Are you a part of the “folded arms gang”? A club of IT professionals that just doesn’t see the value of cloud computing, and speaks directly to traditional IT practices. If so, your concerns probably relate back to the security and longevity of such a service. But, as you know, the IT industry is always changing, and the cloud is the update that you are missing out on. The cloud is continually proving its value in the IT industry, and busting misconceptions left and right. One of these myths happens to be that the cloud does not offer the same security and privacy that on-prem solutions do. Keep reading to find out how the cloud is tackling security and privacy head on!
Most of concern around the security of the cloud stems from the fact that you don’t own or control the servers and systems you store your data in. Obviously your company’s data is very important to your business and needs to be protected at all times; but control does not define security. Believe it or not, you are actually in better hands, security wise, within the cloud. These days, the cloud implements controlled access, strong perimeters, and surveillance systems to ensure the safety of your data. In addition, the cloud offers top cyber security expertise that ensures thorough and frequent audits, to continually make the security system stronger. These updates can be easy to miss if you don’t know what you are looking for, and neglecting to implement updates can create a "Swiss cheese" effect in your systems, allowing more room for vulnerability. All of this boils down to the fact that your own systems are, likely, less secure than the cloud.
Meeting compliance regulations
Security is about keeping your information as safe as physically possible, and cloud providers want to prove to you that they are doing just that. What I am talking about are the data center compliances that service providers stand by. Cloud companies follow specific regulations to gain compliance with many industry requirements, meaning if they want to keep a compliance, then they must adhere to the rules set by them. It is in the best interest of the provider to keep these compliances, as they are selling points for security. If they break regulation, they lose their compliance, and risk losing their current customers or any prospective customers that were reliant on them.
What does this mean for you? These compliances give you added peace of mind, and the best part is that you don’t have to pay anything extra for them!
Example of compliances would include HIPPA, PCI and SOC compliance.
Security is just one piece of the cloud pie, and reliability is another. When selecting a cloud service provider, it is important to make sure they are reliable and have employed redundant solutions to ensure high availability. If your provider’s main system goes down, it should have the following safety nets in place: automatic failover, servers, backup storage, security systems, and some sort of redundancy of power (i.e a generator). These safety nets increase SLA percentages, which lower the chances of the cloud provider, and ultimately you, experiencing downtime. For this reason, service providers are fighting to add an extra 9 to the end of their SLA percent (99.99999%), just to stay competitive.
If you didn’t catch that, it means cloud service providers are so reliable that they experience downtime less than .001% of the time. Less downtime means more time you can sell to your customers!
Ability to Test Your Disaster Recovery Plan
As mentioned above, one of the most important things for any business is to ensure the continuity of operations in the event of a disaster. As more companies are investing in disaster recovery techniques, they are becoming overly complacent without implementing a proper test. Not testing your DR solution can severely hinder your security efforts in the event of a disaster. Without the cloud, testing a DR plan can be timely and cost-prohibitive. With the cloud, your plan can be tested with ease, for an affordable cost.
Another concern preventing many companies from shifting to the cloud is the amount of privacy that the cloud offers. The belief that cloud cannot be private can also be easily debunked. Regardless of your company's chosen cloud strategy (Public, Private or Hybrid), your business's data can only be accessed by YOU. Even in the public cloud data is housed under lock and (encryption) key. If privacy is still a huge concern for your business, your company can invest in a private cloud solution, where your data is housed on it's own network.
The cloud protects you in many ways, from compliance, to the way you keep your systems online. To be quite frank, without the cloud you are less secure than you are with it. Now-a-days to be part of the “folded arms gang” you have to neglect the widely accepted facts about the cloud. Yes, it can be scary to change a piece of your business that is so vital to its continuity, but the cloud has already proven its ability to adapt. No longer is the cloud in the first adopters stage, and many companies are reaping the benefits that the cloud has to offer. Shifting to the cloud is simple, and cost-effective, and you can do it today!