BCS encourages businesses to get to grips with security issues

1 May 2014

As a business do you know where your data is going when you use cloud services? A new report, ‘Aspects of Identity yearbook 2013-2014’,  published by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, looks at the issues that businesses across the globe face when it comes to identity governance.

In particular, the report calls for a simplified identity governance to account for the new ways of interacting and doing business such as mobile and cloud computing. It is estimated that over 75% of UK businesses will be using cloud services by the end of 2013*.

Louise Bennett, Chair of BCS Security, explains: “Cloud computing, like mobile, is becoming ever more popular. Gone are the days when all of an organisation’s applications were run within their control and internal access control systems were used to manage identities and user accounts.

“Identity governance on the internet is now a mainstream global business issue. Organisations need to ensure that they know where their data is really going, including resilient sites, back-ups and archives. This is especially important for data protection compliance. If the cloud provider sends back-ups to cheap storage in a country without effective data protection, it is the organisation collecting the data that will be held liable.”

The report, produced by BCS Security, a community of IT security experts, is based on the group’s findings following international research and consultation and outlines a number of points that need to be taken into account when using cloud services.

It also recommends that organisations should insist on good audit trails and advises that all actions taking place on the cloud service should be logged and compared with the billing information from the cloud provider to ensure they tally.

Louise continues: “Organisations should retain control of user accounts for both authentication and authorisation. If something goes wrong, organisations need to be able to prove who did what.”

The report concludes that it is important to maximise the value of the internet for individuals, society and businesses and in order to do this, it is necessary to:

  • maintain trust in the use of the internet
  • keep the internet open, as a global resource
  • ensure that the new ways of interacting and doing business such as mobile and cloud computing are included simply and securely in eID frameworks

The full report is available in PDF format at: www.bcs.org/identity

*Cloud Industry Forum survey 2013

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