Are You Crazy To Store Data In The Cloud?

Are You Crazy To Store Data In The CloudWoe the poor business person as she rushes to her next meeting.  She has to meet a customer at 10:00 and realizes she forgot her presentation.  She jumps in a cab and calls someone back at the office. 

“Would you please email me that presentation we worked on yesterday?”

“It’s too big to go through our email system.  Remember IT put a 10Mb limit on attachments.”

“OK, put it in Dropbox.  I can get it as soon as I get to the customer’s office.”

“Are you sure?  This has all that financial data in it.  What if it gets out to our competition?”

Does this sound familiar? 

We love the cloud.  It’s so convenient for sharing files.  Whether you use Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, iCloud or dozens of other services, sharing files between your devices and colleagues is as simple as drag and drop.  I can work on a document on my desktop, drop it into a folder and it syncs with my laptop, iPad and phone.

Unfortunately there is a downside to this convenience.  As your files and data float freely through the cloud, they are at risk of being stolen and your data compromised.  According to a study in 2012 by Forrester Research, most data breaches are caused by employees losing or misusing corporate information.  It could be someone losing a mobile device or accidentally copying something into Dropbox. 

There is also the concern that cloud services are not safe.  Many use encryption when the files are stored in their cloud, but as soon as someone copies it to a local device, the encryption is gone.  That makes it easy to deliberately or accidentally share the information with the wrong person.  Whether intentional or unintentional, insiders cause their fair share of breaches.

Encrypting your files with a persistent security policy safeguards your information in the cloud.  As you sync it from your laptop to your phone, the encryption remains.  What’s most important is that you can control the file when in use.  Encryption loses its effectivity if you have to decrypt the file when using it.  By controlling the file while its in the cloud, syncing to your device or when reading it, you ensure your information is protected.

Back to our poor harried business person on her way to a customer.  If she uses data-centric security to protect her files, the conversation will go something like this.

“Please put that presentation into Dropbox so I can have it for my meeting.”

“Sure.  The document is encrypted now, so only you and I can access it.”

“Perfect.  Wish me luck.”

It’s no longer crazy to share important documents in the cloud.  Try DigitalQuick to get a taste of how easy this is.  You’ll be happy you did. 

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