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Microsoft UK COO: Cloud security isn’t a CIO problem, it’s the Board’s

Nicola Hodson

Dr Nicola Hodson understands some of the challenges around cloud technology, but is encouraged by how it is empowering companies to improve their privacy methods.

The uptake of cloud software has been slowed somewhat because security and privacy surrounding personal data are still unresolved issues amongst businesses.

Today’s companies navigate around complex and regulated environments in order to secure safe solutions in the cloud to deliver value to their consumers, partners, and shareholders.

How to balance those requirements, whilst convincing themselves and others they have not only have the right software in place for their needs, but that they also have the right plan organized in case something goes awry, is a question many are asking.

Microsoft’s UK COO, Dr Nicola Hodson, understands some of this hesitancy but feels that the benefits far outweigh the risks – so long as you plan ahead and ensure that cloud risk mitigation decisions run across the whole board.

“When taking a decision on new technology solutions”, she begins “you need to make sure these security needs are at least as good as your current ones, but there is a misconception that the cloud is less secure.

“In fact, the cloud is more secure compared to legacy pieces of software, which haven’t been updated for modern hacks and other security incidents.”

One of the reasons for this misconception has been how breaches are reported in the media: Ashley Madison; Slack; T-Mobile; and Premera were all data breach incidents that compromised information like names, dates of births, email addresses – even extra-marital affairs.

Hodson believes these will ultimately aid in cloud risk mitigation, though, and has forced companies like Microsoft to become even more vigilant.

“[Microsoft] never share customer data which is a key pivot for us…and we respect consumers’ desires for privacy in the services we provide.”

High profile breaches can be deadly – for both customers and the company – but plans in cloud risk mitigation need to be in place as soon as cloud technology is implemented, according to the COO.

“Everyone in the C-Suite needs to understand security and think about the risks to the business when introducing a new system. It can’t be left solely to the CIO any longer.”