Sensitive Data Drives Cloud Computing

Aug 18, 2015

The advent of the cloud has been, well, moving. Businesses of all shapes and sizes have or are considering moving workloads from their on-premises, private data centers to the cloud. Who could blame them?

The lure of scalability, adaptability and savings is hard to ignore (your competition isn’t). But what about securing the very data that is critical to your business, as well as protecting sensitive customer information? Can you take advantage of all that the cloud offers while retaining the data security experts in governance, risk, and compliance direct you to have?

Yes, you can. But you need to plan with a data-first mentality, and you also need to embrace the notion that the cloud of today will not be the cloud of tomorrow. The cloud is constantly re-shaping itself, but so too is the internal workings of your on-premise, private data center.

Information technology—the movement, use and storage of bits—is evolving across all locations. And all locations must co-exist synergistically in order for organizations like yours to extract the most value. Yet, while IT is constantly evolving, your sensitive data has far greater permanence.

Sensitive data, such a payment card numbers, internal business plans, and intellectual property, remains sensitive, regardless of location, even if that location only lives for the moment. Therefore, you should choose your workload locations, and there will be many locations (i.e., the hybrid environment), from the perspective of constantly protecting the data that must be protected.

Here’s what you can do: take a serious and deep look into FireHost. FireHost, a managed secure cloud provider, extends its VM-level security capabilities into Azure, Microsoft’s public cloud offering. By taking a data-first mentality, you have the flexibility to choose the optimal environment based on the sensitivity of the data. For instance, your regulatory data (e.g., payment card numbers or personal identifiable information) should reside in a highly secured environment like FireHost’s Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).

But not all data requires that level of security. The public cloud can be a perfectly suitable place for certain non-critical workloads. As you start developing a comprehensive data classification strategy, the difficulty lies in the middle ground. Data that isn’t regulated through compliance controls, but also requires more security than a simple front-end site. FireHost fills this gap with FireHost Armor, which provides VM-level protection for your Azure workloads.

The key to developing a successful multi-cloud strategy is to focus on understanding and documenting how different data sets should be categorized, managed, stored, and protected. These classifications are necessarily organization-specific because each organization has a unique environment and set of requirements. 

Category : Cloud

Michael Suby


As Stratecast’s Vice President of Research in Frost & Sullivan, Mr. Suby engages with his seasoned team of analysts and business strategists in defining research direction and in delivering impactful customer interactions. Leveraging a 15-year analyst career, Mr. Suby maintains thought-leader presence in cyber security, particularly in Mega Trend topics that crossover into the churning world of digital transformation. Mr. Suby has a Master’s degree in Economics and a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics.

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