Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t — that’s historically been the attitude of IT managers, CTOs and CIOs toward new technologies, especially the cloud. In many industries, hostility toward cloud solutions is practically a tradition. According to Forbes, in 2017 just 23 percent of organizations said they trusted cloud storage services to protect their data.
Does the cloud really deserve its bad rap though? While IT leaders are wise to approach emerging technologies with skepticism, the cloud is no longer untested. The benefits of cloud computing now vastly outweigh its risks. In fact, security in the cloud typically outperforms that of legacy on-premise solutions.
The cloud is no longer a necessary evil: It has emerged as a basic tool for modern business, safer and more effective than many physical servers. Here are four reasons why the cloud beats traditional storage.
Cloud Security Has Significantly Improved
Fears about data security on the cloud might have been founded 10 years ago, when providers were in their infancy. However, that’s just not the case today. Over the last decade, cloud service providers and data centers have made significant investments to beef up security measures.
That spending has had an effect: While no solution can guarantee online security, it’s fair to say that the modern cloud is much more secure than its predecessors. In fact, the CIO of the US government says cloud security measures make these solutions just as safe as financial institutions.
Large-scale cloud providers have economics on their side, allowing them to afford more sophisticated security solutions than small organizations with a single on-premise server. But cloud users reap the benefits of top-of-the-line security at an affordable price point.
Cloud Updates Are Automatic
Security experts agree: One of the most effective ways to protect your data is to routinely patch and update software, especially server management tools. Exploiting security loopholes in out-of-date software is one of hackers’ favorite activities — yet many admins neglect this important security protection.
Many cloud services, such as AWS, offer patch management features to update server software easily and effectively. Cloud applications and storage services like Google Drive, on the other hand, automatically upgrade to the latest versions of their software every time you log in. Why remember to update when you can have your system do it for you?
Cloud Data Is Backed Up
Ransomware, another rampant cyber threat, exploits organizations’ lack of data backups. Data is hijacked and literally held hostage, with hackers demanding exorbitant fees in exchange for its safe return.
Paying the ransom is not a good idea. Instead, victims are advised to revert to backups, which gives them power to reject the ransom. Experts recommend that organizations back up their data every day, or at least once a week.
Of course, just because companies should back up data doesn’t meant that they do. US businesses lose an average $12 billion worth of data every year. Cloud solutions have the upper hand here, since data is automatically backed up, often in three separate locations. If ransomware or some other data failure should strike your internal server shares, your data will be spared if it’s stored on the cloud.
Cloud Servers Have No Physical Access for Employees
Not all threats come from outside your organization. Insiders, motivated by corporate espionage or money made selling sensitive data on the dark web, can break into physical storage facilities and steal information. The problem is worse than you might suspect: In one survey, over 50 percent of surveyed organizations said they had sustained an insider attack in the last 12 months.
Cloud storage options and virtual servers minimize this issue by moving hardware off site to data centers. Physical security standards in data centers are extremely high. These facilities implement high-level proximity controls and limited entry points to protect data stored within. It’s not a bad idea to investigate the specific security controls implemented by your cloud provider; however, in general, data centers have some of the best physical security practices in the world.
The cloud isn’t risk free, of course, and using the public cloud may not meet requirements dictated by certain industry standards, such as HIPAA. For this reason, many organizations opt for a mixture of on-premise and cloud storage solutions, or a hybrid cloud.
For help identifying the perfect cloud solution for your business, contact us today for a free quote. With our technicians at your side, there’s no reason to fear the cloud!