Not so long ago I was introduced to a customer who when she discovered I was part of Symantec.cloud, she instantly responded ‘We don’t use the cloud’. As we talked further it became obvious that two things were relevant to this customer. Firstly, her fear was actually one of losing control of important company data. Secondly the reality was that her stance had probably meant she already had lost control of important company data. As this customer performed no monitoring of their staff’s Internet usage and enforced mailbox size limits it is likely staff were already using the cloud.
It is almost a guarantee that people within any organisation that provides Internet access are using tools such as DropBox and Hotmail to store company information. One organisation we dealt with discovered that their project team was using a free consumer file sharing service to store essential customer and internal data rather than pay internally to use the IT provided file sharing resource. Neither side had considered the consequences of their actions and what could have occurred as a result.
Retrospectively it’s not difficult to see what went wrong, after all free and simple is always going to win over difficult and expensive. Education goes a long way, or even worse a breach of some description is often the shock a company needs to invest time and effort in understanding what people are doing. As with many of these things though, the tools exist to provide control of both. For those organisations that are not yet ready to move to the cloud, Symantec.cloud’s Web Security Service provides a simple and effective method to both monitor usage and if required provide blocking to cloud tools. For those that are ready to move to the cloud, Symantec can help you adopt the right approach with security and management at the forefront of your decisions.
The first step on this road is to acknowledge that Cloud is with us whether we like it or not. It’s imperative that all organisations accept this and take the right steps to control how they are going to make use of it.