Running a subscription business means building long-term customer relationships and cultivating recurring revenue streams. This means managing customer data, including payment data, My Account preferences and more. Employing complex billing models such as usage-based or on-demand billing adds customer usage data to the mix as well. Your team and your customers need access to that data, and you need that data to be secure.
Data accessibility and data security are opposing forces that pull at businesses every day. While the growth of cloud computing has made it easier to access information and applications on multiple platforms in multiple locations, that flexibility brings risks with it. For subscription businesses that rely on cloud-based subscription billing solutions, data security in the cloud is more important than ever.
What are the challenges to data security in the cloud? What are the attitudes of those who know these challenges best? And are business stakeholders listening to them?
How Important Is the Cloud?
Today’s infographic comes from Gemalto (formerly SafeNet), and explores data from a recent survey of IT and security professionals. Their study found important trends, including the fact that in the U.S., 79 percent of IT professionals say cloud computing is very important to their business. They found similar numbers in other regions of the world. In the EU, 78 percent of IT professionals admit that it is more difficult to protect data in the cloud than using conventional security.
Is IT Involved?
Given that cloud computing is so important to the success of businesses and with such a strong majority of IT and security professionals seeing trouble ahead when it comes to securing data in the cloud, one might think companies would consult closely with their IT experts before making major cloud computing decisions.
The study found just the opposite.
Only 20 percent of IT professionals were always consulted or consulted most of the time. 80 percent of IT professionals are consulted about cloud computing decisions only some of the time or never at all. Add to this the fact that 57 percent of companies have no proactive strategy for managing data and privacy compliance, and we begin to see the disconnect between business decisions and actual data security needs.
Beware Shadow IT
The disconnect between business operations and IT teams makes the cloud even stormier through the phenomenon of shadow IT. When employees and business departments are “bypassing internal IT resources to acquire their own systems, software, and other technologies without [the IT department’s] explicit permission,” you have shadow IT. Just imagine any time you were frustrated by your company’s email solution and were tempted to just work on Gmail. Though it might be an expedient work-around, these shadow IT assets complicate cloud security and leave companies open to data breaches. In the US, 35 percent of corporate data is stored on the cloud, but more than half of that data is not controlled by their company’s IT and security teams.
For subscription companies, securing data in the cloud means working with the experts on your team who know the risks best. This doesn’t stop with curbing shadow IT or working with business departments to allocate resources appropriately. You must also secure user authentication and employ encryption where appropriate. Check out the rest of the infographic below and see what Gemalto found about the importance of encryption and authentication.
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