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Cloud Security vs. On-Site Storage

There are many reasons businesses migrate to cloud data storage. The exception to the migration is big business and government entities. There are many advantages to the cloud as data storage. The cloud offers access to data anywhere and anytime. Whether a user is on a desktop, a mobile device, or a laptop, the cloud provides instant access to all kinds of data. With instant access more available than ever, and when access is an important part of doing business, why are there still groups that refuse to join the cloud?

Allowing individuals access to information including client files, order status, inventory is critical. The cloud also lets people collaborate from thousands of miles away if needed. Just as instant access to data is important, immediate communication and idea sharing is also beneficial.

To add, there is little need for dedicated IT professionals to manage the cloud in these businesses. The company that sells cloud space is responsible for managing it, and for training those who send data to the cloud.

Concerns about the Cloud

There are several concerns about the cloud that prevent big businesses and the government from using it. One big concern is it seems that everything in tech can be hacked. Large retailers like Target and Home Depot have been hacked. Large insurance conglomerates have been hacked. A political party has been hacked. A large entertainment industry has been hacked. Some of the hackers of these institutions have even been foreign governments or other actors working with the tacit approval of foreign governments. 

The thing about these hacks is that most, if not all, of the data was stolen from old-fashioned servers. There are at least two different ways of looking at these hacks. Those who are worried about the safety of their data, and of course the data of their customers could determine that no data is completely safe from someone at least making an effort to hack them. If nothing is safe, why not go ahead and use the cloud where someone else is responsible for security? Another way of looking at the situation is that most of the hacks are perpetrated on traditional servers, so why not use the cloud?

Solutions to Perceived Problems

There are solutions to many concerns regarding cloud computing to ensure that data is as safe as possible. One thing a company or government can do is have an independent audit performed to ensure that data is kept safe. Just like a home, there are different levels of security for cloud storage. If you want the equivalent of a lock on a doorknob, cloud storage won’t cost as much. Add a deadbolt, the cloud costs more. Add a security camera and an alarm, and cloud storage costs more. Add a call center that will alert the police for immediate response, and the cloud costs more.

It is also very important that organizations follow the directives of the cloud company they use in regard to security. Often the rank and file members who work at a company or in a government office complain and act resentful if they must change their password every month or even more often. Sometimes supervisors give in to these complaints and don’t require frequent password changes. This is a mistake. Follow-through on recommended protocols and cloud data is kept safer.

Another way to ensure that data is protected is to ensure that people only have access to data they are entitled to. Be sure that people who quit are removed from the system, or that someone with level one clearance doesn’t have access to level three data.

Have an independent audit conducted on potential cloud storage companies. These businesses want to store your data, so they will not fuss about having an audit conducted. If they do fuss, then they may have something to hide.

The Truth about the Cloud

In a survey conducted in medium and large companies, 40% of the decision makers who were reluctant to commit to the cloud said that security was a big concern. These people also admitted that they knew little about the cloud. Meanwhile, out of people who believed they understood the cloud, only 15% of them stated that security was a concern. 

When the cloud has been hacked and data stolen, in nearly all of the cases, the problem was traced back to businesses that did not follow safety protocols. Passwords were not changed, old employees were left in the system too long after they left, or the wrong people had access to.