Author: Joe Martin, Date: 2014-07-02
Cloud mobility, contrary to the secure IT principle, lets data to be accessed from any device, anywhere in the world. A SaaS application permitted by an agency, but securely to a single device, creates a diverging dilemma between necessary network sharing, and data security.
App-level VPNs are still employed by some companies to preserve the old guard thinking, which in metaphor, is asking employees to open apps in different browsers each time. That deviates from the SaaS adoption purpose of spontaneity, taking away the dexterity that sold SaaS to businesses in the first place.
A BYOD—Bring Your Own Device—policy adopted by a company also poses problems, as it reels in Shadow IT. There can’t be a subset of devices and clients allowed access into the network’s productivity applications. In argument, one can say that Shadow IT is a wall built by some IT leaders to control progress brought by the increasing consumerization. The truth is, business techs are doing exactly what they have been doing since way back, simple productivity. The fear of facing an end-user Arab Spring is basically just IT leaders trying to hold on to a certain level of control.
Users turn to Shadow IT when the existing IT defers access to certain applications, hindering constant productivity. It could be due to a slow network, too many user connections, deliberately blocked connections, or maybe another app simply offers more efficient user experience. Whatever the reason, users will always opt for the easier, more convenient option; anything to get back to doing their job.
Robert Lemos compared SaaS providers to banks, wherein every account is the responsibility of the bank. Should the bank be robbed or infiltrated, the liability falls to the bank, and just compensations for every client will ensue. When it comes to breaches and malware infection, the opposite happens to SaaS providers and its clients, the liability falls on the users. “SaaS providers accept little or no financial responsibility for fulfillment of these vague security commitments, so even if it is determined that these obligations were not met, the buyer has no recourse,” notes Gartner last year.
There are major risks associated with cloud move. Incorporating SaaS, BYOD policy, and mobility requires companies to think about information security as an integral part of business operation, and must, therefore, cater to the utmost security and productivity needs of the company.
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