As the Government encourages businesses to migrate to the cloud here is a look at security
Many businesses are contemplating moving their ICT operations to cloud-based systems. However today security is a bigger issue than ever, with hackers, terrorists, and the occasional disgruntled employee a factor in any decision. Many business owners like to have their own servers, it's like having your car in the garage, you can pop out to see if it's okay...
However the reality is that costs can be reduced, efficiency increased, and environmental impact reduced, by outsourcing to a cloud service provider. Amazon Web Services grew from being a way to obtain added-value from unused portions of the Amazon server network, but has grown to be the most profitable part of the business, serving everyone from one-man shops, to Netflix. It made $861m in operating revenue last year.
A recent report claimed that 43% of companies had experienced a data breach within the past year, up 10% from the year before. Additionally, data breaches in South Korea compromised the credit card information of 40% of the population.
To directly address the cloud security issue: is the cloud less secure than having servers in the basement? It depends, but it can be more secure, simply because a large cloud organisation can have 24/7 dedicated security teams working, which most businesses simply cannot afford. Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) benefit from economies of scale. CSPs can maintain large numbers - sometimes thousands - of servers and can hire technicians who specialise in every type of cloud technology, including security. However it is necessary to ensure that at the client end of the process your own business has good security procedures and protocols or enhanced security at the cloud end will be useless. The UK government is encouraging businesses to opt for a “Cloud First” policy, and migrate their data to a reputable cloud system.
A serious risk is employees accidentally or maliciously downloading malware, and not just infecting their computer, but it spreading across an internal network and affectng every computer – this would be a serious breach. In the cloud, their firewalls and procedures would stop this happening.
The cloud doesn’t only keep users' data safe from the spread of malware, it also keeps data safe from natural and human-created disasters. When data is stored in the cloud, employees will still have access to it in the event that the local workstations or servers go down. Backups are off-site and therefore less vulnerable.
The cloud has come a long way over past few years. It’s not just the security that has been improved, customised software, platforms and numerous other services can be delivered via the cloud now.So there is a lot of validity in moving to a cloud-based ICT service platform.
Author: This article was written by Julian Jackson, Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce's resident blogger and copywriter - https://julianj.journoportfolio.com