How to Keep Your Cloud Technologies Secure

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Prioritize Your Data

Prioritize the value of your data, whether private and public.

You'll find many different "important first steps" depending on where you look, but almost all experts would agree that a critical step, early in the process of your cloud strategy, is to assess the actual value of your data. That's because not all of your data has the same value, and therefore should not be treated the same way across the board. Ask yourself, what data matters most to the organization. Ask what kind of loss event would damage your business in financially or reputationally devastating ways. Ask what kind of data is most valuable – the data whose loss keeps you up at night.

Take a look at your assets, and be prepared to defend them in proportion to the value that they carry. You can't defend all of your assets with the same level of security measures – this is unrealistic due to team resources, limited budgets, or operational limits. Instead, prioritize your efforts based on what you believe to be the most valuable and essential data. For example, trade secrets, litigation information, confidential user information, or the secret ingredient to your market-leading product – every organization will focus their resources in certain areas.

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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