The business landscape is changing. Flexible working is becoming more of a regular occurrence, with the nature of business changing to accommodate the needs of working families and other personal responsibilities.
With this changing dynamic in the workplace comes the challenge for employers to ensure that company information and data is readily available for their employees, to work on anything from anywhere in the world.
The biggest issue that businesses face with this is ensuring that they and their employees are practicing safely in the cloud. Many employers will make data, company and client information readily available over the cloud to allow for easier accessibility, cheaper storage, and less on-site physical storage facilities. With the emergence of GDPR in the coming months, now more than ever it is crucial to ensure that companies and employees alike are staying safe in the cloud. It will take effect on 25 May 2018.
The phenomenon of cloud computing allows workers to access company data wherever they are, at whatever time, and however they may need to. IT systems can be an expensive infrastructure for businesses so wherever this can be cut, costs minimised and agility maximised, organisations are partaking. With this expansion comes the increased investment into the cloud, as less infrastructure and development is required locally. However, with less physical hardware on site, storage and hosting is therefore stored elsewhere causing potential security and access issues.
How can we all stay safe in the cloud?
Ensure that your data is encrypted when both in transit and at rest.
Store sensitive data locally:
Avoid ultra-sensitive data being saved on the cloud. Where possible, use a local server.
Choose SaaS vendor carefully:
Consider data encryption, password protection, user controls, backup processes and reputation of the vendor. Create a process for selection to ensure that the best vendor for your job is chosen.
Cloud computing policy:
Implement a policy ensuring that users are managed to understand how they are allowed to use the software and network.
Limit personal devices:
For the security of the network ensure that employees are limited from using the company’s main network for connecting their personal devices.
Limit access to personal cloud services:
To keep company data secure, ensure that employees are not able to access their personal cloud storage services from the company’s network.
Never access the company’s network over an unsecure or public network (often found in coffee shops, restaurants, hotels etc).
With this in mind it can often be more cost effective and beneficial to make use of the cloud especially as companies begin to increase their spend by 20% per year to improve business function and maximise agility. By taking a few small steps, you can ensure that you and your data stay safe when utilising the cloud.