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Why the Cloud is More Secure than Ever

By 08.22.16
Reading time: 2 minutes

Read the article below as our CEO, Gireesh Sonnad, discusses cloud security in an article posted on the CIO Story website. The original article can be found here.

CIOs who want to remain competitive are being forced to streamline and automate their own internal processes wherever possible so that they can think smarter about how to run their business. While more than ever, customers expect the same kind of personalized experience from their bank as they do shopping online. Cloud CRM solutions enable companies to move fast and deliver the kind of 1-to-1 experience customers require. CIOs then face the decision to continue to hold their data in silos or take advantage of the cloud for better service, stronger loyalty programs, and real-time personalized experiences across social, mobile, and millions of connected devices.

In my experience working with customers in highly regulated, data-centric industries like Financial Services and Healthcare, I’ve seen first-hand how Salesforce can help firms comply with various requirements. Regulatory changes in the financial services and healthcare industry require professionals to be more transparent in the way they manage their customers’ data. As a former CIO, I know that privacy and data security are of the utmost importance when dealing with an individual’s personal information. Firms that take full advantage of the cloud can build apps at the speed of business while feeling comfortable that they have done their best to protect what is most important to their customers.

As more customers use the cloud to store sensitive, confidential, or proprietary data, they need to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of that data to meet both external and internal data compliance policies. Salesforce recently launched Shield, a new set of services that include Field Audit Trail, Platform Encryption (at rest), Data Archival and Event Monitoring. Salesforce Shield protects companies with compliance or governance requirements, or businesses in regulated industries with point-and-click tools that enhance trust, transparency, compliance, and governance across business-critical apps.

Security and trust are major factors in every company’s evaluation of cloud services. The great thing about Salesforce is customers can choose which business functions to run in the cloud, what applications they can build to extend those functions, and what data they need to store there to enable those functions. When sensitive is data stored in the cloud, additional layers of protection on top of standard security measures such as authentication and single sign-on, granular access controls, and advanced activity monitoring give customers control over when and how they protect their data.

Before you decide to encrypt data in any cloud service, you need to make sure you’re matching the right security solution to the type of threats you face. I recommend completing a threat modeling exercise and use the outcome to create a basic data classification. Identify data elements that are sensitive, private, or confidential. Your strategy should then be to encrypt only the most sensitive of those data elements. This will help to balance stronger data protection controls against the need to build and preserve critical business functionality in the cloud.

Leveraging the cloud combined with a solution like Salesforce Shield can support organizations with visibility into interactions between customers and employees. Businesses leveraging the cloud stay connected with customers in real-time, build more personal relationships and grow business to the next level.

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