Security measures are essential for cloud adoption

October 26, 2012

The possibilities presented by cloud computing can help businesses of all sizes run more efficiently. With the promise of improved employee productivity, more companies are implementing cloud services into their infrastructures.

Cloud computing expands businesses for less
According to Business 2 Community, companies that invest in a cloud server have more flexibility - professionals can work from home and employers can add new technologies without the worry of high costs. Because of the cloud's unlimited storage, decision-makers are only responsible for paying for the space they use, making it a cheaper alternative to onsite servers and hardware.

The cloud also allows employees to work on assignments using personal devices from anywhere, at any time. With the advent of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement, professionals can access company data or applications on their smartphones and tablets, further emphasizing the growing popularity of cloud adoption.

Protect data in the cloud using security measures
Like all forms of technology, there are risks to using the cloud. Cybercriminal attacks, system breaches and power failures can all affect a cloud-based server. It is up to the decision-maker to take responsibility and put data loss prevention measures in place to secure information. 

Business owners must implement passwords that contain more than 8 characters and a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Some experts also suggest taking an extra step when logging in by employing two-factor authentication, a passcode sent to a person's cell phone.

Encryption is another way to inhibit hackers from viewing confidential documents. In a recently distributed guide, the Cloud Security Alliance and the Security as a Service Working Group suggested encrypting materials before moving them to the cloud, where they should once again be encrypted, Dark Reading reported.

Because of the increase of mobile devices in the workplace - Gartner predicted they will outnumber PCs in the office by 2015 - employers must educate their workers on possible threats and invest in mobile device management (MDM) software. If a smartphone or tablet is lost or stolen, IT departments can use MDM to wipe away company information from the device.

Decision-makers must also develop disaster recovery plans in the event of a natural disaster or in-house emergency. An employer cannot predict how long his or her company may be down if power is lost. Backing up materials, whether in the cloud or offsite, can help institutions stay in business, FCW reported.

To ensure data protection, placing security measures in the cloud should not be an option for organizations. 

-McAfee Cloud Security