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Embracing The Cloud With Necessary Levels Of Enterprise Security

By Expert Author: skyhighnetworks

Fear of security breaches is the number one concern holding back cloud adoption – impacting 41% of companies according to a recent survey by CapGemini consulting. This concern outweighs concerns issues with data sovereignty and integration. According to Chris Moyer, CTO EMEA for HP’s Enterprise Service , “security breaches always cause problems in our industry. They’re the biggest threat from a public cloud perspective.”

While IT is concerned about the security and compliance impact of using cloud services, business users and lines of business are not waiting to adopt the cloud. Cloud usage driven by the business without consulting IT, also known as “Shadow IT”, is growing rapidly. It can include the Account Rep who uses Dropbox to sync files across her laptop, tablet, and mobile phone while travelling, or the marketing department that deploys HubSpot.

Shadow IT cloud usage is not just continuing, it’s accelerating. The risk to enterprises is partially the security of the data in the cloud. If there’s a breach, the company could lose valuable intellectual property, or sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) exposing the company to regulatory penalties. Cloud services can also have other, more unforeseen risks. One major company recently discovered source code was being exfiltrated via Twitter 140 characters at a time. Even for approved cloud services like Salesforce, organizations are looking for a greater level of auditing to ensure usage conforms to corporate policies.

Most of all, as the number of cloud services in use at a single company grows it needs more efficient ways of vetting services for security. A recently study found the average company uses 545 different cloud services. Companies often struggle to vet providers for ISO compliance, HIPAA compliance, and security controls. Questions like, what happens to your data when a cloud provider goes bankrupt? With Gartner predicting 1 out of every 4 IaaS providers will go bankrupt by 2015, this clause in the terms of use is important. Recently, cloud storage provider Nirvanix went bankrupt and provided its customers less than a month to migrate their data.

One way to protect data in the cloud is to encrypt everything with enterprise-owned keys, but as the above examples illustrate encryption is just one element of cloud security. Companies also need tools to identify anomalous usage that could indicate a security breach or malicious activities. They need fine-grained access control policies to enable mobile usage of cloud services only for corporate-approved devices. Before this, cloud security begins with visibility.

Before companies can secure their data, they need to know what data is in what cloud services. Cisco Systems recently performed a complete audit of their cloud usage. “The number of cloud providers we were using was definitely a bit of an eyebrow raiser,” said Desmond Murray, Cisco’s Director of Information Systems.


Author :

Skyhigh Networks, the cloud access security company, enables companies to embrace Cloud Analytics Services with appropriate levels of security, compliance, and governance while lowering overall risk and cost. With customers in financial services, healthcare, high technology, media, manufacturing, and legal verticals, the company was a finalist for the RSA Conference 2013 Most Innovative Company award and was recently named a "Cool Vendor" by Gartner, Inc. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Skyhigh Networks is led by an experienced team and is venture-backed by Greylock Partners and Sequoia Capital. For more information on Shadow IT to Visibility and Cloud Control, visit us at http://www.skyhighnetworks.com/shadow-it/ or follow us on Twitter@skyhighnetworks.

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