James Bindseil, president and CEO of Globalscape, explains how businesses should combat the risks of cloud technology...

BLOG: The dangers of cloud enterprise

James Bindseil, president and CEO of Globalscape, explains why the growth of the mobile workforce and cloud technology presents additional security risks that organisations must address…

According to the latest statistics from TUC, four million people in the UK claim to work from home. Demand for workplace mobility and collaboration is increasing, and the cloud provides a relatively inexpensive solution for infrastructure expansion.

Enterprises have been slow to adopt the cloud, partly because of security concerns and the risks posed by storing data in such an open location. This, combined with the growth in numbers and adaptability of hackers, is dramatically increasing enterprise risk.

Although the cloud is not nearly as unsafe as many think, layered security remains the safest means of data storage. Storing files offline does have many clear benefits; the most obvious is the fact that they are offline, making access by hackers much more difficult. For example, Coca Cola store their top-secret recipe within a state-of-the-art vault in Atlanta. With round-the-clock physical security, the recipe is protected from potential thieves more than if they were challenged to steal the recipe by hacking into a cloud system.

One of the key benefits to businesses choosing to move into the cloud is its inherent accessibility. The cloud enables organisations to create a collaborative, mobile workforce. Consequently, employees are more regularly taking work home, which makes limiting risk much more difficult. A recent Globalscape study of enterprises found that more than 60 per cent of employees knowingly take home confidential data stored on insecure devices and accounts.

Businesses, for this reason, are choosing to implement ‘hybrid cloud’ systems, providing the best of both worlds and allowing them to choose where they want to store specific datasets.

Confidential data will inevitably need to be accessible to remote employees, but must be secured as much as possible to reduce risk from outside agents with more access points to target. Growth in remote workforces is inevitable; however, the risk posed must be reduced. Businesses need to ensure their systems remain secure.

The cloud continues to grow, because it offers organisations unprecedented flexibility. However, the inherent security risks cannot be ignored. Businesses must continue to address these security issues and ensure their staff have been educated about these risks and implement proper security measures.

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