Mars 15, 2024

Data Security in the Cloud: Why It's Important and How to Start

Brandon Keller

Employees interact with sensitive business data wherever they’re working – it doesn’t matter if your company’s workforce is remote, in-person or somewhere in-between.

Having data security in the cloud is crucial, and this rings especially true in industries where intellectual property and sensitive data carry a heightened premium, such as pharmaceuticals or finance. However, protecting data requires finding the right balance; you don’t want to block everything.

Deploying the right security systems and policies is a high-wire act where enterprises must enable productivity while securing data. There are many factors to incorporate, but how you secure data in the cloud can boil down to a few simple questions:

  1. What should users be allowed to do with data, and how do you enforce this today?
  2. Which cloud apps can handle which types of data, and which aren’t allowed to store any sensitive data?
  3. How are you managing data security policies today?

Asking the right questions is just the beginning of your data security journey – and we’re here to help you find the best path forward. Here are a couple of other things to keep in mind.

What Are the Top Risks for Data Security in the Cloud?

It’s imperative to consider what happens when you don’t have the appropriate systems in place to secure data in the cloud. Otherwise, your company won’t have guardrails to manage how users interact with data and how cloud apps handle data.

The more business data your employees access in the cloud, the more at-risk your company’s intellectual property and sensitive information becomes. Putting the right systems in place is about more than keeping bad guys out. Data security is about enabling your employees to work anywhere in today’s post-pandemic world.


Here are some data risks in the cloud you need to know, so you can better protect your secrets, your innovations and the trust of your customers. 

  • Shadow IT: When employees download unsanctioned applications, without the knowledge of management, they could improperly access company data or introduce security vulnerabilities.
  • Insider Threat: Employees, contractors, consultants and partners can become insider threats when they intentionally take intellectual property or unintentionally share sensitive information.
  • Accidental Exposure: An employee might leave a laptop or phone unlocked in a public place, allowing bystanders to view and take restricted information.
  • Account Compromise: Compromised accounts can be used to access company cloud data, potentially leading to a data breach that can disrupt operations and damage public trust.
  • Device Loss/Theft: BYOD devices can easily go missing during travel or simply daily life, causing sensitive cloud data to vanish or fall into the wrong hands.
  • Cloud Misconfigurations: Cybercriminals can find vulnerabilities where an organization’s network interfaces with cloud-based applications, exploiting them to gain access to sensitive data without having to overcome internal network security.

After you’ve assessed the risks to your cloud data like these, take the next step to transform your business—safely and efficiently.

How Enforce Data Security in the Cloud

Securing all your cloud data can be daunting. Try to simplify the process across cloud apps and endpoint devices – both managed and unmanaged – by consolidating to a single set of policies.

One way to achieve this is by extending Data Loss Prevention (DLP) to the cloud via your Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB). This approach eliminates the need for multiple systems and manual syncing, which removes one of the largest hurdles to cloud adoption.

Reliance on cloud apps shouldn’t be a burden. Your employees stay productive by working with data, and they need fast access to business-critical data from anywhere they’re working.

As your company relies more on cloud apps, we can’t emphasize enough how valuable it is to easily extend DLP policies from endpoint to cloud apps via CASB. This method gives your company real-time, inline controls for every SaaS app you’re using or may plan to use in the future. This is useful for managing shadow IT, maintaining visibility of insider threats, and safeguarding sensitive data from account compromise or device theft.  

Data Security in the Cloud with Forcepoint

Extending Forcepoint DLP to cloud applications forms part of the building blocks of our Data Security Everywhere strategy.

Simplify compliance and prevent breaches across your company with a comprehensive approach to securing sensitive information, wherever it resides. This is accomplished by focusing on five key areas:

  • Securing cloud, endpoint and BYOD devices
  • AI-powered data discovery and classification
  • Extending DLP to email
  • Risk-Adaptive Protection for real-time automation
  • Protecting users and data on the web


Talk to an expert about how to get started with Data Security Everywhere today

Brandon Keller

Brandon is a Multimedia Content Marketer, driving content strategy and development across Forcepoint platforms. He applies his enterprise marketing experience to help organizations adopt industry-leading security solutions.

Read more articles by Brandon Keller

À propos de Forcepoint

Forcepoint est l’entreprise leader en cybersécurité pour la protection des utilisateurs et des données. Notre objectif est de protéger les entreprises tout en stimulant la transformation et la croissance numériques. Nos solutions s’adaptent en temps réel à la façon dont les personnes interagissent avec les données, et offrent un accès sécurisé tout en permettant aux employés de créer de la valeur.