Quiz: Is your data ready for the cloud?

How much of your data lives in the cloud? Before you sent it there, were you positive it didn’t contain sensitive information?

According to a recent report from Blue Coat Systems and Elastica Cloud Threat Labs, one out of 10 documents broadly shared in cloud services contains data that is sensitive or subject to compliance regulations. Securing your information and maintaining visibility into its contents are no longer “nice to haves” – they’re the difference between a successful cloud strategy, and one that compromises customers’ information and your company’s reputation. To ensure security for cloud-based data, here are three tips to keep in mind before a file makes its move:

  1. Not all data belongs in the cloud. This is one of the first things you must understand before hosting any information in the cloud. Federal or state legislative information, test and development environment data and records with extended retention policies (i.e., medical and legal records) aren’t always a good fit for cloud storage. Such files tend to contain highly sensitive information that could put your company and its clients in danger.
  1. Monitoring sensitive data isn’t a one-time action. Managing data, sensitive or not, is an ongoing effort for any company. Cloud-based and on-premise data should be frequently monitored for suspicious user activity and changes to files. Internal team members should also be trained to safely access and transfer sensitive data, in order to uphold a security-driven company culture.
  1. Find a cloud provider that you trust. Cloud service providers follow various protocols and procedures for data management and security. Do your research before deciding which organization’s standards match your own, what third-party certifications and accreditations they hold, and which provider you feel you can trust with your sensitive data.

The cloud can dramatically cut costs and streamline your business, as long as you’re careful about the way you use it. Working with a new cloud service provider shouldn’t change the fundamental way your company measures and maintains data security – even if requires a new set of tools. By following these tips, you can start to alleviate cloud security concerns and benefit from all the cloud has to offer.

Security risks can begin where you least expect them. Learn more about 
cloud, device and data management.

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Andrew Hay

Andrew Hay

With over 15 years of data security experience in various roles inside organizations as well as advising them, Andrew serves as the chief information security officer at DataGravity. He is responsible for the development and delivery of the company’s comprehensive data security strategy. Prior to DataGravity, Andrew was the director of research at OpenDNS (acquired by Cisco) and the director of applied security research and chief evangelist at CloudPassage.