Wednesday, November 06, 2013

How to Develop a Secure Cloud Strategy in Six Steps

How to Develop a Secure Cloud Strategy in Six Steps
By Vic Levinson

The first step is to start with the data. Data should be classified by risk and sensitivity levels according the business values. Obviously, high risk and highly sensitive data is at the core, less risky or non-sensitive data is at the periphery. Access is then determined in conjunction with this segregation and by regulation as well. Even though data may be deemed non-sensitive, there may be regulations in place to mean then it must have access to it controlled.

The second step is to address the organization's users. User's access should be determined by specific roles and also on a need to know basis. Beware of users with grandiose ideas of what their responsibilities are and of their own sense of importance. Sales may want access to finance records, but they may not really need it.

Thirdly, your cloud environment has to be the right fit for your enterprise- based on your data and your applications. Some line of business applications may not be applicable for the cloud based on their platform or specific functions within the business. At this point, your data determines if you are going to be on a public cloud, private cloud or hybrid. The IT department needs to build strategies that will take full advantage of the cloud that will meet the business objectives and be secure.

Determine your controls. With the proliferation of employee owned devices being used in business environments and consumer access to corporate information, IT has to contend with managing the various operating systems, devices, identities and applications. Take a data centric approach to identify and implement controls based on your data standards and cloud feasibility.

The fifth step is akin to adding the special sauce to a recipe. This is when you engage a cloud provider that has the expertise to bring it all together. This stage involves building a migration plan that is both flexible and secure.

As in all good recipes, the last step involves careful monitoring. Make sure that all of the controls are protecting the assets as they were intended to. Adjustments at this stage should be minor tweaks and not major policy changes.

Cloud technology is drastically changing how information is exchanged and stored. Businesses that quickly build and deploy these applications and take advantage of their benefits will reap the biggest rewards. To take the recipe analogy to its final stage, dig in and enjoy!

Prime Telecommunications has assisted thousands of businesses in the past twenty years dealing with technology and IT. Visit our website at to see how we can help you put together the pieces of your IT puzzle. We specialize in cloud applications from disaster recovery to hosted voice applications.

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