Security in the Cloud: Should You Be Worried?

This post is part of our Cloud series.  Click here to see all the posts in this series.

One of the largest concerns giving companies pause when they are considering moving to the Cloud is the issue of security.  While this is a very important topic, it shouldn’t be one that prevents you from moving to the Cloud altogether, but rather something you take into consideration in navigating the purchasing process.

While looking at a public Cloud option, or one that is owned and operated by a company serving a number of other businesses, it is important to remember that these people are in the business of storing your information and keeping it safe.  It is as much in their interest to stay in business as it is for you to maintain your privacy.  To this effect, a good Cloud hosting company will have defenses in place to ensure that there is no unwanted access.  This includes data encryption for sensitive information such as credit card numbers; it is also the reason why password requirements have become stricter and stricter—the more complex your authentication is, the less vulnerable it is to hacking.

Part of what you are paying for with the public Cloud providers is the human capital, as they employ IT experts whose job it is to stay up to date on the latest discoveries and technologies, including those involving security, and adjust their businesses accordingly. They also invest heavily in infrastructure to ensure everything runs smoothly, as well as the latest in security technology including powerful security software, retina scanners, and physical protection.  This not only keeps your information secure against intruders digitally and physically, but also protects against environmental factors that may compromise the physical condition of the server, all at a much higher level than your company would likely be able to invest in and maintain on its own.

The world of Cloud computing also affords a variety of options based on the customer’s security requirements.  There are increased security options for those who need to meet PCI, Sarbanes-Oxley, or HIPAA compliance requirements. Depending on your budget, you can request a public Cloud service to provide a physical server for you on which no other company will be allowed to share space.  There is also the option of moving into the private Cloud, in which all services are maintained on a private network funded by your company, with absolutely no outside access.  However, this amount of security comes with a hefty price tag and should only be considered if your data and applications are the lifeblood of your company.

A move to the Cloud will save your company time and money while allowing your business to run more efficiently.  While security has been a popular concern since the introduction of the Cloud, the truth is that these providers can afford to invest in the type of security technology and infrastructure that your company would not likely be able to sustain if you chose to house your own servers.  Rest assured that these hosting companies are in business to be reliable and worry about your information storage, so you don’t have to!

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