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Many companies are switching to cloud storage to backup up their data. Cloud storage is a much cheaper, efficient and flexible way to store information. However, some are still reluctant to make the change. Their skepticism is mostly related to security concerns. When it comes to company data, it’s only natural that security should be a top priority. However, many of the fears associated with cloud computing and other related services are unwarranted. Cloud technology is relatively new, and as such, it will be subject to improvements and testing for some time to come. As the amount of data these services will have to handle is going to increase in the following decades, changes and upgrades are expected, writes Cristopher Burge.
One major factor that can lead doubts regarding the reliability of cloud storage is the concept of putting all of this important information on the internet. It’s true that the number of thefts committed via the internet has increased in recent years, and it seems that the tech-savvy are more at risk. To some extent, internet security providers are to blame.
However, for one thing, the number of devices that can connect to the internet and the number of people who have access to these devices have increased, as well. It would make sense that the number of people falling for online scams would rise. So, these numbers may not, in fact, indicate a growing danger, but rather just the fact that more and more people are going online, and perhaps are unaware of the precautions they should be taking. And many of these thefts occur because users are tricked into giving their personal data to people they shouldn’t trust. A cloud storage service is not going to fall for such a trick.
Some companies fear that the end user might be a liability when it comes to protecting their data. Once users have gained access to the cloud, it can be quite difficult to control what happens with the data after that. Moreover, cloud storages are meant to be flexible, and users might not always opt for a secure connection to gain access to information. Fearing the end user’s ability to handle information properly is not an issue related to the cloud itself. Employees are just as likely to steal, or mishandle information which is stored in the company’s database. Among the more pervasive fears companies have regarding cloud storage is the sense that they are no longer in control of their information. Cloud providers can gain access to the data at any moment. Since cloud storage is relatively new, there are some laws and regulations regarding the protection of online data, with more to come as time goes by. Currently, legislation differs quite a lot from country to country, so companies must research the legal framework of their own country, and the countries they are going to be working with, including that of the cloud service vendor. However, this process would be necessary for any business transaction, so in this respect, cloud services are no different than any other kind of service.
When it comes to broader security concerns regarding who gains access to what data and under what circumstances, the truth is, cloud service providers can offer much better online security than an IT department. At least in the case of smaller businesses. Security is obviously one of the major concerns, and cloud service providers make it one of their top priorities. This is an integral part of the service they provide. What most of these concerns boil down to is lack of experience using cloud storage and misunderstanding of how these services work. It is important for companies to become familiarized with the technical details of the cloud works, and how they can benefit from it before they make a decision. There are plenty of online resources dealing with business cloud management that can be consulted.
Some companies might also have an inherent fear of change. This is fear is partly motivated by the lack of experience mentioned earlier. However, whether they fear or not, it seems that cloud will soon be the new norm. In a recent survey, 95% of the companies interviewed were using some form of cloud. As the technologies are going to develop, switching to cloud storage might become more difficult. There is already a major concern that there is a severe lack of resources and expertise when it comes to implementing cloud services. This training gap is likely going to increase as time goes by, so securing the technology, as well as trained experts who are able to work with these new tools as early as possible is a must.
All companies should be concerned about protecting their data. However, merely worrying about the issue and avoiding new technology is not a way to ensure your information is secure. On the contrary, in this new digital environment, companies should look for protective measures that are tailored to the medium in which in their information exists. A password protected laptop, even if it never leaves company property, is much more of a liability than cloud storage.
About the author
Cristopher Burge is a full-time writer, passionate about technology and business related articles. He is very focused on everything that involves cloud computing in one way or another. He is the editor of CloudStorage101.