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How Google Cloud Data-Centric Services Can Boost Security and Privacy in the Cloud

The cyber threat landscape is constantly growing in scope and size, as are frameworks for privacy, regulatory compliance, and digital sovereignty. Not meeting these requirements could lead to data breaches, costly fines, and reputational damage.

At the same time, many organizations continue to extend their reach—and their data—into the cloud. But traditional approaches to security, such as the perimeter security model, were designed for on-premise infrastructure—not for the cloud, let alone multiple clouds. That’s why modernization in the cloud goes hand-in-hand with modernizing your security infrastructure.

Bringing Traditional Security to the Cloud 

Most enterprise organizations have a mix of on-premise and cloud-based infrastructure. Their production workloads are diverse, incorporating virtual machines and container platforms across various endpoints, which means visibility has become a critical issue.

Plus, many organizations have distributed workforces—employees may be working from home, on the road, or from another country—making data loss prevention a significant security concern. Traditional device-based security isn’t as effective in these environments, but moving to the cloud offers new data-centric approaches to protect users and data.

When security teams are using multiple tools and approaches to secure their infrastructure, there can be security gaps—combined with the very real issue of alert fatigue. Staying on top of the current threat environment with the latest tools and training can be costly and time-consuming.

Google Cloud’s Secure-by-Design Approach

Most organizations don’t have a 24×7 security team with unlimited resources. A public cloud with comprehensive security features can improve an organization’s security posture without additional resources. With Google Cloud, for example, you benefit from Google’s secure-by-design foundation that offers multiple layers of built-in security at scale.

This foundation is based on the zero trust principle, which means no network, device, or user is initially trusted. For example, Google’s encryption options—which protect data from compromise or exfiltration—protect data at rest, in transit, and while it’s being processed, regardless of the source or endpoint.

Another key feature is Cloud Data Loss Prevention (DLP), a fully managed service that helps you scan, discover, classify, and report on your most sensitive data. In Cloud Storage, BigQuery, and Datastore, you can classify sensitive data, create dashboards and audit reports, automate remediation, and even connect these results to Security Command Center, Google’s security and risk management platform. You can also export into your governance tool.  

These tools and features can inform your security and privacy posture, but they can also help to reduce risk with methods like masking and tokenization during migrations, data collection, and data processing. For example, by masking or obscuring personally identifiable information (PII), you can better manage analytics and AI data while ensuring proper data governance.

Understanding Your Shared Responsibilities

While Google takes a shared responsibility approach to security, it’s important to understand what that means—and what your organization is ultimately responsible for. For example, it’s your responsibility to safeguard applications, account controls, and deployment architecture.

You also need to ensure your security and privacy controls are configured properly. A major risk is cloud misconfiguration. Improperly configured security settings can lead to gaps or errors that expose your organization to breaches such as ransomware, malware, and insider threats. Regarding application security, a major risk is broken access control, authentication, data integrity, and security logging failures.

Indeed, Gartner expects that until 2025, 99 percent of cloud environment failures will be attributed to human error. While automation can help, it should always be combined with subject matter expertise and comprehensive training.

That’s where a trusted managed security service provider can help. Pythian offers a robust data security framework, regulatory compliance experience, and additional privileged access management offerings across all major clouds and platforms.

We’re ready to train your personnel in security best practices, policies, tools, troubleshooting, and more across all major platforms and cloud environments—so you can embrace the benefits of the cloud while minimizing risk. Get in touch with a Pythian Google Cloud expert to see how our team can help.

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