Talk about “the cloud” has abounded over the last several years. You’ve heard it. Some of your business colleagues have even talked about moving to it, but you’re still sceptical. What’s this cloud that everyone keeps speaking about? What can it do for my business? If you want to find out, keep on reading.
What is the “Cloud”?
The cloud is a global system of servers and the software that facilitates them that allows users to access stored data as well as utilise services.
For example, if you use any of Google’s products, then you are using the cloud. The emails from your Gmail account are stored in the cloud and not on your computer’s hard drive. This is why you can access them from anywhere, on any device, once you have your Gmail password.
You can immediately see the benefits of the cloud for a company. You won’t have to invest in your own physical servers to store data. You also do not have to purchase software to be stored on your machine. You can run applications from the cloud. They can be accessed by anyone who needs them, from anywhere.
The primary benefit, of course, would be the cost-saving achieved by not having to maintain servers or hire staff to deal with them. However, business owners have asked about the safety of the cloud for their data. You can understand their concern. Data security could mean the difference between springing a surprise on your competition and a failed product launch because someone leaked your new innovation.
How secure is the cloud for business data?
Imagine it’s a few months before your product launch. All the data related to it is stored on your computers at your headquarters. You have a level of security both for the building and your IT assets, but it’s nothing advanced. You have also allowed some employees to work on it at home on their own machines, which have dubious security. One of two things could happen here. You can either be hacked by someone breaking into your headquarters and accessing your system. Or, they can hack one of the employees critical to the project because they have less security than the company’s computers and easily guessable passwords.
If you had adopted cloud data-saving products, you could have prevented this from happening. Learning more about cloud products and companies is easy. All you need to do is take the time and do your research to see what might be suitable for your business and its needs. As explained by the team at 360 Visibility, if your product data had been uploaded to the cloud, it would have been far harder to access. Data stored in the cloud is encrypted. What this means is that it is translated into code that can only be broken by someone with the encryption key.
Hackers are unlikely to get that. Even if they are able to intercept or gain access to your data, they won’t be able to turn it into usable information because of the encryption. Only hackers with hard to get specialist equipment and a lot of computing power might be able to turn the data into something usable.
Other ways the cloud is more secure
If your data was stored at your company headquarters and there was a natural disaster or a fire, it’s likely your data would be destroyed. Cloud storage on the other hand is everywhere the Internet is. Because the Internet is not a physical place, it is free from physical threats. Because cloud companies tend to back up this information to multiple servers around the world, your data is safeguarded.
Cloud companies also depend on multiple layers of security for your data. These are:
A firewall monitors network traffic to and from your system. The firewall can be set to stop certain kinds of traffic from making its way into your network. Firewalls can be software or hardware and can offer basic network monitoring to the most advanced next-generation security
Because of the nature of what they do, cloud companies often have some of the most advanced firewalls available.
Cloud companies offer their clients event logs to help them monitor what has been happening with their data. It lets them know if there were attempts to access their data, by whom, when, and what types of data they attempted to, for example.
The business can see for itself if it has had any breaches and take steps accordingly rather than wait for the cloud company to inform them.
Some cloud companies use AI to help them detect lower-level threats. There are advantages here in that where human beings are not available to scan networks 24/7, artificial intelligence systems are.
Remember when we spoke earlier about backing up data? This is what data redundancy is. Cloud companies backup data multiple times on multiple servers around the world. Even if there are conditions affecting servers in one place, this does not mean that your data is lost.
Third-party security checks
Because cloud systems need to be absolutely secure, companies often hire third parties to see if the data can be breached. They will also hire white hat hackers to test the security of passwords, firewalls, and many of the other systems spoken of above here.
The point of both exercises is to see where they can make improvements in their security.
Updates to system security
A cloud company does not depend on the client to do the requisite updates and security patches to software to guard against attack. Instead, they take on this responsibility for themselves. This way, the level of security is not compromised by forgetful clients.
Cloud companies are also always seeking ways to make the data they protect more secure. You can rest assured that the latest technology will be applied to the protection of your data.
As time passes, the expectation is that cloud security and the technology it is based on will only get better. Some 94 percent of businesses surveyed in a 2019 study used a public or private cloud service. Your business could be the next to adopt them.