Written by our MD, Malcolm Newdick

The rush to Cloud brings a lot of benefits but also creates serious security challenges for many businesses. In a UK survey by NTT, the Japanese telecoms company, they found some worrying issues (Source: NTT Security).

They found that 83% of respondents used free cloud storage for company data. Three-quarters of people knew they were breaking company rules but did it anyway. And over half of IT managers did not know where their company’s cloud data was stored, not even the country it’s stored in. This is ‘Cloud Sprawl’ where data seeps out of the owner’s control in unknown ways, bringing with it unknown levels of risk.

This leakage happens because of changing attitudes and opportunities. Why would I wait for approval to use a clunky company system when I can just copy the files into Dropbox? Why would the Sales department wait for the IT Department when they can sign up for Salesforce in a matter of minutes?

So what’s to be done to ensure the security that a business owner worries about or to enforce the security that the IT manager’s job depends on?

Here are five ways to stay safe and stay sane:

  1. Find out what your users need or where they are using informal systems or “Shadow IT”.
  2. Don’t try to force people to use old legacy systems. Don’t impose heavy security that people will work around.
  3. Give people the flexibility and freedom to manage their own IT needs. With a set of good options for your staff, they will choose the ones they need. With their buy-in to the new IT world, they will ask for additional apps they need.
  4. Educate people about the risks. If they understand the “why” they will be less likely to ignore your rules.
  5. Get your IT provider to implement new Cloud security systems that will prevent data leakage or add new monitoring so you can detect it.

And if you need any help, just ask Riverbank. Just don’t let your data sprawl into places you don’t want it. Get in touch with us on 01235 426 700 or enquiries@riverbank.co.uk