The cloud storage phenomenon has resulted in a widely used platform used by both companies and individuals as an easy means to store their data. However, as is typical with new technology, the security has fallen behind and left many users vulnerable to intrusions on their privacy that could result in data loss and theft. This problem is due in large part to the factors that make cloud security difficult. (At Virtual Internet an intense effort has been made to use the latest technology and standards (including ISO 9001 and 27001 certification) to safeguard and protect user data. However, challenges will always remain as we move towards zero defect.)
Internal Network Vulnerability
Security measures can only be installed on networks that do not have preexisting security issues. Many enterprise level networks have issues that pre-date the implementation of cloud storage platforms. Because many companies are simply not willing to undergo extensive downtime, it can be difficult to fully secure internal cloud platforms.
Encryption vs. Convenience
Many users choose cloud storage solutions because of the fact that the data stored can be easily accessed from anywhere. Of course, this very factor creates a security risk, and encrypting data only slows down the processing of retrieving stored information. Many users will simply choose not to securely store their files because it will take longer to access in the future.
Dynamic Storage with Static Security
The fact is that many authentication systems are simply not equipped to handle the dynamic nature of cloud storage. Users are adding content on a daily basis to their storage space, and new users are being constantly added. The cost of an authentication system capable of handling this workload is prohibitive.
Shared Content Pools
Unless a company is willing to put forth the cost of installing an internal cloud system, the information stored is shared with others, making it difficult to protect an entire system. Different companies have varying security levels and requirements and are unlikely to collaborate on any measures involving security, leaving data in these shared areas vulnerable.
The Control Question
Security is only as good as those who are left in charge of it, and this problem looms large for cloud storage. In the event a standardized security system is put in place, there must be a decision of who controls these features. The cloud vendor has a vested interest in keeping the data safe for the health of the company, but users will obviously want to maintain complete ownership of their content, and surrendering security may make users feel as if this ownership has been lost.
Regardless of the obstacles, it is clear that a decision must be made soon to protect the sensitive data that passes through the various cloud storage platforms on a daily basis.
AltaFlux Corporation is a global HCM cloud consulting partner based in Troy, Michigan. We empower organizations by streamlining, transforming, and optimizing key human capital management (HCM) processes with industry-leading HCM cloud solutions like SAP SuccessFactors, Benefitfocus, WorkForce Software and Dell Boomi.