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True Security Threats in a Cloud Environment

CloudIf you’ve ever implemented a cloud application, you likely navigated a number of discussions surrounding cloud security. No doubt you had to do some fast talking to explain what IT professionals already know: the cloud is safer than many on-premise systems.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t security threats when you implement a cloud solution. The problems that are most likely to claim your data or infiltrate your network, though, don’t tend to be the types of issues that most people associate with cloud systems. Here are the security threats that you’ll want to protect against:

A lack of defined ownership: When you implement a cloud solution for the first time, it’s important to have a plan in place for who will oversee the security protection for each part of the technology. You’re likely to overlap with your provider in some areas, but it’s better to have the discussion and put a plan in writing, rather than discover later that you both thought one another was overseeing a certain aspect of security.

Shadow IT: With large corporations sometimes managing thousands of applications, it’s no surprise that it’s easy for employees to download an application onto the network without authorization. Likewise, they may be using a personal mobile device for business activities or vice versa. It’s almost impossible to eliminate every risk from Shadow IT, but it’s good to be aware and protect against this weak spot.

Compliance: The compliance standards currently in place were established when the cloud was largely conceptual. There’s so little guidance for how data should be stored and which types of data should not be mixed that it makes it challenging for any company to know how to make decisions related to storage.

Lack of physical access: Some companies are troubled by the idea that they don’t know exactly where their data is being physically stored. This is a concern particularly in the public cloud, where companies’ data may be stored in ways that they aren’t protected from potential problems with other enterprises. For instance, if a company’s data is seized by the government for legal reasons, an unrelated company may be unable to access their data, too.

Additions and updates: Any disruption in your cloud environment has the potential to allow for a security breach. Even if the update is simply to improve speed, you should take precautions against any possible security problems.

Planning for a migration to the cloud? Talk with the consultants at T2. We can help you walk through the entire security process, from evaluating your current situation to establishing protocols to protect against shadow IT. Give us a call to set up an initial appointment.

 

It’s a Great Time to be a CIO

CIOThe days when the IT guy was just there to fix your frozen computer screen are over. IT professionals are no longer on staff for the purposes of managing technical maintenance and upgrades. Instead, the corporate landscape invites the CIO to the board room, where they aren’t simply informing or advising. Instead, they’re directing the future path of the company.

 

Take a look at a few of the trends in IT that are influencing the way businesses are growing and developing:

Budgets are up, but so are expectations: Now that the dust has settled from the financial crisis, CIOs are reporting increased budgets and expectations of growth and innovation, as well as process and productivity improvement.

The CIO isn’t just running IT anymore: Sure, CIOs still oversee IT, but also spend as much as 15 percent of their time in other areas of the business. They are often not only managing data and technology, but also the strategic path of the business.

Not only are business leaders concerned about the impact of digital transformation on the corporate landscape in general, but everyone lives in fear of an Uber-type takeover of their industry. CIOs need to be not only planning for process improvement and cost-savings in areas like cold data storage, but they also have the immense responsibility of watching the technical horizon for disruptive innovation.

IT is becoming increasingly hard for non-IT personnel to understand: The cloud is a clear-as-mud type of concept, one that even some IT professionals struggle to explain coherently. Thankfully, transitions to the cloud have largely been successful, but CIOs still spend a lot of time explaining its risks and benefits, as well as dispelling misconceptions.

CIOs are spending a lot of time with robots: The trend is not going away. Robotics are a major piece of the current process improvement puzzle, and CIOs are focused on how they can implement robots to streamline processes and trim budgets.

CIOs are talking security: Companies dread the thought of seeing their names splashed across newspapers or the news ticker on cable television. Hackers present an ever-changing variety of tricks to grab data, and executives are looking to CIOs to keep their customers’ records secure. This is the topic that’s keeping CIOs awake at night.

Even on little sleep, though, it’s not a bad time to be a CIO. You’re in the right position to direct the future of your company, and maybe even your industry.

Looking for ways to save time, money and other resources for your company? Talk with T2 to learn more about options in the cloud that improve your business processes while saving your budget.