Encryption recommended to protect unified communications

    The reports of cloud security risks have not stopped small business owners from investing in cloud services. Security measures, like encryption, are leading to an increase in the number of companies that trust the cloud.

    Encryption recommended

    According to a recent survey conducted by Ponemon Institute and Thales, 50 percent of businesses already store sensitive information in the cloud while another third plan to do so in the next two years. As a result, encryption has become an important step business owners are taking to keep company data secure.

    “For any organization that is still weighing the advantages of using cloud computing with the potential security risks of doing so, it is important to know that encryption is one of the most valuable tools for protecting data,” said Richard Moulds, vice president of strategy at Thales.

    Experts agree that companies should get into the habit of encrypting all information. Data encryption can be applied at different points of the transfer, including before, during or after it is stored on a secure server. InformationWeek also recommended in a recent survey that businesses research and verify a provider's security options. Companies that conduct research and put high security measures into effect are more comfortable placing information on a cloud network, according to Ponemon. Taking these precautions could prevent any surprises that might potentially affect data.

    Businesses seek control

    The study also reported that nearly 36 percent of respondents that use encryption seek control over their information, compared to 22 percent of respondents that believe the responsibility should be entrusted to the cloud vendor. When encryption is used, companies have the opportunity to control the encryption keys. This could prevent data loss if a cloud server is breached, as a hacker would not have access to the key that only the company possesses.

    "Encryption is a very definitive approach to security," said Moulds. "It's either encrypted or it's not, it's black or white."

    This extra precaution could put any business owner at ease.

    InformationWeek's 2012 Cloud Security and Risk Survey found that 73 percent of respondents are either using or planning to use public cloud services, which reflects a growing trust in cloud providers. In order to secure company information and prevent possible security breaches, businesses should consider encryption keys to keep data safe.

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