Today’s IT professionals are responsible for enabling business objectives by identifying and harnessing the most efficient and effective technologies. Adopting SaaS-based solutions across the business encourages all three. However, at the end of the day, the ultimate evaluation for IT initiatives is a function of their security – to be put to the test by auditors, internal staff, and malicious actors.
Enterprises have begun to standardize on SaaS applications. Meanwhile, users are speeding by, taking advantage of self-provisioning capabilities enabled by the BYOD and cloud phenomena. The question is no longer should businesses move to the cloud; rather, the question becomes how to harness the benefits of cloud computing while maintaining the security integrity of your organization.
Are you there yet? Here are five signs you should consider investing in cloud data protection.
1) Your workforce is mobile and/or use their own devices.
Your users want to work the way they live and leverage the same cloud offerings in their professional life as their personal life. Through the BYOD and mobile trends, the perimeter is extending beyond conventional office boundaries. A high number of new and unsanctioned endpoints are used for work purposes on a daily basis. Meanwhile, users are capable of leveraging corporate credentials to self-provision SaaS applications via OAUTH.
This opens pathways between the enterprise domain and unvetted 3rd party apps, often with surprisingly high levels of permissions granted to the 3rd party. Should these applications be compromised, the malicious actor would be empowered to leverage the full capabilities afforded to her or him based on the app’s access scope. A security solution can (and should) address this risk.
2) You have standardized on at least one SaaS application for the business.
Businesses shouldn’t have to decide between reaping the benefits of modern technology and putting their most sensitive data at risk. Once an organization has standardized on SaaS applications, they must make sure the data handled by the cloud apps is secure.
Platform-level security is critical, but will only take you so far. If your business relies on a collaborative SaaS application, consider an additional security solution that accommodates for user behavior.
3) You’re not quite sure where your most sensitive data lives.
The truth is corporate data is finding its way into the cloud, one way or another. If you can’t confidently answer the “Where do we have sensitive data in the cloud?” question, you’re susceptible to data loss and audit failure.
Simply put, you need to know where your sensitive data is. If your current system doesn’t easily allow for that, consider a solution that will do it for you – so you know where and what to keep an eye on.
4) You’re concerned about a data breach.
Ponemon Institute recently released a report indicating 43% of organizations have suffered a data breach in the past year, up from 33% a year prior. Commenting on the report, Michael Bruemmer, Vice President of Experian’s data breach resolution group, shared that over 4 in 5 of the breaches his team investigates “had a root cause in employee negligence.”
Given that the cloud amplifies the power users have to access and distribute sensitive data, additional security mechanisms should be leveraged to ensure proper control over access to critical information assets in the cloud.
Satisfying the near endless alphabet soup of compliance regulations is a formidable task for IT organizations. Whether information is on premises or in the cloud, it is subject to stringent data management and governance requirements.
Regulations mandate documentation to demonstrate appropriate policy application regarding sensitive data. A cloud data security solution simplifies the process of proving to auditors that your organization is meeting these requirements, while improving security posture.
Considering a Solution? Consider the Following.
Once an organization moves data into the cloud, they must ensure its security by monitoring, tracking, auditing, and reporting on SaaS activity across all platforms to ensure people are complying with acceptable use policy. Be sure to seek a cloud data security solution offering the following features:
- Cloud-Aligned Architecture. A cloud data security solution should be compatible with the BYOD and mobile nature of today’s workforce and account for all traffic – without interfering with the end user experience by forcing users to come through your network.
- Multi-platform Security. A patchwork approach with niche solutions isn’t an efficient – or effective – tactic. Employ a solution that supports multiple platforms to bolster your security strategy.
- Continuous Monitoring and Protection. Reduce a gaping hole to a tiny window and identify risks rapidly through continuous monitoring.
- 3rd Party App Management. The excessive access scopes of some 3rd party apps grant a high level of access and control to external actors, introducing risk should they be compromised. Gaining the ability to detect, revoke, and automatically classify new 3rd party apps introduced to the domain reduces your threat surface considerably.
- People-Centric. Security, like other IT initiatives, should be a business enabler, rather than an inconvenience to be subverted. Align with users and prioritize their needs to ensure the adoption of sanctioned systems – and improve both security and productivity in the process.
- Integration with Enterprise Systems. Incident management and SIEM integration are vital to shifting enterprise security operations to a more feasible undertaking.
- Integrated, Cloud-Aligned Data Encryption. For the most sensitive information, be sure to add an extra layer of security through file-level encryption.
Don’t Take Our Word for It
Learn how Keegan Morrison, Linux Team Lead and Cloud Architect for Dominion Enterprises leverages CloudLock to ensure data security in the cloud.
Customer Video Case Study: Dominion Enterprises
Ready for more?
In our CISO’s Guide to Cloud Security eBook, you will:
- Learn the characteristics and priorities of today’s forward-thinking security leaders
- Obtain actionable guidelines to initialize and execute an effective cloud security program
- Be empowered to bring it all to life with a formula to measure the impact of security efforts in every organization