July 3, 2013
Protecting confidential data has never been more important for nonprofits that have the ability to store donor and employee information in the cloud. Data protection has long been a reason organizations have been fearful of migrating to a virtual infrastructure, but recent research from information systems and communications security provider Thales found more entities are storing information in the cloud.
In fact, more than half of respondents currently migrate sensitive or confidential data to the cloud, an increase of 10 percent when compared to a similar study last year. Furthermore, 35 percent of organizations claim the use of the cloud has decreased their security infrastructure. With all types of private information stored in their cloud environment, nonprofits should ensure that they have the necessary protections to ensure cybercriminals and hackers cannot access their cloud.
"Staying in control of sensitive or confidential data is paramount for most organizations today and yet our survey shows they are transferring ever more of their most valuable data assets to the cloud," said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute.
Nonprofits can benefit from encryption
In many instances, it is imperative that only authorized users are able to decipher the information held in a cloud environment. According to TechTarget, this is exactly why nonprofits should utilize encryption to protect their confidential information. During the encryption process, data is turned into ciphertext, which is nearly impossible to figure out without decryption. By having this security protection in place, nonprofits can be much more confident in their cybersecurity defense.
"Encryption is the most widely proven and accepted method to secure sensitive data both within the enterprise and the cloud, but it's no silver bullet," said Richard Moulds, vice president strategy for Thales e-Security. "Decisions still need to be taken over where encryption is performed and critically, who controls the keys."
Encrypt data data transferring to the cloud
The research revealed organizations don't wait until data is entered in the cloud to encrypt the information, making it even more difficult for cybercriminals to decipher. Encryption before cloud placement is a strategy that organizations used 33 percent more than waiting until information is stored in the virtual infrastructure. With data security as a priority, sensitive information has a better chance of being safe in the cloud.
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