One of the factors that make decision makers reticent to join the cloud is the fear that their sensitive data isn’t secure. When online databases are hacked and sensitive data is leaked, it can cost the company dearly. However, advances in technology and increasingly sophisticated cloud security systems are making cloud computing a safe and ideal option for most businesses.
Cloud computing has become so integrated into our daily lives that whether or not you utilize it for your online data storage, you still interact with cloud systems at some point in your day. In fact 90% of companies rely on the cloud in some way. Fifty-nine percent of companies store their data in the cloud, while 48% use it for data recovery. An increasingly large number of companies (about 44%) use the cloud as an essential part of their security strategies. It’s easy to see why moving to the cloud is a popular choice; IBM researchers found that companies that utilized cloud services made double the revenue growth and 2.5 times higher gross profit growth than companies that didn’t.
The idea that company data is safer onsite is an illusion, as hackers are still able to gain access. In fact, service providers focus on cloud security and automatically update software packages so you are always guaranteed to get the latest and safest measures. This means that companies that store their sensitive information in online databases are 55% less likely to face a security threat, 43% are less likely to face a malware or botnet attack and 16% are less likely to face a Web application attack.
Since not all cloud providers are created equally, you need to practice caution when selecting your service provider to ensure that sufficient cloud security measures are in place. Some essential aspects to look out for include encryption of sensitive data, regardless of whether that data is in storage or on the move. Ask for confirmation of security audit history and industry certifications, and ensure that your cloud provider maintains strong identity and authentication tools.
Cloud security is a multi-faceted strategy
Larger companies are beginning to leverage a wide range of cloud models in complex architectures to provide ultimate security. This means that instead of a ‘set it and forget it’ model, companies that use the cloud for online information storage must keep up with advances in cloud security to create a dynamic cloud architecture that grows with their needs.
Another consideration is the creation of internal security protocols. No matter how astute your cloud security is, without proper use, your data can still be at risk. Take for instance the December 2013 loss of 18,800 social security numbers and addresses of state workers by the Colorado State Government. In this incident, the data was being transported from one government office to another when the thumb drive on which the information was stored was lost by an employee. Having in place internal security protocols that determine how and when employees are able to connect with the cloud, the devices which they can use and the storage and transportation of data and devices is essential in securing your online data.
While security is always a concern for the discerning business owner, cloud services providers are able to offer excellent cloud security options. The trick to optimizing the safety of your sensitive data is to put due diligence and investment into optimizing your cloud architecture so that you get the best security features for your applications. In addition to state-of-the-art cloud security features, a robust internal security policy must be in place before you move to the cloud. Proper training and protocols will ensure that your employees protect devices, data and passwords to prevent breeches in security.
When you put proper measures and protocols in place, your data will likely be safer in the cloud. Coupled with the money-saving and time-saving advantages a move to the cloud will bring your organization, it becomes the smarter choice.
Keep it safe: Protecting sensitive data in the cloud
Cloud computing systems are trusted by government and military agencies, and a vast majority of businesses as a way to ensure that data is safeguarded while still being accessible for the benefit of the organization. Therefore, the cloud provides a more secure environment for sensitive information than that of on-premise storage systems.