Savvy Firms Have Understood the US Government's Abilities to Access Private Files for Years, IT Expert Says

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Companies considering storing data in the cloud should understand the inevitable risks, and act to limit their exposure to them, Adrian Spink has said in a new Find the Edge article published today.

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The important point is to understand the difference between data and information – if managed properly, encrypted information turns into meaningless data and can then be cloud hosted.

Risk management is the key consideration when looking to take advantage of cloud services, and companies can greatly minimise the risks of facing future problems through thorough preparation, IT expert Adrian Spink has said in a new Find the Edge article.

His article comes following The Guardian's revelations that the NSA has been routinely accessing and monitoring online communications, and mining data from companies like Google, Apple and Skype.

He suggests most large firms were already aware, or suspected, activities such as these were taking place, and questions whether the revelations actually change very much.

Williams uses the article to discuss the steps companies can take to protect their data when using cloud services.

He said: 'Take the right precautions and you’ll prevent not only your cloud provider, but apparently now also the NSA (or MI5), from accidentally distributing your sensitive commercial information to all and sundry.

'The important point is to understand the difference between data and information – if managed properly, encrypted information turns into meaningless data and can then be cloud hosted.

'On Google Drive, for example, there are a plethora of tools that will encrypt the files on the endpoint before uploading them.'

He points out that the issue with this approach is that changing provider can be difficult, and highlights the need for an exit strategy from day one.

Williams said: 'It’s not that easy to find examples of cloud services that give an absolute assurance that your data can be transferred and wiped when your contract is terminated.

'Even if you migrate back into a traditional in-house data centre and your data was unencrypted, the NSA will be able to merrily trawl its way through your company’s previous records for as long as it likes.

'With cloud services, risk management is the name of the game, and preparation is the key.'

The full article can be viewed here: http://www.findtheedge.co.uk/technology/security/so-what-if-the-us-government-spies-on-google-users.

Adrian Spink is CEO of Company85, which is a technology consultancy that emphasises cyber security. More information about him can be found here: http://www.findtheedge.co.uk/expert-panelist/adrian-spink.

Kenny Goodman, founder of Find the Edge, said: "These revelations have dominated news coverage over the last week, and Adrian does a great job of explaining how they affect businesses that use cloud services or are considering using them."

Find the Edge is a website where individuals from all sectors can access ideas, insight and news from some of the brightest brains in business.

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Kenny Goodman
Find the Edge
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