Why Encryption Service Is Important to Your Cloud Strategy

BY:

Feb 17, 2016

Why-Encryption-Service-Is-Important-to-Your-Cloud-StrategyYour data has been waiting for its protection services to join it in the cloud. Encryption may be the best partner.

IT experts might disagree about the top benefit of cloud storage and computing, but they’re unanimous about its biggest risk. Data in motion can be hijacked. Physical control over information in the cloud is impossible.

There’s only one solution. Encryption. It’s a costly undertaking for a company to do it themselves. It also runs counter to migrating to the cloud. The move is supposed to reduce IT costs and resources. The answer is logical. Cloud service providers must be the source of encryption if they want to provide a complete solution to customers.

It’s a growing demand, and cloud service providers are answering the call. Encryption as a Service (EaaS) is quickly moving from an option to a standard feature. Here’s why.

Plugging in the missing piece

The attractiveness of cloud storage and computing is that it provides companies with a scalable pay-as-you-need-it resource. The only way that works is if everything associated with the cloud follows the same model.

EaaS brings the model back into realignment. Companies can continue the process of shedding IT expenses. For many businesses, encryption isn’t a safety measure. Regulatory compliance requires that data be encrypted.

Cloud services want to become full-service solutions for companies. EaaS is the missing part of that solution. It’s a cloud-centric approach to data security. They become the single source for storage, computing, and now data encryption.

Puzzle pieces

Companies who handle encryption themselves often have to find ways to connect incompatible technologies to handle data at different states along its lifecycle. The integration costs time and money.

Each encryption technology requires key management. Each key management technology compounds the resources and the cost of the integrated data safety program. Putting it all together is only half the problem. The integration has to be a simple process for employees. If encryption adds to their workloads, they’re likely to ignore or circumvent it.

This costly IT challenge disappears for companies who look to their cloud service provider for EaaS. It’s a single encryption source. Key storage and management joins the rest of the responsibility that’s already been assumed by the cloud service provider.

It doesn’t mean relinquishing ownership of those encryption keys. EaaS solutions offer the option of placing that ownership with either the cloud service provider or the company.

No playing favorites

Few companies have yet to embrace the “bring your own device” (BYOD) environment employees demand in exchange for productivity. Data encryption and decryption needs to work on all these devices, all the time.

Traditional encryption solutions tend to require installation. That’s an impractical route for IT departments. An employee today might have a desktop computer for use at the office as well as a laptop and several mobile devices.

When encryption is approached as a cloud-centric solution, EaaS can be pushed out to any device authorized to be on the network. All an employee needs is an internet connection. This simplified connectivity is an important piece. Other gateway approaches to encryption impose complicated restrictions on employees. They’re forced to establish VPNs. EaaS makes this unnecessary. Speed and accessibility barriers disappear along with employee frustration.

Networking and collaboration

Your company has several offices. Some employees may even work remotely. They still need to work together. On-premises encryption often makes collaboration possible only through a VPN. And what about clients, consultants, or any other partner who doesn’t have access to your gateway?

These obstacles to sharing and collaboration unfortunately encourage employees to push data outside of secure environments to make it accessible.

Cloud platforms combined with EaaS allow companies not only to control the encrypted data, but also to furnish the apps that access and manipulate the data. The result is secure, encrypted data accessible anywhere with robust cloud-based apps that are device-agnostic. This high level of control also means you can keep track of who’s accessing the data, and when.

The logical progression

Data has moved to the cloud. Computing is moving there, too. Cloud-based applications like Microsoft Office 365 are revolutionizing the way employees work. It’s become an anytime, anywhere, any device world for them. Data security and encryption has been the only holdout. EaaS is the solution that finally gets data encryption to catch up with where everything has already moved.

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