For many businesses, working in the cloud was introduced by their own employees who started using applications such as Dropbox, Google Docs or Evernote, because their own IT department could not meet their needs.

After which these company’s considered the use of cloud based applications and the cloud for their business applications, and with that, securing the cloud became an issue.

The same happened when the internet was introduced -and later- with the introduction of mobile gadgets. The need to have and use it came first; the need for security came later.

One of the biggest advantages with cloud-applications is that they are easily accessible, you create an account, choose the right subscription and you can get started. There’s no assistance needed from the IT-department. It’s also very flexible; an instant upgrade in capacity or functionality can be achieved by simply paying a little more.

Many organizations have recently started working with applications such as Office 365, AFAS and Salesforce. Some of them have moved their company applications to the cloud, which makes accessing and managing these applications easier.

Maintaining control of the data is essential. For example; whether the apps or the data are located at the office or in the cloud (or hybrid), adding a layer of security is crucial. This layer will have to be (virtually) implemented in the cloud as well.

The same goes for access management, data is easily shared in the cloud but that also comes with risks. It’s important to prevent data from being accessible to too many people, being shared with the wrong person or that certain rights are extended to the wrong people. It is possible to create an unambiguous company policy for all data concerned, no matter where it is stored.

Scalability and high availability across different cloud locations are one of the other advantages that the cloud has to offer. Applications must be able to be moved without too much trouble and when more capacity is needed it must be accessible within a short amount of time.

Users want these adjustments to go unnoticed, which is possible.  There are solutions available that automatically apply the company policy and security measures, even when the system is moved, extended or amended. The convenience and user productivity remain up and management costs remain central and limited.

Frank Staut

CTO, SecureLink Group
frank.staut@securelink.be