Thales Blog

Evolution of Cloud Security: From Shared Responsibility to Shared Fate

November 9, 2021

Sebastien Cano Sebastien Cano | SVP, Cloud Protection and Licensing, Thales More About This Author >

Over the past year and a half, we have witnessed seismic changes with the accelerated adoption of the cloud and the shift to hybrid working. According to McKinsey, cloud adoption has been accelerated by three years compared to pre-pandemic adoption rates while Gartner is estimating that spending on public cloud services will exceed $480 billion next year.

These were just some of the major facets of cloud transformation that are creating challenges for data security that I discussed with Sunil Potti, Vice President and General Manager, Google Cloud in a recent Thales Security Sessions podcast moderated by Neira Jones.

The digital transformation “mega trends”

What is important to understand is that cloud transformation is no longer just another buzzword. It is now the normal way of doing business. Organizations are increasingly leveraging public cloud platforms, like Google Cloud, because it is essential for them to become digital first companies. Moving to the cloud is an existential motivation.

When considering the emerging challenges, Sunil and I highlighted three “mega trends that are conflicting with each other and create explosive potential situations.” These trends are:

  • The massive amount of data produced by organizations.
  • The increasing legal exposure for global enterprises that need to comply with more and more security privacy regulations.
  • The attractiveness of cloud computing is creating new security challenges every day.

To be able to leverage the fantastic opportunities of cloud computing and still remain in control of their security, organizations have to understand the level of risk they are willing to take, and implement the right processes and tools.

From shared responsibility to shared fate

The best way to turn the security risks of public clouds from a headwind into a tailwind is to manage this risk proactively. The concept of shared responsibility is what empowers both cloud consumers and cloud providers to be in a safer position. When a breach happens, the legal fines are often nothing compared to the reputational damage and the loss of customer trust. This is exactly why organizations like Thales and Google are working together.

Shared responsibility is about controlling your own security – anything from data encryption to managing the encryption keys. Some companies think that delegating all their security controls to the cloud providers is the solution to a safer public cloud migration. However, when a breach happens and personal data is stolen or compromised, the legal responsibility is all theirs. Hence, the first step is to take back control of your security and segregate responsibilities.

Splitting security responsibilities is the innovative approach of the Thales and Google partnership that allows businesses to maintain control of their own security in accordance with their risk and regulatory environment. Having full control and access to the encryption keys places more trust and confidence on leveraging the powers of the cloud.

When an enterprise partners with Google and Thales, they trust the world-class technology offered by both companies. This trust is transformed into value because when the overall risk is decreasing, the cyber insurance cost is reduced as well. This level of relationship between tech providers, companies and insurers is something way beyond shared responsibility. This is called shared fate.

Advantages of the Thales – Google partnership

The advantages of the shared fate can be witnessed in our joint solutions for Google Workspace client-side encryption and for Google External Key Manager (EKM). These solutions enable enterprises to load their applications and data on Google Cloud while remaining in control of their security, sustaining data sovereignty, and complying with regulations.

By integrating our solutions with Google Cloud, Thales can provide organizations with the right level of control of all their data. Thales and Google are not reinventing the wheel. Through this strategic partnership we are simply extending the ability for enterprises to control their data when moving to cloud and in this way, solving security problems, governance issues, and other challenges.

You can listen to the podcast in full on the Thales Security Sessions Podcast site, or via your preferred podcast platform.