For businesses, cloud computing offers an endless array of benefits; low cost due to no installation of out-dated, 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 keeping the sensitive data secure.
Whilst 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 business and the sensitive data that is handled. The cloud has not yet settled down to become an established technology, but 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.
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 cyber attack, 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 to 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, who’s sole purpose is to ensure the security of delicate and vital information.
What happens if our data IS compromised?
The masses are simply not educated on the amount of encryption, passwords, logins and firewalls that are in place to protect sensitive information and this is where their doubt stems from. As well as back ups taking place regularly, out sourced IT infrastructures have far more complex and up-to-date systems in place than archaic in-house servers. Software service providers need to educate, assure and assure again that the security of customers data is of their up most importance and every measure is in place to continue this level of sophisticated security and care.
One of the main issues surrounding cloud computing is not data being exposed to cyber attacks and to the public, but actually knowing when it has been compromised. Therefore, organisations need to have a system in place for auditing and accountability processes so that they are able to effectively monitor suspicious activity.