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Cybersecurity Expert Clears the Air About Cloud-Based Security Risks

In this blog, Ron Woerner, director of the M.S. Cybersecurity program at Bellevue University, addresses the critical issue regarding security of the cloud.

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The August issue of SSI includes a two-part special focus on cloud-based access control and video surveillance. While the capabilities of such solutions and the recurring revenue opportunities they offer installing and monitoring security systems providers is alluring, questions remain regarding the security of the cloud itself. To further address that critical issue, Ron Woerner, director of the M.S. Cybersecurity program at Bellevue University, has contributed the following article.

The cloud offers many advantages to security system integrators over traditional services. Information is available anytime, anyplace, using almost any type of device.  Wouldn’t your clients love to check their security from the convenience of their smartphone or tablet? But with this convenience comes some risks. These risks are easily mitigated if you take the right steps.  Additionally, your proactive security professionals must work alongside IT staff to help identify and solve potential problems prior to them becoming larger issues.

It starts with asking the right questions of potential cloud service providers (CSPs).  You are creating a partnership to ensure your systems are available, your client’s data stays confidential, and its integrity is valid.  When starting your cloud integration project, ask the following questions:

• How will current security systems fit on the cloud?

• What information should and shouldn’t be stored on the cloud?

• What practices are in place to transition from legacy hard drives to the cloud?

Having proper security measures in place for the cloud is as important as locking a physical vault holding personal information. You need to ensure your cloud provider has security protections in place to reduce your client’s risks.  Consider the following when storing security surveillance and other data in the cloud:

• How do they control access to the systems and the data?

• Do they follow standard security baselines for their servers and virtual environments?

• Are the systems and data replicated in cases of disaster?

• Is encryption used to protect the data’s confidentiality?

To find the system that works best for any individual company, investigate companies, ask questions and put together effective policies to grow a company as the system integrator and cloud computer grow together. In the end, it will be most important to ensure that the cloud is secure for an individual corporation. Understanding what risks lie in each cloud system, what can happen if a security breach or loss of data occurs, and knowing if there is a backup for your information other than in the cloud are all questions and information you will want to understand.

Scott Goldfine

Article Topics
Vertical Markets · Installation and Service · Management · Physical-IT Security Convergence · Blogs · Access Control · convergence · Monitoring · systems integration · Technology · Under Surveillance · All Topics

About the Author
Scott Goldfine
Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration, directing all editorial aspects of the magazine brand in print, electronically, online and in person. The voluminous, innovative and award-winning body of work he has distinguished himself with since joining the publication in 1998 includes groundbreaking research, landmark features, leadership roundtables, high profile case studies, and many industry exclusives. Well versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is a nationally known figure in demand as an industry presenter and subject matter expert to mainstream media. He is responsible for developing many unique products and programs, including the SSI Industry Hall of Fame, Control Panel (industry’s first E-mail newsletter), Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ), Marketing Marvel, Installers of the Year, Integrated Installation of the Year, Security Industry Census, Systems Integration Study, Installation Business Report, Operations & Opportunities Report, Commercial End-User Study and Security’s Fantastic Fleets. Recognized for his relationship building, integrity and lead-by-example ethic, Goldfine is a solutions-oriented team player who advises and collaborates with industry dealer/integrator, consultant, distributor, central station and manufacturer icons, luminaries and executive business leaders on a daily basis. He is also actively involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), PSA-Tec, SAMMY Awards, International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC), Electronic Security Technology Summit (ESTS), Mission 500, Electronic Security Expo (ESX), ASIS Int’l, Honeywell CONNECT and other supplier conventions. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee and PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council. A certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast, Goldfine graduated with honors from Cal State, Northridge with a management degree in Radio-Television-Film. His professional media endeavors have encompassed magazines, Internet, radio, TV, film, records, teletext and books. Goldfine resides in the Charlotte, N.C., area with his wife, son and three cats.
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Access Control, convergence, Monitoring, systems integration, Technology, Under Surveillance, Video Surveillance

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