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Five ways to ensure cloud security for your business

Cloud security shown by the cupped palms of a woman holding a cloud image suspended over her hands

Today, organizations are shifting focus toward cloud-based hardware, software, and services to realign business operations. A recent IDC FutureScape report on the future of the cloud market forecasts that 65 percent of organizations’ IT assets will be offsite in co-located hosting and cloud data centers by 2018. Also, the report predicts at least half of IT spending will be on cloud incentives. This is 60% of all IT infrastructure, and 60–70% of all software, services, and technology spending by 2020.1

IDC FutureShape's data on the future of the cloud shows $67B in 2015 increasing to $162B in 2020

Ask today’s CIOs about their key focus area on their journey towards digital transformation, and nine out of ten would say  cloud adoption, cloud optimization, or cloud security. In fact, CIOs today are in a transformational phase from being the head of technology into a true chief of information. CIOs are truly managing data―the important strategic asset of the modern-day digital organization. Cloud acts as a catalyst and a connector in streamlining an organization’s efforts for optimal data utilization.

Cloud computing is opening up many new possibilities for businesses, but it is also bringing new security challenges. Security has become a major concern for businesses, and in some cases is hindering cloud adoption. This blog outlines five steps companies can take to improve their cloud security capabilities.

  1. Due diligence. Cloud security starts with you. It is very critical that businesses understand the level of risk they take on when adopting a cloud strategy. Each and every aspect of their cloud transformation journey needs to be understood at a granular level. This will help businesses build a comprehensive data security framework that will be in place for the long run.

  2. Analyze, categorize and protect information assets. It’s important that you understand what you are storing in the cloud. Customer data may be more critical than operational data. Organizations need to analyze the different types of business data and categorize them based on the level of security each demands. This helps businesses in creating a robust security framework for the cloud.

  3. Data encryption and back up. The first line of defense for cloud security is data encryption. This will help you encode business data so that only authorized parties have access to it. Most cloud service providers offer a decent amount of encryption features. Still, encrypting business data from your end before taking it to the cloud will enforce better cloud security. Protect data loss from theft and cyber attacks by having a robust cloud backup strategy in place. Be prepared with data backups to run on a scheduled basis depending on the needs of your business.

  4. Skilled people resources. Businesses cannot ignore the fact that an organization’s successful journey towards adopting a modern technology is largely dependent on skilled resources. To improve on cloud security capabilities, it is critical for organizations to nurture the right talent. Organizations need to build formidable teams comprised of skilled security professionals to ensure best-in-class security capabilities within the organization.

  5. Cloud specific data governance policy. Businesses should define a detailed governance, risk, and compliance policy specific to the cloud. It is imperative the policy covers guidelines and initiatives relating to cloud infrastructure management, device management, vendor management and periodic security audits. This helps organizations take greater control over business data security and drive better ROI from the cloud adoption.

References

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2017/04/29/roundup-of-cloud-computing-forecasts-2017/#71213c2631e8

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