Public cloud opens business to security risks

You would be hard pressed to find two tech strategies that are having a bigger impact on business today than cloud computing and bring-your-own-device (BYOD). While often partnered together, they are finding their way into a number of different industries.

The cloud is helping reduce the need for IT departments to manage large servers and maintain its storage space while also solidify the ability for a remote workforce to flourish. BYOD allows employees to work on their personal devices – a platform they are more comfortable with – while also reducing IT spending.

However, as with any potential business strategy, there is risk involved, namely network security. Many people use public cloud solutions like Google Docs or Dropbox. According to a recent survey from enterprise storage firm Nasuni, one in five business professionals use Dropbox for work-related documents, even though their company has policies against doing so.

Furthermore, its not just the underlings that are doing so, as executives are just as guilty. How often have you seen a board member using their personal tablet or smartphone to perform a work related task? Regardless of an employee’s standing with the business, any slip up can cause major headaches for a company’s security.

“The sensitive data stored in Dropbox is not secure and just as importantly, not controlled by IT. This means that if an employee leaves the company, the information that [a] user has stored goes with them, creating a significant risk of data loss or exposure,” the study says. “Furthermore, as the amount of sensitive corporate data stored in Dropbox increases, the online file-sharing service will become a more attractive target for hackers and other malicious groups.”

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