Today, organizations are shifting focus towards building cloud-based hardware, software and services to realign the way they carry out business operations. A recent IDC FutureScape report on the future of the cloud market forecasts that 65 percent of organizations’ IT assets will be offsite, in co-located, hosting and cloud data centers by 2018. Also, the report predicts at least half of IT spending will be on cloud incentives. This is 60% of all IT infrastructure, and 60–70% of all software, services, and technology spending by 2020 2.
Ask today’s CIOs about their key focus area on their journey towards digital transformation. Nine out of ten CIOs would say, cloud adoption or cloud optimization or cloud security. In fact, CIOs today are in a transformational phase from being the head of technology into a true chief of information. CIOs are truly managing data ― the important strategic asset of the modern-day digital organization. Cloud acts as a catalyst and a connector in streamlining an organization’s efforts for optimal data utilization.
Cloud computing is opening up many new possibilities for businesses, alongside it is also bringing new security challenges. While the cloud technology and the CIO’s attitude towards the cloud have advanced, security has become a major concern for businesses in hindering cloud adoption. This blog will outline a few imperatives to ensure cloud security in an organization.
Here are the five steps companies can take to improve their cloud security capabilities.
1 Due diligence
Cloud security starts with you. It is very critical that businesses understand the level of risk they absorb while adopting a cloud strategy. Each and every aspect of their cloud transformation journey needs to be understood at a granular level. This will help businesses realize the big picture and help them build a comprehensive data security framework that will sustain in the long run.
2 Analyze, categorize and protect information assets
It’s important that you understand what you are storing in the cloud. Customer data may be more critical than operational data. Organizations need to analyze the different types of business data and categorize them based on the level of security it demands. This helps businesses in creating a robust security framework for the cloud.
3 Data encryption and back up
The first line of defense for cloud security is data encryption. This will help you encode business data so that only authorized parties have access to it. Most of the cloud service providers provide a decent amount of encryption features. Still, encrypting business data from your end before taking it to the cloud will enforce better cloud security.
Protect data loss from theft and cyber attacks by having a robust cloud backup strategy in place. Be prepared with data backups to run on a scheduled basis depending on the needs of your business.
4 Skilled people resources
Businesses cannot ignore the fact that an organization’s successful journey towards adopting a modern technology is largely dependent on skilled people resources. To improve on cloud security capabilities, it is critical for organizations to nurture the right talent. Organizations need to build formidable teams comprised of skilled security professionals to ensure best-in-class security capabilities within the organization.
5 Cloud specific data governance policy
Businesses should define a detailed governance, risk and compliance policy specific to the cloud. It is imperative the policy covers guidelines and initiatives relating to cloud infrastructure management, device management, vendor management and periodic security audits. This helps organizations take greater control over business data security and drive better ROI from the cloud adoption.