How to Keep Your Cloud Technologies Secure

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You may have noted that an important and recurring ingredient for success when it comes to cloud technology is clarity. Establishing clarity regarding your goals helps you to implement the best cloud model for your organizational needs. Establishing clarity regarding the expectations of your business partners helps mitigate risk, and so on and so forth. What may instinctively seem like unnecessary or cumbersome steps are anything but; documenting "the obvious" pays off in spades when it comes to the cloud and securing your data.

It's interesting to note the rapid growth and innovation in cloud computing – oh how far we have come! It is hard to even imagine the future landscape just one year from now. We've seen tremendous innovation in e-commerce and mobile payments - transactions no longer rely on credit card number themselves, but rather a unique text string, protecting and bypassing the need to collect specific sensitive user data. As technologies like these continue to evolve, we need to ensure an even higher degree of focus on data stewardship and protection. We all share an important objective here; to make sure that we are protecting our customers, our employees, and our organizations at large. This requires that we act responsibly, identify valuable data, plan for loss events, monitor our business partners, test our network, and identify owners. Our collective efforts will pay off in terms of helping define the future of a more safe, risk-aware, and better governed cloud and digital environment.

The jury is no longer out about the cloud. What was once regarded as a misunderstood buzzword about our increased reliance on the Internet, is now a critical puzzle piece for any successful and innovative 2015 enterprise business strategy. According to a recent survey, software-as-a-service adoption in organizations has more than quintupled, moving from just 13 percent to an astounding 72 percent in 2014 alone. While adoption and implementation is rapidly increasing, there are important practices and truths every organization should keep in mind in order to make the most out of their cloud strategy and, most importantly, keep their cloud technologies secure.

Before we begin, it's essential to remember a core governing principle; despite what many may believe, your data always remains your data. Sure, another organization may be tapped to host your data, but regulatory guidance regarding data ownership and protection is increasingly clear across the board: the roles and responsibilities for protecting and managing your data remain with the originating enterprise, regardless of other entities, which may be contracted into a business partnership. Therefore, it's important to assess the risks to your data, including the probability of a breach or the impact of a loss. Just because a loss event hasn't happened yet doesn't mean you have immunity; no organization does.

Based on his experience and conversations with industry peers and experts, MetricStream's David Williamson has identified five tips that can help you keep your organizations' cloud technologies secure.


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