It is essential to take preventative steps to mitigate risks associated with moving to a new technology architecture, that’s why a robust risk management program is essential to ensure future success in today’s innovation-driven climate. As businesses embrace these paradigm’s, there’s an opportunity for CIOs to turn risks and risk mitigation activities into strategic business benefits; building trust inside and outside of an organization by equipping employees with the right knowledge and support to navigate the cloud.
Below are my thoughts on four areas CIOs should embrace to manage risk as businesses move to a digital world.
Access controls are key
Cloud services offer the convenience for employees to access information from any device and anywhere, providing more flexible working conditions. However, this can also mean sensitive content is more vulnerable to exposure. Having an IT security strategy that requires every user, system or endpoint device to be validated and verified before connecting to the system helps to drastically reduce risk. Data is one of the most valuable tools in today’s economy; with the increased reliance on data and the trending topic of data privacy concerns, it is critical for companies to take precautions to ensure their content is encrypted and well-protected.
Automation helps people do more – which is especially helpful when systems are constantly changing, and users need more control. Cloud services in order to be viable require having an advanced screening process and more vigilance for system integrity. Automation and regular updates will decrease the risk of a security threat and help ensure everything is running smoothly.
Automate everything you can (i.e. auditing configurations, software updates, workflow tools etc.) to make systems easier and save time from mundane tasks. Using automated tools to detect potential problems will allow employees to focus on more higher value work.
Cloud services offer the quick sharing of content between employees, allowing for the benefit of collecting and storing a vast amount of information. Certain cloud platforms have security built into their design to mitigate issues of copyright risk and have added increased security features using ML/AI technology to protect sharable content.
Modern cloud providers use smart features to detect and flag anomalies any time specified content is uploaded to the cloud. This enables end users and IT admins to classify content based on the level of confidentiality. For instance, if a user tries to upload a file marked ‘sensitive’, this can trigger a response from the IT team requesting certain actions and permissions that are needed. Anomaly detection on cloud platforms can help identify access abuse and flag any unusual activity and behaviour. These features will help to avoid and reduce any legalities in the long run.
Finding the right solution
Finally, with the increased popularity of cloud services, there are numerous options to choose from so it is important to ask the right questions: Is the provider adequately secured? Does the provider have multi-layered encryption? What are its processes on data handling? Does it have a high level of availability and sophisticated backup capabilities? In fact, what may seem like small details can play a large role in the overall success of your business.
Cloud services are becoming ubiquitous because of the new benefits and opportunities it offers for risk management; increasing security and a better more flexible cloud architecture. By incorporating the above recommendations into your business plan and educating employees on the proper use, cloud services can lead to more opportunities for control and visibility than in previous paradigms.
Paul Chapman is Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Box.
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