Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 54 - Page 42

Ensuring security in the cloud is of paramount importance in today ’ s modern working world . Ishpreet Singh , Chief Information Officer , Qualys , discusses some of the ways CIOs can create business value through the cloud and also how they need to prioritise simplifying the management of their cloud environments in a way that aligns with the business goals .

The role of the Chief Information Officer in the board ’ s view is , in simple terms , to ‘ bring it all together ’. To the traditional heads of the C-suite , the role is the driving force of innovation to enable business growth , working crossfunctionally to connect each line of the business ’ needs and manage the flow of data . There ’ s also the ‘ small ’ task of mitigating security risk and meeting the everchanging regulatory and compliance requirements .

Yet for the CIO themselves , they may only dream that their role was that simple . With continued Digital Transformation efforts hauling businesses into the 21st Century , CIOs are facing the need to manage , connect and secure a constantly moving picture as a tumultuous macro environment leads to ever-evolving internal priorities .
For anyone new to the role and taking their first step into the C-suite lion ’ s den , it can be overwhelming to know where to start with well-intentioned , yet lofty goals set by your colleagues in the boardroom . The overarching goal for the CIO throughout their tenure should be the constant pursuit of eradicating blind spots to improve visibility . This is a never-ending task , as new cloud services are adopted and the business continues to move and scale at pace .
The increase in multi-cloud adoption has exacerbated the existing challenge for CIOs and CISOs alike to both secure cloud environments while simplifying cloud security . Enter multi-cloud approaches , and it ’ s nearly impossible to manage effectively . Research found that CIOs ’ top five challenges encompass ; data privacy and security , cybersecurity and ransomware , the pace of technological change , managed fragmented IT vendor ecosystems and the new technology deployment . It ’ s here that you can understand the pressure CIOs are facing .
Where to start
The first step is to establish your baseline by understanding the current landscape of the organisation ’ s system architecture . This can include the security posture of all of your assets , the cloud footprint , networks and any on-prem solutions . The goal is to get a full and complete picture of everything within the architecture . Without this , any next steps are futile as you can ’ t secure what you don ’ t know exists .
It may be tempting during your audit process to start actioning some of the perceived quick wins where there are overlapping or unnecessary tools that no longer seem to serve the business . Still , it ’ s vital to complete the picture before action is taken to avoid any wrong steps .

The CIO ’ s role in securing cloud environments and simplifying cloud management

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