Our Latest Content is on the FPT Blog

Feel free to browse our existing content below, however, if you're looking for the latest articles, we now post them to FPT Software's blog page

[GRC] Operating Risk Management within the Cloud

January 18, 2023 / by Franklin Bejarano

Most enterprises have adopted the cloud in one way or another, and risk management within the cloud is a crucial business concern. As more businesses adopt policies allowing employees to work from home, cloud risks for CISOs and CIOs are becoming more significant. Misconfigured cloud servers continue to escalate the danger of data breaches. In fact, cloud hazards can cause data breaches if left unaddressed.

To undermine the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of the data being processed, stored, or communicated by those systems, malicious parties can use known and undisclosed vulnerabilities. Organizations must deal with various risks related to program management, investments, safety, and security. As a result, risk management must be completely incorporated into every facet of the business.

risk management in the cloud

What Is GRC?

Governance, risk, and compliance or GRC is a structured method for coordinating IT with business objectives while controlling risks and adhering to all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. It consists of methods and tools for integrating technological innovation through proactive governance and risk management. 

GRC is used by businesses to reliably accomplish corporate objectives, eliminate ambiguity, and adhere to regulatory obligations. Cloud technology poses both opportunities and vulnerabilities to managing an organization’s GRC strategies.


What Are Common GRC Risk Management Tools?

Businesses can utilize GRC solutions, which are software programs, to manage policies, evaluate risk, restrict user access, and simplify compliance. GRC software is used by businesses to carry out the following tasks: 

  • Monitor policies, manage risk, and ensure compliance
  • Keep abreast of regulatory changes that may have an impact on business
  • Enable various business units to collaborate on a single platform
  • Simplify and improve internal auditing.

Partner with a managed IT service provider that understands how to handle cloud migrations and other functionality safely and securely.


Cloud Operations and GRC

In the context of cloud-based operations, GRC considerations include ensuring that sensitive data is properly secured in the cloud. This includes ensuring that an organization’s cloud provider meets relevant compliance requirements and that the organization has a plan in place for managing risks associated with cloud-based operations. Specific processes may include implementing security controls, regularly monitoring for threats and vulnerabilities, and having a current disaster recovery plan in place. 

Organizations should be aware of the specific compliance requirements that apply to their industry, as well as the data stored within the cloud. As such, their cloud provider must meet these requirements. 


What is Risk Management in Cloud Computing?

Risk management in cloud computing involves identifying, assessing, and prioritizing potential risks associated with using cloud services, as well as implementing measures to mitigate and prevent those risks. Risk management activities include:

  • Creating a security plan
  • Monitoring for security breaches
  • Implementing access controls
  • Regularly reviewing and updating policies and procedures
  • Creating a disaster recovery plan for data and systems
  • Ensuring compliance with industry regulations and standards

Risk management is a crucial process in cloud computing because it helps organizations protect their data and systems from potential security threats, data breaches and other types of incidents. While cloud computing brings many benefits, such as increased scalability and flexibility, it does introduce new risks, such as data loss, unauthorized access, and data breaches. 

By identifying and assessing these risks through risk management, organizations can take the proper steps to mitigate or prevent them. As such, they can protect sensitive information and ensure business continuity. Finally, risk management helps organizations to comply with industry regulations and standards, such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and SOX, helping them avoid fines, legal penalties, and reputational damage. 


Types of Risk in Cloud Computing

While GRC and risk management are highly effective in mitigating risks associated with cloud-based computing, it’s crucial for organizations to have a thorough understanding of potential risks in order to mitigate and prevent them. The most common types of risk in cloud computing include:

  • Security Risks: Security risks in cloud computing include unauthorized access, data breaches, and attacks on cloud infrastructure. 
  • Compliance Risks: Organizations using cloud-based infrastructure may be required to comply with industry standards and regulations such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and SOX. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines, legal penalties, and reputational damage. 
  • Data Loss or Leakage: Cloud providers may have inadequate data backup and recovery systems in place which can lead to data loss. Data stored in the cloud may be vulnerable to leakage if not properly secured. 
  • Service Interruption: Cloud services may experience interruptions due to power outages, network failures, or other issues. Should this occur, it could result in business disruptions and lost revenue.
  • Vendor Lock-in Risks: Organizations can become dependent on a particular cloud service provider and find it difficult to switch to a new provider if their needs change.
  • Privacy Risks: Cloud services may not provide the same level of privacy and security as on-premise options, which can lead to exposure of sensitive information. 
  • Operational Risks: Cloud providers may not have adequate infrastructure in place to handle a large volume of users, which can lead to slow performance and other operational issues. 


Best Practices for Cloud Computing Risk Management

Corporate governance, risk management procedures, and internal controls are all included in an efficient risk management process. It organizes managers, staff, outside suppliers, and other stakeholders to embrace taking risks as a means of development and opportunity. Here are some recommendations for managing cloud computing risk.

  • Carefully select your cloud service provider (CSP): Perform supplier risk assessments, considering factors such as contract clarity, ethics, legal liability, viability, security, compliance, availability, and business resilience. Determine whether the CSP has service providers on its own that it can depend on to deliver its solutions and modify the scope as necessary.
  • Establish adequate controls based on the risk treatment: The program will be driven by the resulting risk treatment options in a reasonable, practical, and prioritized manner after analyzing the risks.

Developing reliable data classification and lifecycle management techniques is a crucial component of risk management. Your service-level agreements (SLAs) should also include procedures for protecting and even wiping data stored in public clouds.

  • Deploy Technical Safeguards: Technical protections, like a cloud access security broker (CASB), can act as enforcement points for security policies in the cloud or on-premises between customers and cloud service providers. When users use cloud-based resources, it acts as an enforcement point for business security regulations.
  • Vendor Management: Using third-party providers in cloud business models has raised security issues. To reduce security concerns, think about developing a public cloud strategy that incorporates security standards for appropriate SaaS usage.
  • Implement a comprehensive ERM framework: Both the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) and the International Organization for Standardization provide extensive ERM frameworks to support your success. 

GRC software can assist you in tracking and automating many of your risk management operations to ensure compliance with different frameworks.


Intertec International Is Your Partner for Risk Management

You may evaluate and manage the risks facing your company using the GRC platform provided by Intertec International. Intertec International is an MSP experienced in cloud computing and creates a single source of truth by centralizing all documents, checklists, policies, procedures, and workflows. 

With its sophisticated reporting features, you can visualize your risk profile using reports and dashboards that are simple to grasp. Better decision-making and improved teamwork are made possible by these characteristics.


If you’re interested in learning more about Intertec’s GRC solutions as a managed service provider, download our guide on Top Challenges in GRC and How the Right Partner Can Help You Solve Them.


Download The Guide


Tags: Cloud Migration, GRC, Governance, Risk, and Compliance

Franklin Bejarano

Written by Franklin Bejarano

Senior business continuity planning (BCP) manager for Intertec International with a focus on business analytics and risk management.

Contact Us