There’s been a healthy amount of debate regarding cloud security during the last several years. With data hacks of major corporations like The Home Depot and Target as well as the unauthorized release of celebrity photos, the cloud has received a lot of bad publicity.
However, the cloud is becoming more and more secure every day, and businesses are flocking to store their data in it. Even highly secure industries, such as the financial and health sectors, are moving to the cloud. So the question is: Does the cloud keep your information more secure?
When you move your information to the cloud, you’re giving up some of your control, because the information no longer in your physical possession. You can’t check on the servers to make sure they’re running properly or update them with the latest protection yourself. You also don’t have control over who works with your data.
This lack of control can make you feel vulnerable and insecure, but that’s not the case most of the time. As you’ll see below, many of the factors that might make you nervous are actually what makes your data more secure in the cloud. However, it never hurts to invest in a cloud insurance policy to give yourself a little extra peace of mind.
When you’re looking for a cloud service provider, one of the first things you need to ask about is encryption. Most cloud services — from cloud storage to cloud contact centers — use bank-level encryption to keep your data safe from hackers. In a BBC interview, Amazon Web Service’s chief evangelist Ian Massingham said data should be encrypted, both when it’s in transit and when it’s “at rest.”
AWS has more than 1,800 security controls for its customers, which helps prevent hackers from accessing data. Massingham explained that AWS also lets its customers control their own encryption keys (instead of Amazon) and set rules for who can access the data.
This amount of protection could not be achieved by your internal IT team. By having this level of protection — and having some control over your encryption — you can feel more secure about using the cloud.
Your information is also more secure in the cloud because cloud service providers have the tools and knowledge to stop — and mitigate — the damage of cyber attacks much more quickly than an in-house IT team. Cloud service providers, like Aspect Zipwire, are constantly on the lookout for security problems, such as malware or DDoS attacks.
According to InformationWeek, cloud service providers use big data security to stop the spread of malware before it gains access to a system. Your internal IT team has a lot of responsibilities and jobs to perform, security just being one of them. In comparison, cloud service providers have dedicated processes to stop malware attacks so they can be found sooner. InformationWeek also explains that if malware does get through a company’s system, the company can then retroactively revert file additions or changes that were made because of how they collect and organize data.
Furthermore, cloud service providers can act as a shock absorber if there is a DDoS attack. Your internal IT department can’t prevent such an attack, because the DDoS fills the network connection faster than it can be stopped. In comparison, cloud service providers have a much larger cloud presence, which enables them to absorb the impact.
There always will be some risks when you’re dealing with large amounts of data. But you shouldn’t let this prevent your business from taking advantage of all the benefits cloud computing provides because your information is secure.