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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 joined SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in October 1998 and has distinguished himself by producing award-winning, exemplary work. His editorial achievements have included blockbuster articles featuring major industry executives, such as Tyco Electronic Products Group Managing Director Gerry Head; Protection One President/CEO Richard Ginsburg; former Brink’s Home Security President/CEO Peter Michel; GE Interlogix President/CEO Ken Boyda; Bosch Security Systems President/CEO Peter Ribinski; and former SecurityLink President/CEO Jim Covert. Scott, who is an NTS Certified alarm technician, has become a respected and in-demand speaker at security industry events, including presentations at the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) Annual Meeting; California Alarm Association (CAA) Summer and Winter Conferences; PSA Security Network Conference; International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC); and Security Industry Association (SIA) Forum. Scott often acts as an ambassador to mainstream media and is a participant in several industry associations. His previous experience as a cable-TV technician/installer and running his own audio company -- along with a lifelong fascination with electronics and computers -- prepared Scott well for his current position. Since graduating in 1986 with honors from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Radio-Television- Film, his professional endeavors have encompassed magazines, radio, TV, film, records, teletext, books, the Internet and more. In 2005, Scott captured the prestigious Western Publisher Maggie Award for Best Interview/Profile Trade for "9/11 Hero Tells Tale of Loses, Lessons," his October 2004 interview with former FDNY Commander Richard Picciotto, the last man to escape the Ground Zero destruction alive.
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Access Control, convergence, Monitoring, systems integration, Technology, Under Surveillance, Video Surveillance