For businesses, cloud computing offers an endless array of benefits, including low cost due to no installation of outdated, in-house data infrastructure and low maintenance, as the data is stored securely off site, managed by a team of people whose sole job is to perform updates and maintenance as well as keep the sensitive data secure.
While large institutions – Microsoft, Oracle and IBM, to name but a few – are now adopting and incorporating cloud computing into their businesses, many other corporations are still hesitant, preferring to stick with large in-house servers with a costly IT team overseeing preservation and security.
Naturally, companies are risk averse to cloud computing because of the nature of their businesses and the sensitive data that is handled. The cloud has not yet settled down to become an established technology; but it is the most secure it has ever been, and the lack of education and knowledge surrounding cloud-based solutions is the main hindrance to the growth of this low-cost, low-maintenance software.
Regulators Support the Cloud!
The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) were very clear in their support for both innovation and cloud based solutions in the guidance they published late last year (Proposed guidance for firms outsourcing to the ‘cloud’ and other third party IT services, November 2015). That the FCA promotes innovation is indisputable, “…so we [the FCA] want to support innovation and ensure that regulation unlocks these benefits, rather than blocks them.”.
Specific to the cloud, their support was clearer still, “We see no fundamental reason why cloud services (including public cloud services) cannot be implemented, with appropriate consideration, in a manner that complies with our rules.” The FCA’s motivation is again clear, “We also expect benefits to accrue through improved choice and innovation in outsourcing, with commensurate benefits for firms and consumers.” Far from being a warning, this was an emphatic validation for anyone considering a cloud based solution.
Rather helpfully, the FCA even provided a checklist of considerations that should be met when outsourcing to a cloud services provider. Better news still, CloudMargin can confirm that we comply FULLY with all the points that the FCA raises!
How can we be sure our data is secure?
Unsurprisingly, the main concern is security. How can large institutions be sure that their data is secure and not vulnerable to cyberattack, especially when there have been high profile cases of data being leaked before?
Software service providers need to assure users of their cloud solution that the ‘cloud’ is 100% secure. Software companies main priority and work objective is to offer a secure IT infrastructure, working on maintaining and improving the methods in which data is stored securely on a daily basis. Cloud computing platforms are designed to be out in the cloud, which is different from taking an in-house system and making it secure. Cloud providers have state-of-the-art infrastructure in place, with a multitude of firewalls, complex logins and password barriers; with external penetration testing performed regularly to ensure sensitive information is not prone to attack.
For companies to ensure this level of security in an in-house server is a large burden, in terms of cost and head count, and organisations need to realise they can take the stress off their own teams and pass this on to a more experienced and professional third-party provider – whose sole purpose is to ensure the security of delicate and vital information.