Strong security procedures critical in age of cloud document storage

Executives at banks and financial institutions around the country have found significant value in cloud-based business intelligence tools, particularly risk management software that offers an SaaS platform for flexible and cost-effective financial processing. At the same time, workers are also making use of free cloud software for data storage, which may pose risks to a company's sensitive data.

American Banker described the results of a recent study from Ponemon Institute, which polled more than 2,000 organizations for a period of six months in late 2011 and early 2012. Sixty percent of surveyed organizations admit to transferring large data files to internet-based file sharing applications, with many often heedless to the privacy and security risks inherent in this practice.

The practice itself may be benign, but without strong security protocols, workers may be unknowingly exposing sensitive company information, Larry Ponemon told the news source.

"These file sharing and file transfer technologies are very convenient," he said. "It's not that people are doing it because they're trying to steal data, but they lead to a big problem if companies aren't aware of it and don't implement security over."

Recent data from Gartner showed many more organizations are comfortable with using SaaS platforms to store sensitive data, but it is important that when doing so, businesses evaluate the partner with which they are working.

The security practices of free file-sharing applications may not be easy to determine, though when working with a third-party provider of risk management software, businesses should seek details on data storage policies and procedures. Providers that take a consultative approach to software implementation may be more forthright and helpful when it comes to answering these questions.

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