Knowing about Cloud storage providers like Dropbox, SugarSync, Google Drive and Box.net are one thing. Implementing Cloud storage solutions into your core business operations is an entirely different story. Implementation means understanding how Cloud storage providers interact with your core internal network, providing your employees with the necessary tools to access data stored in the Cloud and most importantly, securing data stored by a provider/accesses by employees.
Business Security Cloud Storage Issues
We all know the importance of keeping your corporate data safe. We all know, in today’s digital world, how important it is to keep all of your critical corporate data safe. Business security is one of the reasons why using Cloud Computing storage providers like Dropbox or SugarSync is feels so risky to every business. The basic agreement behind utilizing Cloud storage solutions is a company will hand over critical corporate data to a Cloud storage provider who, let’s be honest, isn’t working behind the most hardened firewalls.
This agreement keeps business owners and CTOs up at night. The question: as a company, do we make use of Cloud storage services and risk the possibility of leaking critical corporate data or do we chose to forgo the use of a Cloud storage solution in favor of building an internal private Cloud infrastructure?
If you are like most companies, you can’t afford building and operating your own internal corporate Cloud. As such, you are left with utilizing Dropbox, Box.net or SugarSync on the grounds that they are highly affordable, highly scalable yet not so secure.
With the acknowledgement that public Cloud storage providers like Google Drive aren’t that secure, as a business owner how do you secure your internal network while still allowing employees to access critical corporate data stored with a Dropbox or a Google Drive? The answer is data selection and VPN.
Cloud Storage Data Selection and VPN Access
The harsh truth here is for the company looking to maintain corporate security while using Dropbox like providers, the only way to keep security is to pick and choose what data to store internally and what data to store externally. For the data which is stored externally, via a Box.net, that data should be less business critical. Everything else, all data which is considered business critical should be stored behind corporate firewalls and only accessible by encrypted VPN access.
To secure Cloud storage solutions, businesses should only upload less sensitive data. Everything else, everything deemed critical, should stay behind your corporate firewall.
It’s a harsh truth but a truth nonetheless.
How to Access Cloud Storage Data
The next question we need to answer is how company employees away from the office can/should access data stored with a Dropbox or Microsoft Skydrive. The answer to that question is BYOD or CYOD. BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, is the movement in corporate America which allows company employees to bring their smart devices to work and link those devices into corporate Cloud applications. CYOD, or Choose Your Own Device, is the movement in corporate spaces which allows company employees to pick from a range of devices supplied by the company that connects to corporate applications.
Through making use of both, employees will have the devices needed to stay mobile yet operate as if they are in the office. Through the use of BYOD and CYOD, Cloud storage solutions shift from a way to share data to an avenue to conduct day-to-day business affairs.
BYOD and CYOD allow company employees to keep the internal network safe while also allowing company employees to access the data they need, when they need it.
Once again, the ICT market comes to the rescue of Cloud storage providers.