In this last year, we saw a lot of businesses racing to the cloud. With the start of a new year, we hope those businesses will now turn their focus to their cloud data security. According to a 2018 Ponemon study, 39 percent of IT and data processing requirements are cloud-based, but that will increase to over half this year! For that reason, 2019 needs to be the year of Cloud Data Security. By understanding the impact of cloud expansion, we’ll see why it demands more focus on security.
The global economy moved into the cloud in 2018, but the focus on Cloud Data Security was missing. The Ponemon Institute surveyed over 3,000 IT professionals across eight nations, surveying cloud adoption, data storage, and security. What they found was that the United States trailed the other seven countries in every area. Let’s outline what we can do to help change those numbers, bringing the United States into competition with the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, Japan, India and Brazil for security measures.
Define Safety Practices
Germany led the field in third-party data protections. Specifically, their third-party data sharing practices are the most strict, according to respondents. Accessing cloud data can be as simple as extending an email invite. Do you have a specific process defined for how you manage this access? Do you have vendors you’ve worked with in the past that may still have access to your data? Locking that down is of high importance. The type of data corporations store in the cloud is typically the riskiest to lose with 54 percent being payment information, and 49 percent customer information.
Each year, we hear about costly and painful hacks and breaches. Many of these are caused by vulnerabilities introduced by third-parties. For example, an online chat app was the cause of a major breach this year affecting Best Buy, Kmart, Sears, and Delta Airlines. Even though they all stated that it didn’t impact a large number of users, these companies had to deal with the outcome of it. The chat provider, 7.ai, was the backdoor through which criminals busted in and gained access to customer information.
What can you do to help protect yourself from breaches? Consider these five areas to include in a specifically defined security process:
- Know who has access and what specific privileges. Can you report on which usernames have rights to which cloud data? Do you know the individuals or vendors behind the usernames? Start by auditing this information on a regular basis.
- Define more specific permissions. Don’t give every username access to all information. Only grant rights to the data necessary for the vendor or employee to do their job.
- Have a specific process for removing rights. How soon do you revoke access when a vendor relationship or an individual’s employment are terminated? Set this up as a top-priority step as soon as possible. This protects both you and their vendor or individual.
- Use the best security you can. Require multi-factor authentication and encrypt sensitive information.
- Partner with a security vendor who can help you make sure all of these are implemented correctly. We have cloud data security experts ready to help.
Meet Compliance Requirements
Each industry has specific regulations that businesses must meet for compliance. If the thought of this gives you anxiety, that may mean that you need the right solution to simplify this for you. Germany was again the winner in this category, with 69 percent responding that their organizations are most proactive in managing compliance with regulations. How can you become proactive, rather than reactive? It starts with choosing the right cloud solution, then ensuring the cloud data security is top notch. We can connect you with the technology you need to accomplish this.
Be Confident In Your Cloud Data Security
One area where the United States didn’t lead was in feeling insecure. Australian companies took first here, with 61 percent of respondents stating their companies are most uncertain about knowing the cloud solutions in use. If you feel like you might relate to the country down under, it may be because you haven’t addressed the shadow IT in your business.
Shadow IT refers to solutions in use that aren’t managed or supported by your IT department. Every organization deals with this and some better than others. We found the best approach is one of acceptance. You can’t shut it down completely and an attitude of “no mercy” will only foster more hiding. Rather, welcome it and bring it into the light. Perhaps you could create a positive incentive for reporting it. Often, employees don’t realize they’re causing issues. They’re simply trying to do their jobs well and found a cloud solution that helps. Bringing every cloud connection to light gives your IT group the ability to protect it all.
Partner With Technology Experts
At Broadline Solutions, we connect small and mid-sized businesses in Minneapolis with the technology solutions for success in cloud, colocation, and connectivity. As 2019 approaches, we want to increase the protection of data, with an emphasis on Cloud Data Security, knowing that more and more sensitive data is stored there. We are your technology advocate. Call us today. We’ll listen and collaborate on a technology strategy with a strong emphasis on security. This is an absolute must have this year!