Most of the established businesses (Small, Mid and Large scale) are turning towards and many new startup’s are also relying on right from the planning stages on Cloud based services. It solves their basic problem; Time Investment and Reducing costs over Maintenance. It also assures them something that every business strives to achieve throughout its life cycle, Efficiency and Uninterrupted services for their customers.
But it is infact Cloud Security that ultimately supersedes every other service the company offers to its consumers. Would any company be naive enough to ignore the most aspect of business? Right from securing consumers data to the information related to their own employees. It is crucial that the company understands the significance of Cloud Security in the cloud model.
The partnership between the company and the cloud service provider plays a key role here. It is extremely important the cloud management firm understand the needs of the company, and also that the company completely understands the way the cloud model functions and the role it plays in the business growth. Also critical for the business is to be aware about the limitations the proposed cloud model has and how the company plans to overcome them.
Where do the companies stand right now?
A very recent survey by Ben Kepes shows that there is desperate need of understanding the cloud models for any company who is embracing it. Check the statistics below:
- 71% of organizations say employees are using apps not sanctioned by IT
- 72% say they have need to allow cloud app access to non-employees
- 43% say they still use “sticky notes” or spreadsheets to track passwords
- 78% of respondents plan to increase their use of cloud apps
- Staggeringly, 34% share passwords with their co-workers for applications
- 20% of organizations experienced an employee still being able to login after leaving the company
- 48% of respondents are still not able to sign in to cloud applications with a single set of credentials
Although I would disagree with some points here, for instance, the 3rd point which says 43 percent of employees use sticky notes and spreadsheets. Few years ago, I used to work for this company where we had to use numerous different applications, some offline and some online, but all of them required us to change our passwords every 30/60/90 days, and since there are so many different applications, it is quite painful to try and remember passwords for all of them. So, we had to use spreadsheets. Sticky notes looks a bit far-fetched, though I wouldn’t reject that notion completely of its possibility.
What needs to be done?
The companies should not take these matters for granted, they should consult the experts in Cloud and probably hire them to look over these matters, it will probably help the company by preventing them to fall into some serious trouble in future.
They should follow the guidelines to ensure that the cloud model they purchase is religiously followed and also ensure that the model they purchased does not overlook security and still remains cost-effective. The complete cycle of Planning, Strategizing of the cloud services should be overseen by the expert, with the most important part of cycle being Implementation and Maintenance.
Who needs to participate?
Right from the owner of the company, to the experts managing the cloud computing area, to the executives, to the trainees need to participate and be atleast aware if they cannot be actively involved. In fact, training program should be arranged to every new employee who joins the firm, especially if they join the IT department.
With all the Smartphone’s and tablet’s available today, the employees are bound to use them within the organization as well. They need to be educated about the uses and misuses of using business related cloud services and consequences it can have over themselves and the organization.
The cloud service is still in the evolutionary stages, the only reason some of them are buying it is because everyone else seems to be buying it too. A company named “Skyhigh Networks”, offers a kind of cloud Security service. It scans the cloud-based services that the company and its employees are using and provides a list of services which are potentially dangerous. Skyhigh says, “They allow their customers to enable and accelerate the safe and profitable adoption of cloud services”. They provide a lot of “patented and unique technologies to provide unmatched visibility and control over Cloud service usage, risk and costs”, some services being, “CloudRegistry™,CloudRisk™ , CloudCompare™, CloudFlow™, CloudReport™, and CloudAnomaly™”. These applications analyze and provide results based on various parameters they have set, which enhances your cloud security.
According to ReadWrite, Skyhigh Networks is currently being piloted by a handful of Fortune 20 companies, half-a-dozen Fortune 100 companies and another dozen ‘normal’ size companies.
If you are in the process of starting a new company, no matter how big or small, and if cloud computing arena fascinates you to an extent that you would want to use it too. Make sure you consult an expert for the same and of course, pay equal attention to cloud security.
Photo Credit – Atos/Flickr