Simran Kaur from Sophos explains how, by following three steps to facilitate responsible use of cloud services, you need not fear moving your business across to cloud computing.
While you’re reading this, a quarter of a million files have been uploaded to Dropbox. That’s a billion files every three days to one of the many cloud storage providers, freely available to everyone.
Cloud storage empowers its users with convenience, mobility and freedom, which is why it’s here to stay. However, for organisations this raises significant compliance and security issues.
Firstly, you can never be sure where every copy of your data is stored. Secondly, sensitive data which was once safely locked away behind the network perimeter is now launched into cyberspace, substantially increasing the risk of public exposure. Finally, what happens to your data when you terminate your relationship with a particular cloud provider?
Given the enormous popularity of cloud storage, the question facing IT departments is no longer “How do we keep data out of the cloud?”, but rather “How do we secure data once it leaves the perimeters of our network?”.
There are three steps that you can take to facilitate responsible use of cloud services while maximising data protection for your business:
1. Mandate one or more cloud storage providers as authorised for your organisation, and make it easy for staff to use those services through training and support.
2. Implement access controls at the network perimeter and endpoint to deny access to unauthorised cloud services.
3. Use Data Loss Prevention to decide which data doesn’t go to the cloud, and encryption to secure the data which does.
With these steps you can embrace, not fear, the cloud.
Simran Kaur is Marketing & Events Coordinator, Australia & New Zealand for Sophos, a global leader in information security. He can be contacted on (02) 9409 9120.
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