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Cloudy with a Chance of Headaches

June 22, 2011

The recent update to Dropbox introduced a security bug that temporarily allowed logins without authentication. This most recent event underscores the importance of reliable security as more and more of our services, applications and resources are moved to the cloud – both personal and business alike. Even if your organization doesn’t have plans to move to the cloud any time soon; many vendors, third-party developers and architectures on which your firm rely, may (or most likely) have plans to do so.

One key strategic issue with cloud security is data protection. How do you best protect data that is both mobile and distributed? That’s a key area of concern when taking your data and placing it in the cloud – it’s out of your hands. As someone who has been part of a team responsible for protecting firm data, that’s a daunting prospect.

I believe what is needed is a paradigm shift of sorts in the way we look at securing our data. In the past, we thought of our data (for the most part) residing on our servers. These servers always had the latest security software, were kept under lock and key and if done correctly, required something that looked like the opening scene of Get Smart to access by way of retina and fingerprint scanners, voice analysis and all sorts of vault doors that opened in really cool ways. A better (or more current) way to look at securing our data is to model security to move with the data and not require our data to live behind the static castle walls of the past. How do you do that?!? No worries…many of those out there who want you to join the (or should I say their) cloud are doing all of the heavy lifting at this point.

All of the major players pushing the cloud have security at the forefront of their implementations for sure…because they know it’s at the forefront of your decision-making process.

Below are just a few links to get you started:

Of course, there’s always the flip side of the coin. Just because a service provider supports the cloud doesn’t necessarily mean they provide the inherent security one might expect, so always do your homework (like I need to tell you).

What about you? Is your firm in the cloud or even partly in the cloud? Do you have plans to move data or resources to the cloud at any point? How confident are you in cloud security vs. past conventions used to secure data based on what you currently know? As always we love to hear your thoughts. Share with us here – nextgenlearning@travelingcoaches.com.

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