Information Security: Do You Know Where Your Data Is?

I will admit to being pretty cautious in my adoption of the Cloud.B You see, I differentiate between data that is not really mine and my data.

With online banking for example, the data I access isnbt really mine.B I am just being given convenient access to it.B Security is the bankbs problem.B If money is removed from my account without my consent, the bank restores it.

Using Amazon as another example, it isnbt really clear whose data webre concerned with protecting.B While it is my credit card information, I gave it to Amazon to pay for a transaction and they continue to maintain it for my convenience.B I can bwrap my head around this oneb knowing that in the event of an unauthorized charge, I would dispute it with Amazon and/or the credit card company.B Again, I count on full restoration.

When it comes to bmyb data, itbs a different story.B While there are a number of examples I could use to illustrate this, the customer relationship management (CRM) platform is the most universally used.B Think SalesForce.com.

My concern with using an online CRM tool (also known as Software as a Service or SaaS) is not whether my data is secure online but whether I can get my data OUT of the Cloud if necessary.B I may be a bit too trusting of the Cloud service providerbs security protocol.B For me, I need to know what will happen if I change my mind about how I want to access my data.B Can I realistically do that?

For anyone who has switched CRM tools in the past, youbll understand what Ibm talking about.B While I might be able to download a spreadsheet with names, addresses and phone numbers, can I download the REALLY important information?B This is the reason we use a CRM tool.B We want to preserve history so that we can access it in the future.B The notes and specific contact-related information must be downloadable in a format that can be easily manipulated for import into a new system.

And, as long as webre considering threats to information security, we donbt want just banyoneb to be able to download the information.B The system must have reliable security levels in place so that only someone with the highest level of security bclearanceb can perform a bdata dumpb.

When considering your online platforms, itbs as important to explore how you would retreat from the Cloud as it is to plan for implementation.

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