Data Security in the Cloud

As companies look for more and more cloud-like services, where they gain a powerful ability to scale despite not owning the hardware, where they can simply pay for as much as they use and not a cent more, and where the availability of this terrific technology is ubiquitous, the number of connections that they have to manage becomes mind-bogglingly high, and yet, they’re entrusting their data to somebody else.

As companies look for more and more cloud-like services, where they gain a powerful ability to scale despite not owning the hardware, where they can simply pay for as much as they use and not a cent more, and where the availability of this terrific technology is ubiquitous, the number of connections that they have to manage becomes mind-bogglingly high, and yet, they’re entrusting their data to somebody else.

by Paul French
VP, Product & Solutions Marketing
Axway

Cloud computing is coming. And it’s coming fast and furious. Companies are going to start adopting cloud computing for things that appear to have mission-critical importance but maybe aren’t genuinely mission-critical, e.g., email. And companies like Salesforce.com are going to be there to provide those cloud computing options for countless companies.

But the challenge is this: As companies look for more and more cloud-like services, where they gain a powerful ability to scale despite not owning the hardware, where they can simply pay for as much as they use and not a cent more, and where the availability of this terrific technology is ubiquitous, the number of connections that they have to manage becomes mind-bogglingly high, and yet, they’re entrusting their data to somebody else. They’re taking on more responsibility than ever before, yet resting so much of their ability to fulfill their commitment to that responsibility on another party.

Madness? Brilliance? Maybe both?

When you have Amazon or Google as your cloud provider, or any of the increasing number of cloud providers who offer either full-on clouds or private clouds, how do you know that your data is secure and safe relative to everybody else’s data that it’s sitting alongside?

More importantly, how do you make sure that there is some level of governance applied to where the data resides and how your people get access to that data?

A famous analyst recently told me that “When somebody decides they’re going to leave their company, the first thing they do is download everything off Salesforce.com.” That’s true. You need to provide the same level of controls over any one employee’s actions—over any 10,000 employees’ actions—in the cloud as you would with your own on-premise solution. You need to have a cloud-compliant solution that lays on top of whatever sort of cloud you’re trying to leverage.

Anything short of having that is more madness than brilliance. But with that cloud-compliant solution, with an agent that puts the robust data security of pre-cloud-era governance back in your hands without having to compromise all the terrific advantages that cloud computing has to offer, brilliance eclipses madness. It is then that the promise of cloud computing can be realized without even the slightest asterisk to make you second-guess your decision to buy into it.

(Photo by pagedooley: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/ / CC BY 2.0)

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