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Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - Almanac Vol. 59, No. 12
Cloud and You
The term "cloud" as a computing service has now made it well past the IT community and into common parlance.
Some are starting to recognize cloud services for their energy efficiency potential. Some are noticing cloud computing's potential to unlock new markets in developing countries. Most of us, though, are seeing cloud computing as simply making our lives easier - offering access from anywhere, large storage capacity, more computing power, and less to maintain.
This all makes cloud computing sound like very good news. And it mostly is. But please be cautious about the following:
- Cloud computing is not the solution for everything. Indeed, cloud services should usually be avoided if sensitive information or regulated information is involved and you are signing up through a consumer, or "click through," agreement rather than through a Penn negotiated service. See Penn's Cloud Computing Guidance.
- Not all cloud services are alike. Many cloud providers do not offer strong security, privacy, or other protections under their standard consumer agreement. Penn has negotiated much more protective agreements with:
and there are more to come under Penn's trusted portfolio of cloud vendors. Take advantage of these services to enjoy the benefits and greatly cut down on the risks.
- Smart practices still depend on you. Whatever service you are using, don't forget about the important role you play in keeping data private and secure. For example, if confidential data is involved, only access services from secure devices and use secure connections. If accessing via smartphones or tablets, review and implement Penn's Top 10 Tips for Securing Your Smartphone or Tablets. Consider the security of your device and whether to enable or disable data downloads from the cloud.