Although cloud computing adoption continues to grow, security continues to be a serious concern. Security is still evolving and superior approaches to policies and practices are emerging. Studies reveal that security is among the three main concerns that business executives have when they consider moving critical business data to the cloud.
Security concerns can greatly reduce the justifiable optimism that an organization should have with regard to the cloud. By taking the following five things into consideration, a company can replace unnecessary worry with a healthy resolve to embrace the immense opportunities offered by the cloud. Listed in this post are five ideas for increasing security in the cloud so that a new cloud agenda can confidently move forward.
1. Measuring Security Compliance of Vendors
When cloud computing vendors are picked, the criteria for making these choices often focus more on other things besides the level of security that is offered. It is really important to make security a high priority when choosing vendors. After the vendors are chosen, companies need to be vigilant in monitoring the security compliance of vendors.
One of the reasons this area is often neglected is because vendors rarely allow direct audits of security compliance. Another is that there are very few well defined industry standards since standards in the industry are still being defined. Nevertheless, a company needs to verify that their vendors are ISO compliant. They also need to define what the most pertinent security requirements are for the company and discuss these issues with vendors to make sure they are being met.
2. Create an Ongoing Risk Assessment Team
One of the best ways to avoid being taken by surprise by security risks is for a company to continually monitor risk. Although an IT department can have every intention of doing this, the truth is that continuous risk assessment seldom gets done unless a committee has been selected and specifically tasked with the responsibility. They need to have regular meetings to discuss current security issues and they need to have accountability that requires them to periodically report their findings to upper management.
3. Cloud Security Education
Although the selection of a risk assessment team is important, everyone in the company needs to be educated about security and how they can help to protect sensitive data. Employee education with regard to security should be one of the responsibilities of the risk assessment team. When the employees of a company have been adequately educated and trained about protecting data and implementing best practices of cloud security, the chances of having unfortunate security issues are greatly decreased.
4. Risk-rank Your Data
Obviously, some data is more sensitive than other data. When a company will take the time to rank the sensitivity factor of each of their data files and evaluate where the data should reside based on the sensitivity ranking, this usually results in the implementation of protection schemes that would otherwise be overlooked. By doing this, better security procedures are put in place and overall cloud security inevitably improves.
5. Debunk Security Myths
Another important responsibility of the risk assessment team is to debunk security myths that tend to make users paranoid. They need to instill confidence in their fellow employees about the integrity of a new cloud computing initiative. Although security issues can arise if adopters don’t plan and prepare for them, the fact of the matter is that the cloud can be highly secure when utilized properly.
What is your cloud security strategy? Share your ideas in the comments.
About the Author:
Jared Jacobs has professional and personal interests in everything technology. As an employee of Dell, he has to stay up to date on the latest trends and breakthroughs in large enterprise solutions and consumer electronics buying trends. In his spare time he is tinkering with sound systems and other awesome gadgets he can get his hands on. He’s also a big Rockets and Texans fan.