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Introduction

The global cloud data storage is expected to touch around 100 zettabytes of data by 2025. One way of determining the relative usage of cloud providers is to compare enterprise cloud spending. According to recent data, fifty-three percent of enterprises spend around $1.2 million annually on AWS, forty-eight percent spend around $1.2 million annually on Azure, and thirty-two percent of enterprises spend around $1.2 million annually on Google. While it’s become normal for organizations to leverage cloud for their everyday operational and business requirements, the rampant increase in the usage of cloud resources means that companies need to be careful about building and maintaining reliable and efficient infrastructures to meet the spike in demand with minimal management effort. Cloud auditing services like Cloud Services New Jersey can play a crucial role here.

While there is definitely no shortage of cloud service providers, building a reliable environment for businesses means ensuring that the cloud services are actually capable of providing secure, on-demand network access to data and can ensure business continuity in case of emergencies. This is where cloud auditing becomes critical to ascertain if your organization’s cloud setup is actually capable of delivering the desired end results. There are different types of cloud audits available for organizations depending on the type or scope of the audit. These are generally managed by an independent group of auditors who try to systematically gauge the potential of provided cloud services. The goal of such audits is to double check critical cloud capabilities that organizations may need to bet their lives on such as reliability in its security requirements, performance efficiency, and cost optimization.

What is a Cloud Audit?

An audit in cloud computing has the responsibility to ensure and potentially improve on the data availability and also gauge the overall performance and security aspects of the relevant cloud service provider. The auditing process is essentially a technical investigation by a third-party, independent group engaged in finding evidence through inquiry, physical inspection, observation, confirmation, analytics procedures, and/or re-performance. The reports from the audit are usually presented as a report on the existing cloud infrastructure performance and control frameworks and relates the results to the stated client business and technical goals. Depending on the scope and business or technical requirements, there are various types of cloud audits offered by the likes of IT Consulting New Jersey that organizations can choose from. A combination of the evidence gathering processes are used to gauge the effectiveness of the design and operational controls in significant areas of cloud function such as:

  • Communication
  • Security incidents
  • Network security
  • System development/ change management
  • Risk management
  • Data management
  • Vulnerability and remediation management
  • Transparency and ethical behavior

What Are the Objectives in a Cloud Computing Audit?

While audits can we performed with a variety of objectives in mind, the underlying cloud audit objectives always include the following:

Aligning company IT resource usage with a strategic IT Plan

At many large firms, there is significant potential to trim the fat in IT resource usage. Resource allocation cannot be indiscriminate and needs to be geared towards fulfilling specific business objectives. This can be done through the alignment of IT resource usage with company business strategies. Fine-tuning this objective lets companies gauge if their existing or forthcoming IT investments have a strong foundation in enabling business cases. They could also judge whether they have the requisite knowledge base in situ to support the rollout of new IT investments or if they require specific investments in training and education.

Build the core Information Architecture

The information architecture is used to refer to all the network, systems, and security requirements a company may use to protect the integrity and security of information. Cloud services management covers all data that is stored or at rest, in-transit or in process.

Underline the IT Processes, Organization, and Relationships

Documented, standardized, and repeatable processes enable the functioning of a highly stable, predictable and reliable IT environment. This is why it should be a top priority for organizations to create policies and procedures that cover the entire organization’s structure, roles and responsibilities, system ownership, risk management, information security, segregation of duties, change management, incident management, and disaster recovery.

Communicate Management Aims and Direction

Once the overarching policies are created, the tenets of the policies, mission, and objectives of the company should be communicated clearly across the organization and across rank and file.

Gauge and Manage IT Risks

A key factor in being prepared for risks is to acknowledge their existence before they become a problem. A company should focus its efforts on documenting all potential risks that could prevent it from attaining its stated goals and objectives. These should cover current and potential security vulnerabilities, laws and regulations, access to customers or other sensitive information, etc.

Identify risks and vulnerabilities in Vendor Management Security Controls

With companies growing more and more reliant on cloud service providers and vendors like AWS or ADP for critical operational functions such as infrastructure hosting and payroll processing, organizations need to quickly identify vendor risks that could impact their operations or the reliability, accuracy, and safety of sensitive information.

One of the primary benefits of availing cloud auditing services such as those offered by IT Support New Jersey is that auditing helps companies get rid of obsolete services and significantly reduce wastage of resources through idling or over-allocation with effective cloud resource management. This can help companies hold onto funds without over-extending its capacity.

 

Sharon Arena

Sharon Arena is the Marketing Coordinator at Olmec Systems, LLC. Sharon studied Marketing Analytics and Data Research at Post University in Waterbury, CT. She has 15+ years of experience in direct marketing, sales and operations management.