Although there’s no denying the value of cloud computing, many businesses are still hesitant when it comes to making the migration. Data security tends to be the greatest concern of all since, by definition, you don’t have as much control over where your corporate and customer data is stored and the security around it.
Many cloud-based services still aren’t adequately equipped to address certain security and privacy concerns all by themselves, but does that mean you should give up hope migrating to the cloud? Not at all. Fortunately, achieving top-notch security isn’t as complicated as you might think.
While it’s important to know the physical location of your data and which jurisdiction it’s subject to, encryption is still the most effective way to keep data safe from prying eyes. Many cloud solutions offer encryption to address the privacy and security challenges that businesses face.
In fact, any legitimate cloud service provider will encrypt all data being transmitted between their servers and your place of business using something called a Transport-layer security protocol (TLS). In most cases, if your data is subject to any form of regulatory compliance, TLS is usually required.
The cloud is inherently more secure than a locally-managed data center due to the fact that vendors have the resources necessary to maintain the latest hardware along with the best physical and digital security. However, as with every system, humans are the weakest link, and that weakest link might just be a member of your organization.
When managing data in the cloud, it’s up to your business to enforce certain policies -- particularly with regards to who has access to data, passwords and hardware. If you allow your employees to work from home or on the move, there’s a good chance they will access data while connected to unsecured networks. It’s up to you and your IT consultant to thoroughly review which accounts should be granted access to your cloud storage and software.
Again, it cannot be stressed enough that cloud-based systems are only as secure as your business and its employees make them. After all, when data ends up in the wrong hands, human error is often to blame. There’s no substitute for routine employee training and security policy audits.
While outsourcing your IT security needs to a managed IT service provider is one way to keep employees accountable, you must make cybersecurity part of the company culture -- regardless of what you’re selling. Being open and upfront with your team about your company’s constantly evolving security policy is the best way to educate them about potential threats.
Too many businesses still buy into the mantra, “If you want something done right, you better do it yourself.” Organizations insist on storing sensitive data on the premises and backing it up locally. What happens if disaster strikes, taking all your data with it?
The cloud is excellent for keeping data backed up, but you still need to make sure you know exactly where the data is physically stored and how many servers it’s stored on. This knowledge, combined with local backups, is extremely important -- and in many cases a legal requirement to retain things like accounting data on-site anyway.
If you’re still concerned about the security risks of migrating to the cloud, or about the security of any of your other IT services and solutions, our team can help put your concerns to rest. Contact us today to find out more.