Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Is your and your organization’s identity safe in the cloud?

By Vinaytosh Mishra
Click here for original blogpost link at SmartSignin Blog 
Naysayers are always drawing attention to the lack of security in cloud-based services. Nevertheless, the inherent advantages of cloud services have experts estimating activity in the cloud will explode by the end of 2012 and will continue to expand rapidly for several years. Cloud services (or SaaS)free both businesses and consumers from having to calculate the Return-on-Investment (ROI) for adopting new technology. Cloud adoption means you likely won’tneed to invest in hardware or configure complex software across the enterprise servers.Cloud services are a subscription… an Operating Expense Forget about long mind-numbing budget analysis crossing the next 3-5 years and contracts to negotiate with vendors.  Many SaaS and cloud providers don’t require a contract.  If a solution doesn’t work out after a trial period, don’t sweat it. You can try another one.In many cases there’s no need to hire and retain expensive and hard to find DBAs or other subject matter experts.Finally, since the IT maintenance &overhead is much less in the cloud, your organization’s content owners have more choice to pick the solution they want.
For mobile workers especially, cloud computing provides incredible flexibility and productivity: professionals can work from any computing device anywhere as long as they have access to the Internet. Collaboration becomes easier.For example, distributed teams (i.e., a combination of mobile workers and in-office staff) can work on shared information stored centrally in the cloud via online groupware applications.
But with all these opportunities there comes a threat. Is your and your organization’s identity safe in the cloud?
Gartner reports validate this threat. According to them, worldwide spending on security is expected to touch the $60 billion mark in 2012, up 8.4 percent from $55 billion in the previous year, and this figure will approach $86 billion in 2016 
Growth in Security Spending
Figure: Growth in Security Spending
According to the research done the demand for cloud-based security is affecting a number of key security markets, and that this new delivery model will see above-average growth.
Figure: Decision Makers on Security Spending
Small organizationsin particular are driven to adopt cloud-based solutions these days due to the dramatic cost savings and competitive economy. However, theresult is password fatigue. In this scenario, Single Sign-On (SSO) has been a boon for users.SSO makes life easier because you no longer have to remember all those passwords. But, how secure is your SSO solution?
Facebook Connect and other “federated” SSO is not really all that secure. And, now we learn also that Facebook is tracking our account usage even when we are not logged-in to Facebook. A more secure SSO solution should be used with your more important apps and accounts. SmartSignin is a very secure Single Sign-On and Identity and Access Management solution. SmartSignin provides an easy-to-use interface that allows you to perform one-click sign-ins from a single secure portal.  The encryption and decryption is performed on your device.  As a result, the usernames and passwords to your sensitive and private data are not stored anywhere that they can be stolen.
Think about it. You stand to lose a great deal if your online identity is compromised on the Internet. Don’t allow someone to sweep in and use your identity in malicious ways. Choose a solution that will allow you to have several layers of fortification in front of you.

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