It is generally understood that there is no such thing as a perfect solution. Every new endeavor comes with risks and benefits, which must be weighed carefully. Enterprises typically come to a decision on proposed new initiatives by drawing on whatever data and expertise they have in-house. This holds true for organizations considering adopting new cloud applications or migrating existing applications to the cloud.
Cloud Security and Risk Assessment
In fact, when it comes to cloud application adoption, the initial information-gathering phase is critical to reducing future data breach risks brought on by undetected cloud application risks. Firms are understandably eager to push ahead with cloud adoption, which can improve their competitiveness and business agility, but first, business leaders must know the answers to questions like the following:
- Are any users already using a similar cloud application? If so, who are these users, and in which lines of business? The answers to these questions will provide insight into whether there is a real use case in the organization for a specific kind of cloud application, and what benefits it can provide.
- What is their level of activity? This question digs deeper into the use case for the cloud application and can shine light on just how significant the need for it is.
- Is there a way to get a comparative risk measure of the cloud applications in a specific category (for example, CRM or file sync and share)? You’ll find many competing options in just about every category of cloud application, but they won’t be equal in terms of security or compliance. Being able to compare cloud security risks is vital to choosing the right application for your organization.
Simple questions? Yes, but not so easy for a business leader to answer. And that’s where IT comes in.
IT to the Rescue
IT? Yes, the very group that business leaders tend to circumvent happens to be the only one in possession of the data that can help lines of business make more informed decisions on cloud application adoption and, in the process, manage some of the risks associated with adopting the cloud.
IT, after all, holds large amounts of detailed data on user activity across the entire organization, activity logged by web proxies, next-generation firewalls, and many other devices within the IT infrastructure. Using a solution like CipherCloud for Cloud Discovery, IT teams can aggregate and analyze this data and produce a complete inventory of the cloud applications users are adopting on their own, as well as their level of activity. CipherCloud for Cloud Discovery also provides comparative cloud security risk scores using an extensive knowledge base of thousands of applications.
But it doesn’t stop at the initial discovery step. By applying a continuous approach to mining user activity for critical trends, IT can become a partner to the business, proactively identifying and pursuing ways to enable greater agility while helping make initiatives successful and secure. By bringing greater visibility and control to the enterprise cloud environment, IT becomes the hero it was destined to be, ensuring that users get access to approved cloud applications and moving them away from riskier alternatives.
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How does your organization balance cloud application adoption with cloud app risks? Tell us your tips in the comments.