4 Ways Cloud Security Is Like Online Dating According to the Pew Research Center, 5% of American couples in a committed relationship met online while 22% of adults ages 25-34…

4 Ways Cloud Security Is Like Online Dating

Michael Gleason

I spend my days (and nights) explaining how the strengths of the cloud - high availability, scalability, and interoperability - can help us overcome what is often considered its greatest weakness: security.


Cloud-Security-Online-DatingAccording to the Pew Research Center, 5% of American couples in a committed relationship met online while 22% of adults ages 25-34 have used online dating.

As the stigma attached to meeting potential significant others online fades, dating sites transition from mysterious millennial playgrounds to household names.

But what does online dating have to do with cybersecurity? And, no, Ashley Madison is not a “dating” website, so that’s not it.

1) Watch Out For The 1%

In The Online Dating World: Most of your potential dates out there are perfectly fine – they’re not serial killers or axe murderers and they won’t excuse themselves to use the restroom fifteen minutes into your first date only to vanish forever. Not that I’m speaking from personal experience.

That said, there is no arguing 1 in every 100 individuals is absolutely insane. As in, I alphabetized your closet based on color while you went to the bathroom and also read your entire high school yearbook insane. Again, not that I’m speaking from personal experience. The good news? We’re talking about the minority of individuals. Watch out for the 1% of crazy, and you’ll be fine.

In the Cloud Security World: In our Q3 2015 Cloud Cybersecurity Report, we found just 1% of users represent 75% of the cybersecurity risk. While this may seem frightening at first, there is good news: security teams can remediate a bulk of the cloud cybersecurity risk rapidly by focusing on the riskiest subset of users.

2) You Can’t Be Afraid To Dig Deeper

In The Online Dating World: You’ve been frequenting the profile of the perfect guy. He’s wearing a tee-shirt featuring your favorite band and his Pinterest board has all the same craft projects on it. What you don’t know is that he’s actually fourteen years older than you, doesn’t leave the house on weekdays, and thinks the apocalypse is right around the corner. The moral of the story: don’t be afraid of digging deeper to find red flags.

In The Cloud Security World: While optimism is admirable, it’s important to be a realist. Denial is not a viable security strategy. Assuming employees are following your acceptable use policy is – how do I say this politely – hopeful. Don’t be afraid of the dark – shine a light on all the dark corners to ensure you can surface risk and respond accordingly.

3) The Importance of Opening Up

In The Online Dating World: You can only talk about your childhood pets and favorite ice cream flavors for so long. Eventually, you will have to open up a bit more to move forward. Prepare for a long discussion about how his college girlfriend broke his heart and he really wants to give up his job to become a full time LEGO Certified Professional. Difficult as it is, opening up is an important step – but you might want to grab a glass of wine for this one.

In the Cloud Security World: In cloud security, “opening up” translates to extensibility. By integrating with other security and IT tools, a cloud security solution becomes a platform, capable of aggregating data from multiple sources to integrate security with existing security and business workflows, including Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools, IT service management solutions, business intelligence applications, and more.

4) Avoid Excessive Exposure

In The Online Dating World: Do I really have to explain this?

In The Cloud Security World: It’s no secret cloud applications make it easier for users to create, access, and, most importantly, distribute information – some of it sensitive. Ensure users understand the consequences of overexposing sensitive information to avoid inadvertent security issues.

The 1% Who Can Take Down Your Organization

In analyzing user behavior across 10 million users, 1 billion files, and over 91,000 cloud applications, we surfaced surprising trends. In cloud environments, 75% of the security risk can be attributed to just 1% of users. Read the full report for insights on cloud cybersecurity trends across users, collaboration, and applications.

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