and support of cloud products
Security CultureSecurity PoliciesInformation security policies and procedures shall be established and made readily available for review by all impacted personnel and external business relationships. Information security policies shall be authorized by business leadership (or other accountable business role or function) and supported by a strategic business plan and an information security management program inclusive of defined information security roles and responsibilities for business leadership.

Documented procedures shall be used to facilitate the implementation of the information security policy and associated controls. Documented procedures shall address purpose, scope, roles, responsibilities, management commitment, coordination among organizational entities, and compliance; and will cover, at a minimum, the following areas:
a. Access control
b. Security awareness and training
c. Audit and accountability
d. Security assessment and authorization
e. Configuration management
f. Contingency planning
g. Identification and authentication
h. Incident response
i. Information system maintenance
j. Media protection
k. Physical and environmental protection
l. Security planning
m. Personnel security
n. Risk assessment
o. System and services acquisition
p. System and communications protection
q. System and information integrity

Are you ready to audit and secure your cloud environment? Contact our security specialists, today!