Secure Your Enterprise Data with the Cloud
By Josh Vierling
Your employees are gravitating to the cloud whether your enterprise is ready to or not. Maintain security measures and make sure they do it under your watchful eye.
Despite the irrefutable benefits of the cloud, on-premises applications are still dominant in enterprises. Though 99% of businesses are in or beyond the “Discovery” phase with the cloud, only 18% of businesses rely “heavily” on the cloud for new projects and only 6% would automatically turn to the cloud as the default platform for new applications.
Even if enterprises aren’t ready to fully embrace the cloud, it seems their employees are. The benefit of having a low cost of entry (or sometimes no-cost of entry) is leading many employees to utilize the cloud for work functions out of their own pocket. As employees are increasingly expected to take work home with them and the boundaries between home life and work life muddle with smartphones and other technologies, cloud-based applications become more and more attractive. More employees using the cloud for business on their own means less control for you and weakened security for your organization’s data.
That’s the hitch to employees being proactive. If you have 1,000 employees signing up for Dropbox on their own, separate from any business rules you have in place, it’s a major security risk. Who knows what sensitive files they’re uploading, devices they’re accessing them from, and who they’re sharing them with? From password strength, to files uploaded, to user permissions; your organization has no control over its data.
Implementing a firm cloud strategy for your organization, with clear rules and expectations in place, is a must to help curb this employee behavior and sure up security holes. You’ll control your data and who sees it, and have an easier time restricting access without disrupting the whole company should a relationship with an employee end on poor terms.
Strategizing and deploying the cloud is no easy task. As technologies progress, there are more and more options available to IT departments. Deploying “The Cloud” alone can mean three different things for a business:
- Public Cloud: Time-tested and as popular as ever, utilizing the public cloud is a great way for enterprises to increase the productivity of employees. Application infrastructures have matured to meet the needs of most any business and costs continue to drop as more and more viable cloud providers enter the game.
- Private Cloud: An increasingly popular option as the cloud matures. Companies have begun to build their own clouds to host the tools their business needs. Some companies are finding private clouds to be more secure, and that it’s nice not to have to pay somebody an ongoing monthly subscription fee. InfoWorld puts it best “You get all the scalability, metering, and time-to-market benefits of a public cloud service without ceding control, security, and recurring costs to a service provider.”
- Hybrid Model: As Wired Magazine says, if anybody asks you “Private or Public cloud?” the only correct answer is “yes”. Businesses should use whatever tools are at their disposal to meet each and every one of their specific needs. Building a private tool isn’t always going to be the most cost-effective route, and using an existing service may not meet every requirement of operations. Mix and match to run at optimal efficiency and profitability.
Bringing in a cloud specialist to help your business implement your public and/or private cloud strategies will save time and money. From system architecture, to development and support; a consultant will help you get off the ground faster and more effectively. You’ll control your data and security, and get buy in from staff to use your services.
Your employees crave the cloud and are going to use it regardless of whether your enterprise does because of how much simpler it makes life. By strategizing and deploying these cloud services at an enterprise-level, you ensure strict controls and security, happier and more productive employees, and reduced costs. It’s a win-win all around. Give our cloud computing experts a call today to learn more about how our IT consultants can help your enterprise move to the cloud.