Even the name “cloud” makes this new way of computing seem unreal, or questionable as to its need for equipment management. After all, you can’t very well stand on a cloud, right? And yet, that’s the very thing countless businesses are building their futures on. So, it’s no wonder why businesses still have trepidations with stepping into the vaporous unknown. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the leap. However, leaping without a solid Asset Management plan in place can lead to data security problems.
Something to contain the cloud
Despite being devoid of an immediate hard drive or server that you can see the flashing lights on, cloud computing still has equipment that goes along with it. Whether thin client, workstation based, or mobile, we still access data on something (well, at least until Musk has his way). And there are two reasons ITAM is necessary for that something.
Transitioning to the cloud has two main steps—and two places where data could be compromised. Decommissioning existing data centers and IT assets, and adding new cloud-based assets. These two “baton passes” are prone to lost hardware or ill-treated hardware.
Track devices in and out of cloud migration
Losing a laptop because it no longer works with the network is a great way to compromise a solid cybersecurity program. Getting a NIST 800-88 certified data erasure on your retired devices is critical to ensure data isn’t compromise during the migration. By using data erasure, as opposed to shredding, you maintain the inherent value of your devices without losing security.
Similarly, when integrating new devices in for your cloud migration, it is important to have a water-tight tracking mechanism in place. Whatever works for your company, it is especially important to have in place at the beginning since many cloud-based devices are designed to be mobile. This means that employees might take them home or leave them home when upgrading to a new device. Losing devices—even if accidental—still leaves the door open to potential data security breaches.
So, even though cloud-based computing sounds ethereal, there are still very tangible things involved that make having a solid ITAM program absolutely critical. Only with this kind of equipment focus will your cloud experience keep your data security in good form. After all, you can’t very well secure lost devices.
Hero Image ©: Fédération Aéronautique Internationale INSET: CloudOgre