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Practical Cloud Security by Chris Dotson

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Chapter 2. Data Asset Management and Protection

Now that Chapter 1 has given you some idea of where your provider’s responsibility ends and yours begins, your first step is to figure out where your data is—or is going to be—and how you’re going to protect it. There is often a lot of confusion about the term “asset management.” What exactly are our assets, and what do we need to do to manage them? The obvious (and unhelpful) answer is that assets are anything valuable that you have. Let’s start to home in on the details.

In this book, I’ve broken up asset management into two parts: data asset management and cloud asset management. Data assets are the important information you have, such as customer names and addresses, credit card information, bank account information, or credentials to access such data. Cloud assets are the things you have that store and process your data—compute resources such as servers or containers, storage such as object stores or block storage, and platform instances such as databases or queues. Managing these assets is covered in the next chapter. While you can start with either data assets or cloud assets, and may need to go back and forth a bit to get a full picture, I find it easier to start with data assets.

The theory of managing data assets in the cloud is no different than on-premises, but in practice there are some cloud technologies that can help.

Data Identification and Classification

If you’ve created at least a “back-of-the-napkin” diagram ...

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