Because of consumers’ growing privacy concerns and the stricter and unified regulations in Europe, businesses have important stakes in keeping their customers safe with top notch data privacy and security technologies. Read our blogpost by guest blogger Mauricio Prinzlau (Cloudwards.net) to see what essential steps businesses should take to protect their customers’ privacy and data!
How can businesses protect their customers’ privacy?
There are several ways in which companies can take action:
- All data transferred to the cloud provider must be encrypted with SSL
It is important to ensure that all data gets encrypted before being moved to the cloud site. The design needs to show that the cloud provider handles encrypted data, and encryption keys must rest only on the organization’s side.
- Use of two-factor authentication for user logins
Two-factor authentication is an elegant way to beef up security. Apart from the primary password, users are required to enter another passkey that is sent to the mobile phone number or email address on record. By doubling up security, you add one more barrier between the system and ill usage.
- It’s preferable to work with cloud providers in your jurisdiction
When businesses work with cloud providers in their competence, they can stay away from many issues that crop up in the scenario where a customer administration has privacy laws that are significantly different from those of the business jurisdiction.
Require customers and users to agree to your privacy policies before they start using the service. Always inform the user and get authorization before collecting extra information that goes beyond basic data.
- Be wary of establishing connections with customers through social media, as it can open up privacy related concerns via media sharing.
Whenever you get in contact with a customer on social media, you also gain access to the client’s connections. Access to sensitive data may lead to possible privacy breaches.
- Ensure that the agreement with the cloud vendor is vetted
Make sure to double-check the cloud vendor end to end to and to see iff all business concerns are taken care of in the agreement.
What kind of privacy concerns do businesses have because of cloud computing?
Given the number data-leaks covered in the media, concerns related to data privacy, safe storage and safe usage of data continue to be of high priority for both consumers and businesses.
These are some of the top privacy-related worries that businesses have.
- Is customer information safe?
Be it GE, Caterpillar or Target, the amount of customer information stored by businesses is colossal, and includes a lot of sensitive data. Companies are extremely concerned about whether their cloud provider is safely storing their private customer information.
- Companies are apprehensive about how cloud providers utilize data usage.
The management of usage-related data by the cloud provider is a significant concern to businesses. An example of this type of data could be that related to the application functions most commonly used by their users.
- Use of metadata by cloud service provider
Metadata is ‘data on data’ and includes information such as the number of leads booked into an application during Q2 and the maximum number of users logging into an app on any given day. Metadata is often collected by the provider with business consent, as part of data/metrics collection (that drives application improvements and benchmarking). The collection of metadata without user agreement can cause serious business burdens.
- Use of anonymized data by the cloud provider
Anonymized data is often collected by cloud providers with prior consent as part of data collection efforts to improve the application. However, data collection without consent means grave concern for businesses.
Bio: Mauricio Prinzlau is the CEO of Cloudwards.net, a data and user feedback driven comparison engine for cloud apps and services. He enjoys writing and producing educational videos around the cloud to help people find the best cloud service for their needs. Get in touch with him on Google+.