Online Security In The Workplace

Workplace Cloud Security

Our workplaces are changing and much of it for the better. Increased flexibility – pushed by cloud services – is behind many of the changes. Home working, increased collaboration – it’s all good, and it’s all delivering significant business benefits.

We know that. That’s so 2013.

But fewer than 10% of businesses know what their employees are doing on the cloud. They call it ‘shadow IT activity’ – in other words, activity that is happening on the cloud, within the business, which cannot be accounted for as secure.

Consider the disgruntled employee with access to company passwords through Google Drive or the careless employee with Dropbox access to supposedly secure files. Consider perhaps the careless celebrity with photographs in iCloud.

It’s in the shadows because we don’t know the threat. In fact, many of us don’t even know if we’ve been compromised or not.

The threat and the opportunity

For me, this is both a threat and an opportunity for IT. In the most opportunistic of terms, IT can stake out its position as the guardian of corporate security here. If the cloud has taken away much of IT’s responsibility – and potentially has put IT at risk within an organisation – then the risk of shadow activity within the business should give IT the chance to re-establish a position.

And there’s a business case – worryingly so. The threat is that our data could walk out of the door because we’re using file sharing and collaboration tools, often without regulation. Shared passwords, shared access – it may all increase productivity but unmonitored, it represents a significant risk.

50% of organisations questioned in this survey said that they don’t have a policy on acceptable cloud usage. With employees connecting to personal devices and carrying on the work either on their commute or at home, it’s almost impossible to restrict unauthorised SaaS usage – so would a policy help?

Governance – but what kind of governance?

Certainly, governance would be of benefit. Without IT’s overseeing of SaaS activity, the business benefits of cloud activity are almost wiped out by the risk of being compromised. There are businesses who have ceased to trade as a result of compromised data – so a balance has to be struck.

Innovation and agility need to be pursued, and it’s IT’s task to provide this environment. Therefore, shadow IT could very well be not just accepted but embraced, within a fast-paced environment. But governance goes beyond ensuring passwords are regularly changed and that leavers’ access is removed. It’s about a framework that guarantees both innovation and security. If we’re going to use the cloud to its full capability, we need to eliminate as many of the risks as possible – or the business case goes out of the window.

By Gareth Cartman

Rakesh Soni
Multi-tenant clouds are becoming more popular than ever because they're incredibly cost effective and easy to set up. If you're considering switching your business over to a multi-tenant cloud platform, this article is for you ...
Rajesh Khanna
Implement Hyperautomation to Scale Automation Programs by 3X Most Digital Service Providers (DSPs) struggle to accelerate their path to Hyperautomation due to the complex processes with legacy systems and applications. Although Robotic Process Automation (RPA) plays a ...
Louis
Why Services CPQ Is Too Slow Today When PS organizations compete in sales cycles, the first competitor to have a complete quote with accurate pricing, schedules, and an engagement plan will often win. However, getting ...
Jonathan Custance
IoT and cloud computing are on the increase High-profile cybersecurity breaches are increasingly in the news, a prime example being the NHS incident of May 2017 when services were brought to a standstill for several ...
Crozdesk Business Software
B2B SaaS Comparison Platforms B2B SaaS Comparison Platforms are designed for buyers looking for additional information on a particular vendor and service. These sites help ease the complexities for buyers by providing a detailed breakdown ...

SECURITY TRAINING

  • Isc2

    ISC2

    (ISC)² provides IT training, certifications, and exams that run online, on your premises, or in classrooms. Self-study resources are available. You can also train groups of 10 or more of your employees. If you want a job in cybersecurity, this is the route to take.

  • App Academy

    App Academy

    Immersive software engineering programs. No experience required. Pay $0 until you're hired. Join an online info session to learn more

  • Cybrary

    Cybrary

    CYBRARY Open source Cyber Security learning. Free for everyone, forever. The world's largest cyber security community. Cybrary provides free IT training and paid IT certificates. Courses for beginners, intermediates, and advanced users are available.

  • Plural Site

    Pluralsite

    Pluralsight provides online courses on popular programming languages and developer tools. Other courses cover fields such as IT security best practices, server infrastructure, and virtualization.