The cloud provides enormous potential benefits, including cost-saving – as cloud computing services are generally pay-as-you-go; flexibility – as employees can easily gain access to corporate data from anywhere in the world; and security – especially for smaller and mid-size organizations that may not have adequate IT security personnel on staff.
However, despite these benefits, many IT security professionals are still wary of moving to the cloud, according to our recent cloud security survey. This survey measured the attitudes of nearly 300 IT security professionals and it revealed that almost half of them are deterred from keeping sensitive data in the cloud because of fear of possible government and legal interference.
Why IT Professionals Worry About Government Snooping
There are several reasons why IT experts might be apprehensive about storing corporate data in the cloud. The key issues are data security, government surveillance and cloud legislation.
IT managers are often unsure that cloud providers can keep their data properly protected, which could ultimately affect their job and their business.
Another issue concerns legislation and the fact that IT managers don’t want governments snooping around in their corporate data. If a government or official body wanted to see what data a company was holding in the cloud, the cloud host involved would be legally obliged to provide them access.
This means there is very limited privacy in cloud environments. IT managers know it is much easier to hide data within their own private networks. This doesn’t necessarily mean that organizations have something illegal they would like to keep from the government, it might just be that the data held is sensitive and they need to keep it private. Besides, there’s always the chance that data could be accessed accidently if it’s hosted in a cloud environment.
Fortunately, there are a number of steps an organization can take to minimize the risk of cloud data being compromised.
First, know where your cloud provider is located. If they’re based outside the United States they will be subject to the laws of that nation, even if you are in the US. Second, always check the security provided by your cloud provider. Make sure their security doesn’t put any of your data at risk to cybercriminals. Finally, always check the terms and conditions of the contract with your cloud provider. And remember, the overall responsibility of your data lies with you.