Cloud computing is a tremendously useful model for IT, but it’s also a double-edged sword. You need to be able to balance the need for cost-effective solutions alongside the need to meet compliance. It’s easy to lose control over your organization’s data when it’s stored in cloud solutions that have been purchased by other business units.
Often the IT leadership doesn’t even realize there is trouble until a company reaches the place where it’s purchased seven or eight different cloud solutions. At that point, there is a mess of potential issues, from security to compliance and others.
Here are some clues that will let you know you’re losing out to cloud applications in your organizations:
- Managers have stopped giving approval for data access when a new employee is hired. Most of the time, your access control policies dictate that managers need to approve user privileges. If fewer and fewer requests are being seen or approved, it’s a sign that something might be taking place of those applications.
- User workstations have sticky notes with usernames and passwords. These are more often than not for cloud applications. You can avert this problem by offering a single sign-on that will allow your users to access not only your hosted applications, but your basic directory services, as well.
- Orphan accounts are proliferating. Employees may leave your organization, but the access they were granted to cloud applications isn’t being removed. An automated system for de-provisioning should help to eliminate access to both traditional applications as well as cloud applications.
- You have no system in place to monitor cloud applications. You need to make sure that access is current. People within your company may change roles on a regular basis, and when they do their access must, as a matter of course, change. You wind up with a bit of entitlement sprawl; your users continue to get more and more access, but no access is ever removed.
- You notice accounts disappearing to a competitor who’s hired a former employee. One of the ways that this happens is when your former employee still has access to a cloud application. For example, if a salesperson isn’t removed from your CMS system, they can mine your proprietary data to steal clients.
If you want to keep your IT house in order in the new world of cloud computing solutions, constantly watch out for some of these signs.