When It Comes to Protecting Data in the Cloud, Who’s Ultimately Responsible: You or the Provider?

When It Comes to Protecting Data in the Cloud, Who’s Ultimately Responsible: You or the Provider?

protecting dataEven though cloud solutions have been around for some time now, there is still some confusion regarding where protection responsibilities lie. Cloud providers generally offer robust security features to their clients, which is part of what makes these systems so attractive to companies across the world. However, the vendor isn’t the only party on the hook for security. Here’s what you need to know.

 

You Both Hold Pieces to the Data Puzzle

 

Most cloud service providers provide a range of tools and features to their clients that focus on security. This includes methods for securing apps, devices, as well as the data itself. These protections limit the risk of a breach or data loss, but they are only effective when the tools are used properly.

 

In some cases, companies are provided options for turning various features on or off, such as password requirements on devices accessing the data. Choosing not to use these tools means you are leaving your data at risk, not the provider. While being able to access an app more quickly is an attractive option, choosing to lower the security requirements can have harsh consequences. And, if the vendor made these risks clear, you have little recourse should something go awry.

 

Similarly, mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets, and even laptops, must be physically secured as well as technologically. If a device holding sensitive information goes missing, a skilled thief may be able to access the content. While features like password protection and encryption make this difficult, it isn’t impossible, so physical security has to be a priority. And, this is a responsibility that clearly falls on the shoulders of the business and not the provider.

 

Sure, there are tools to help with securing data on lost devices, such as remote wiping capabilities, but preventing the item from being lost or stolen in the first place is ideal.

 

Fighting Complacency

 

Cloud offerings have become far more prevalent in the business world. More companies are choosing these solutions to manage their data, and new vendors seem to spring up every day. All of this growth can give the false impression that security is no longer a concern, leading some professionals to become complacent in regards to security.

 

It’s important to remember that, even though security for cloud solutions is often robust, there are still threats out there. Just as network security should remain a priority in business, cloud security needs to stay at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

 

When choosing a vendor, it’s important to select one that puts an emphasis on security and continues to work to improve their systems. However, you also need to make sure your employees stay aware of the risks and receive proper training regarding the identification and handling of potential threats.

 

By working together, you and the provider can focus on security on both ends. This approach is typically the most effective and more accurately reflects the shared responsibility regarding security that actually exists in the cloud-service industry.

Nathan Weatherford

Nathan is in charge of Marketing & Business Development at VocalPoint Consulting. Launching new marketing initiatives, planning for events, meeting with clients and providers is all part of the job.

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