Consumers should research before storing sensitive data

23 août 2012

Companies across industries have turned to cloud computing as a source for disaster recovery and archiving. Some business owners, however, are still reluctant to hand over sensitive information to a cloud provider. For those considering a transition to a cloud service like SaaS, a number of methods can ensure data protection.

According to Gartner's latest annual survey on the state of risk management programs, organizations are more likely to store sensitive information on software as a service. Although some businesses are afraid of the security risks that could endanger stored information, there is no denying that SaaS adoption is gaining ground among business owners. 

The survey identifies the steps organizations are taking to prevent data loss. One of the most important measures is evaluating the vendor and verifying its security. In InformationWeek's recent report, 31 percent of respondents had no idea what cloud security measures a cloud vendor uses. As in the case of SaaS, only 26 percent evaluate information from the provider, according to Gartner. This lack of research could lead to a breach, which is why 48 percent won't consider a cloud service for their business, InformationWeek reported. 

If a company is worried about a hacker accessing its sensitive data, then another method is to not place that type of data into the cloud at all. This could reduce a business owner's fear while still allowing him or her to take advantage of cloud service opportunities.

A third party validation is another way to feel protected, a leading provider of cloud security recently told Sys-Con Media. Organizations should research reviews from auditors that test cloud computing security.

Services like SaaS may not provide users with much control over data stored in the cloud. As they become more widely used, however, business owners should use available resources to determine the best cloud provider for storing sensitive information.

-McAfee Cloud Security