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How to assess your cloud infrastructure with in-house audit checklist?

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As your business expands its cloud usage, it needs to collect and report information about its infrastructure and processes.

Whether your customers expect formal security policies to be followed or potential investors need a thorough review of an entire application, cloud audits cannot be avoided. However, you can relieve some of the stress associated with this normally painful process by efficiently gathering information about your company’s technical stack.

Check out this in-house cloud audit checklist for a better understanding of the types of information you need for audits related to security, application integrity, and privacy. Use the checklist as an overview of what you can expect from each type of exam. Then review the sample questions you may be asked during a compliance audit to help you better prepare for the audit process.

Security

Security is a top priority for all organizations. In a world where thousands of data breaches occur, it should come as no surprise that security compliance can make the difference between growth and failure. You need to know what to expect from a security audit as the company’s profitability may depend on it in certain circumstances.

Access management

When you compile your cloud audit checklist, you need to know who can access your cloud services and how much access each person has. While a physical check may be about who can enter a building and which rooms the key card allows, a cloud check is about which services and data a user can access because the cloud is not a physical location, it is important to log the actions that users take at any time to help respond to incidents in the future.

Metrics and Alerts

You must also consider the data you collect and the existing alarms to identify security incidents before or when they occur. These types of metrics include the number of failed user permissions over a specified period of time, or the traffic that an API handles compared to the same time the week before.

Beyond the context of user monitoring, the success of your application depends on how well you understand how each infrastructure component interacts, and how you define alarms to notify your team when these parameters are outside the expected limits.

Protection and intrusion

For this, you need to know how you are currently protecting your infrastructure and how to test and improve that security. Although firewalls, patch policies, and vulnerability scanners are great tools, you don’t really know how effective these tools are unless you keep testing your security.

Integrity

Although security is often an important part of cloud audits, it cannot be the only one. For example, investors and customers want information about the integrity of your application and the infrastructure you have created. This information can also provide additional context for security checks. To fully understand an application’s integrity, customers may want to know how stable it is, how accurate the data processing is, or how well the application works under pressure and with large amounts of data.

Workflows

How you build your application is important. Customers may not be interested in how code reviews are performed or whether you have a comprehensive test suite, but other stakeholders will certainly do so. If you can clearly articulate the best practices your team follows when developing, testing, and deploying applications, you can answer some of the more difficult questions that can arise during an audit.

Privacy

Auditors will inevitably ask how to protect your customers’ privacy. Regardless of whether you’re concerned with EU GDPR compliance or protection against the potentially serious consequences of a data breach. You need to know how, why, and where to store private data.

Data retention

Understand the customer information you collect and how long you keep it. While it is important to identify the total amount of data, the focus here is on personally identifiable information such as emails, names, addresses, etc. Due to regulations such as the GDPR, it is important to understand what you collect and where you may find it save

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