What you need to know about cloud security

Cloud technology is where majority of businesses are turning to store their data these days, and it makes sense why. With easier access, lower storage costs and a platform for sharing information globally, there are advantages to be had to moving to the cloud. But we can’t think about cloud technology in a vacuum. If we talk cloud, we’ve also got to talk security too.

As you evaluate cloud deployments for your organization and integrate the technology into your business operations, be sure you’ve considered all aspects of what it means to work in and store data from the cloud.

Stay informed because there’s no turning back

You may currently be running everything on-premise. You may be running everything in the cloud already. But you may also be performing a mix of both. Gartner anticipates more than 26 billion connected devices by 2020. That increase in connectivity is proof that cloud technology is not a fad, a trend or a short-term storage strategy. Cloud deployments are here to stay, so it’s a matter of how comfortable and informed you are about adapting to the cloud. And with the volume of connected devices, it’s essential to understand the exposure, risks and vulnerability that come along with connectivity.

Employees may be your weakest point of entry

With any technological change comes a bit of risk, and cloud technology is no different. But the greatest risk for your technology isn’t cloud deployments; it’s your employees. That may come as a surprise, as what we hear most often in the news surrounds vulnerability coming from outside attacks. But inside your organization there’s more of a security threat than you might think. With the rise of personal mobile devices and remote-based employees, your organization’s exposure will only increase. Organizations must do their due diligence to effectively screen employees during the on-boarding process, and train them to protect themselves and the company against security breaches. Making the assumption that employees know how to block a cyber-attack will be your downfall.

Policies need to be in place

You’ve likely got a crisis policy and plan in place should worst case scenarios play out for your organization. But do you have a cloud security plan in place to protect your business? Industry statistics have shown roughly 25 percent of organizations report not having a cloud security plan documented. The policy takes time to develop and establishing governance plans won’t happen overnight, but documenting those plans are vital to ensuring everyone within the organization understands your technology processes and security structure.

Recognize where the responsibility lies for cloud security

Many often assume that shifting business to the cloud means that security responsibilities is just another service that comes from cloud providers. But in most cases, that’s not true. Security responsibility lies on the shoulders of businesses. Making the wrong assumption can expose sensitive business and customer data to risk and exploitation. And speaking of assumptions, businesses shifting to the cloud cannot overlook the need to continuously perform backups. Backups provide businesses the added confidence that data can quickly be restored in the event of a loss.

Thinking about the security aspect of the cloud can feel overwhelming for many businesses, which is why it’s important you have an IT provider in place who is committed to partnering, educating and maintaining a secure cloud operation.

As you evaluate your cloud deployment and security strategy, talk with your IT partner to get a better understanding of their insight into cloud security and how they can help protect your organization. Because for any business – no matter the complexity – moving to the cloud is not something to be taken lightly. The shift requires the help of qualified firms who have gone through the transition process and know the intricacies, so you can avoid being surprised in the future.

Here are some questions you’ll want to ask to make certain you’ve got the right partner in place:

  • How do you protect my data?
  • What policies do you have documented for data protection?
  • How is my data being encrypted?
  • What’s your process for disposing cloud data?
  • If my organization wants to further explore cloud adoption, is that part of my monthly agreement or an added service?