IBM recently published an Infographic featuring the following statistics: “68% of top CISOs and security leaders see security in the cloud and data privacy as a critical business concern yet 76% are worried about the theft of mobile devices and the loss of sensitive corporate data.” These stats would indicate that cloud and mobile devices/mobile data cannot co-exist. Yet, for the small and medium business (SMB) market, cloud computing and mobile device management (MDM) have become synonymous with doing business.
Many businesses that comprise the SMB market have adopted, integrated, and even welcomed mobile devices into their day-to-day operations. Often, this is because leadership teams believe that the cost of doing business will go down if employees provide their own mobile devices. There is no denying that business is easier when employees can access their spreadsheets and other documents from off-site and non-business hours from their smartphones and tablets.
Some businesses have gone the extra mile and created and implemented mobile device management plans – or in other words, business continuity plans if and when something unforeseen happens. This means that the businesses are prepared if an employee’s device is lost or stolen, or if the worst case scenario happens and someone either sells the data to a competitor or the network gets hacked through the device.
But is cloud computing a fit for every business? Certainly, it’s important to consider what industry your business is in and what compliance issues your industry must face. Some industries are more appropriate for capturing data in the cloud, and some are not. For instance, medical patient data is still a relatively new area within the infosecurity arena, and there are too many ramifications if a single practitioner, for example, a psychiatrist, places all of her data in the cloud via her smartphone – and then loses her smartphone that isn’t encrypted. This falls under the HIPAA regulations which are becoming very strict. On the other hand, it may make sense for real estate firms to store data about their properties so that other agents can access property info.
Above all, if your business is contemplating using the cloud, answer these questions first and make sure your entire leadership team understands the answers:
• What is your strategy for storing data in the cloud?
• What data will be stored in the cloud?
• Who will have access to the data in the cloud?
• How long will data be stored and accessible in the cloud?
• Will the business provide mobile devices?
• What security procedures are in place to protect the data stored and/or accessed on employee devices?
• What are the ramifications if data is hacked?
• What procedures are in place to rectify the situation if data is hacked?
• What compliance regulations must you follow?
What other questions would you add to this list? Please chime in.
View IBM’s Infographic here:
Image Credit: iprostocks via FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This post was brought to you by IBM for Midsize Business and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit IBM’s Midsize Insider. Dedicated to providing businesses with expertise, solutions and tools that are specific to small and midsized companies, the Midsize Business program provides businesses with the materials and knowledge they need to become engines of a smarter planet.