Trust in a Cyber World

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The word “trust” is thrown around a lot in business. We trust our colleagues; we have partnerships built on mutual trust; vendors ask you to trust their products; and, you entrust critical business information to cloud service providers (CSPs).

So how do you decide who to trust? Well, the answer to that question is not always as easy as you might think – especially when it comes to your critical data. And, unfortunately there is a lot of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) muddying the decision process, making it difficult to know who to trust, especially in regards to the cloud and information governance.

Deciphering the FUD

Interestingly enough, most FUD is driven by data security concerns and whether CSPs really understand the security needs of individual customers. In truth, most questions raised about CSPs apply equally to on-premises solutions. The recent breach of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) internal systems illustrates the point. At OPM, a breach was discovered while investigating another, smaller, security breach. Malware was found installed on OPM’s IT infrastructure that led to the theft of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of over 20 million people. The PII was extracted from OPM’s security clearance system, meaning that PII belonging to spouses, children and other dependents was also compromised. Some of the information stolen included:

  • Addresses for the previous seven years
  • Social Security Numbers and birth details for them and their family members
  • A complete employment history
  • Contact information for people they have known while at those addresses and jobs
  • Finger prints

According to recent news reports, the same hackers may also be involved in a separate attack against the internal data systems of airlines and its partners. As these and other incidents demonstrate, it is clear that on-premises solutions are not necessarily safer information governance options or more worthy of your trust. After all, it is not enough to just trust people. You also have to trust their capabilities. So why isn’t there the same level of FUD surrounding the selection of on-premises solutions and why are companies so readily swayed by FUD when looking at cloud governance solutions and providers? The answer it seems comes down to trust.

The Basis of Trust

Right or wrong, companies inherently trust its staff and systems because there is a sense of control. It is part of the process of hiring employees and installing systems. However, an unfortunate reality is that the term “inside the firewall” generates a false sense of security in the people and technology running internal systems.

As we move into a new world of computing – where information needs to not only be accessible, but interconnected to other people and systems – a modernization of IT infrastructures, systems and applications is required to transform environments to take advantage of the cloud and cloud governance. In a world where trust is hard to earn and establish, how can your organization gain the necessary level of trust that a CSP embraces the security and protection of your information as a top priority?

Trusting in a CSP is more than having confidence in the truthfulness of what they say. It is confidence that the CSP is looking out for your best interests – protecting your information as if it was their own. It is confidence that a CSP and its cloud governance solutions share your security priorities and values. It is confidence that their actions are consistent and dependable.

Bottom Line:

Organizations trust providers who understand their needs, partner with them to solve challenges and look out for the company’s best interests. To earn a customer’s trust, CSPs must be willing to open up and share details on how client information is protected, while at the same time demonstrating expertise on addressing the customer’s current and future information governance challenges. Viewpointe’s time-proven expertise in information strategies and purpose-built, private cloud managed services has made it the chosen partner to drive the power and promise of cloud information governance for more than a decade.

We invite you to read our paper on Security in the Cloud: Who do you Trust to Modernize Your Data-Driven Business? It can help you identify CSPs with data security ingrained into their culture and not just a superficial checklist A CSP who will form a trusting partnership with you and treat your information as if it were their own, all while delivering a cloud governance solution that delivers real business value and results.

If you’d like to find out more about how Viewpointe partners with its customers for cloud governance or an overarching information governance solution, please contact us.

By Reed Irvin | January 20, 2016| Information Management , Security & Compliance

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Reed Irvin

Reed Irvin has over 20 years of industry experience in records management and information governance. He is an active member of the EDRM, currently chairs the IGRM (Information Governance Reference Model) and is a member of ARMA International.

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