Today’s post is the first in a three part series on moving to the cloud, courtesy of guest contributor Matthew Johnson of Cloud Sherpas, one of CloudLock’s technology partners. Matthew Johnson is the Vice President of Global Cloud Advisory Services at Cloud Sherpas. Matt is an executive-level management consultant with 30 years of experience in the fields of sales and marketing effectiveness, strategic planning and business transformation. His background includes a career-long focus on managing changes surrounding the introduction of new technology into the organization. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Vermont and a B.S. in Biology and Psychology from Valparaiso University.
Start thinking about security as a business benefit.
Made the move to the cloud in 2014? You’re not alone — thousands of businesses made the transition last year, with US businesses spending more than $13 billion in the cloud arena. So what’s next? Over the coming weeks, I’ll share my top advice on how you can continue to advance your investment in the cloud.
To start, let’s talk about your attitude toward security. In the wake of last year’s numerous high profile security events, I’m sure you’re a bit wary on this topic. But here’s the thing: now that you’re running cloud applications, you shouldn’t be wary at all. In fact, my advice to you is to start thinking about security as a business benefit.
Security Changes in the Cloud
You read that right: security in the cloud should be a business benefit, not a liability. That’s because the cloud business model is inherently geared toward more capable security. Think about it this way: Google’s business model depends on providing solutions like email and document storage. If there’s a breach, Google’s revenue stream would immediately dry up. As a result, Google must place an extremely high emphasis on security in order to maintain and grow its business. And the same goes for any other cloud provider.
On the flip side of that, if you’re using an on premise solution for email and document storage and there’s a breach, how does it affect the provider of that software? It doesn’t. You already paid for the licenses for the product and you were the one responsible for securing it. That puts all the responsibility on you.
Your Conversations Need to Change, Too
Given how significantly the concept of security changes in the cloud, upon making the move it’s important that your conversations on this topic change, too.
You no longer need to worry about firewalls and the like for cloud applications, so take that off your agenda. But you can’t take security off the agenda entirely. To truly reap the security benefits of the cloud, you need to change your approach.
In the cloud, security needs to be a core focus at both the boardroom level and the cultural level. Your users (and their often unpredictable behavior) are now the weakest links, and you need tools to help them protect themselves.
Keep an Eye on Users and Data
The key in all of this is shifting from protecting your technology to protecting your users and their cloud data. By auditing and inspecting what’s happening on a regular basis, you can stay abreast of any unusual activity and proactively take any steps necessary to remedy the situation before it’s too late.
The bottom line? Moving to the cloud changes a lot for both IT and the business, and one of the biggest changes is security. While the move itself delivers benefits around the security of your technology, it’s up to you to secure your users and data. And you’ll be happy you did. Because once you do, your attitude toward security will change: you’ll start to consider security among the biggest benefits of cloud technology.
For more reading on this topic, check out these resources: