cloud safetyIn part 1, we discussed why businesses are moving to the cloud, and which environment would be best for you. In part 2, we discussed how employee sharing in the cloud could jeopardize your business. Now that you know exactly what the cloud is and how it is driving new business models in the enterprise, it is important to understand how businesses are forced to rethink their approach to data security.  Companies are moving from on premise environments to hybrid cloud and full cloud models to deploy new solutions at a faster rate then ever before. According the Forrsights Developer Survey from 2013 a huge shift to cloud environments is predicted in next two years and with this, securing your information that flows in and out of the cloud is becoming a priority.

Businesses who store all sensitive data in the cloud must ensure proper protection protocols are taken. As much as the information is moved, shared, downloaded, and printed, data security needs to extend to all aspects of business operations.  There are solutions that can protect information in certain environments, but with the fast paced nature of cloud computing, that protection needs to stay up to speed with the speed of information.

When choosing to store data in the cloud, users must utilize, at minimum, standard safety measures for the data being stored:

  1. Choose a good, strong password – the lengthier, the better.
  2. Don’t use the same or similar password to other accounts and do not share passwords.
  3. Just as you would with a hard drive or on premise solution, data that is stored in the cloud also needs to be backed up in case of loss.

That is fairly standard procedure for safely storing data; however, it still leaves data flowing in and out of the cloud vulnerable and potentially exposed to a growing number of risks. What happens when the data is moved, lost, or the cloud provider gets hacked? Your data could be exposed, leaving you with a mess to clean up – or it could be protected at the source, before even reaching the cloud, with protection that never leaves the data.

An emerging trend of applying protection to the data itself is gaining more and more traction in the security market, as the focus shifts from patching holes in the ever-eroding security perimeter to the heart of business processes – information.  A suitable option would be for companies to encrypt and apply protection to the information that is stored in the cloud using such services as Microsoft’s Azure Rights Management  (Azure RMS) for hybrid or full cloud environments. Azure RMS lets companies encrypt and assign usage restrictions to content that is created and exchanged, no matter where it goes – both on premise and in the cloud.

Azure Rights Management provides the following:

  • Safeguards sensitive information
  • Provides persistent protection
  • Supports closer management of usage rights and conditions
  • Integrates rights management with Office 365

Data moves like lightning through the cloud to different computers, mobile devices, and tablets, being emailed, uploaded, etc. Wherever it ends up, make sure your data is safe and secure with the help of latest technologies.

Missed parts 1 and 2? Read them now.

Cloud Computing Series Part 1: Which Cloud Environment is Right for Your Business?

Cloud Computing Series Part 2: 4 Ways Cloud Computing Jeopardizes Your Business Security