Key security questions answered by host of industry experts

Legal practice DMH Stallard LLP has launched a new report into data security and the cloud.

The Report – entitled ‘Secure Your Data in the Cloud’ – aims to give those organisations with real concerns as they migrate from on-premise provisioning to cloud based solutions, answers to a host of questions relating to the issue of security. It follows ‘Secure Your Data – Protect Your Business’, published earlier in 2012, which contained best practice recommendations arising from interviews with a number of organisations on how they treat data.

Frank Jennings, Head of Commercial, DMH Stallard LLP and author of the Report, stated: “Industry surveys consistently show that data security is the number one concern when it comes to cloud adoption.

“The Report aims to answer the key questions they are asking about cloud solutions and we have asked a host of industry experts for their views as well as our own. The answers themselves reveal that data is not inherently more insecure in the cloud than on-premise. According to our experts it is all down to what safeguards there are and the responsibility for this resides with the data owner themselves,” he added.

According to recent research by the Cloud Industry Forum data security is cited by 82 per cent of companies as a key concern for them as they take the decision to migrate to the cloud. This was followed rapidly by data privacy at 69 per cent.

The Report also takes five key lessons learnt from the research:
1.Keeping data secure is not so much about whether it is on-premise or in the cloud as it is about putting in place proper safeguards.
2.You should classify your data according to importance and adopt security measures accordingly.
3.Undertake diligence on your providers. Make sure they have a good reputation, have achieved recognised accreditations and have addressed security to your satisfaction.
4.Don’t just look after the technology. Remember security is about people too.
5.Take practical steps to protect your data and then cover this off in the contracts with customers, staff and suppliers.

Julian Heathcote Hobbins, General Counsel at the Federation Against Software Theft and one of the key contributors to the Report, added: “This is a ‘must-read’ Report for anyone considering migrating to the cloud and who may have concerns over the issue of data security. It gives the reader clear guidance to those contemplating a move to the cloud or who have expressed concerns.”

Andy Burton, Chair of the Cloud Industry Forum and CEO of Fasthosts, concluded: “Typically when people think of security concerns about cloud computing they think of the multi-tenancy nature of SaaS applications, use of an untrusted network (i.e. the Internet) and the trophy status of a large Cloud Service Provider vs. an average organisation in terms of external malicious attack. The key thing to remember though, is that there are solutions to these concerns and that the type of cloud deployment model requires different security considerations and this will place a different emphasis on who is responsible for certain tasks.

“Security is neither more nor less of an issue for any specific service or deployment model, it just has to be properly assessed, delivered and managed.”

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