Many business owners have a perception that the cloud is not secure, and worry about entrusting their data to a third party. But are these concerns founded? And how safe is the data you are storing on your own servers?
According to research conducted by Lero, a significant factor that prevents more widespread adoption of cloud services is actually the perception people have of the term ‘cloud’ itself.
The research, which was conducted at the National University of Ireland, found that whilst people feel comfortable with things like online banking and passing around data storage devices like USB sticks and external hard drives, when it comes to the cloud, a negative perception is often formed.
So why is this? Perhaps the term “cloud” itself makes it sound as though your data is just floating in the ether and vulnerable to attack at any time. To help dispel this myth, let’s look at data security when using your own servers vs cloud servers.
Data security using your own servers
For many business owners, the thought of having all of their data stored in-house on their own servers is appealing. It creates the impression that you have complete control over all your data and business processes. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, particularly if you are a smaller business without a huge amount of resources available for IT and security.
One of the biggest problems with having all your data stored internally is that it is difficult to control where it is and who’s using it. When data isn’t freely accessible, it means your employees have to use USB drives and other external storage devices to access it and make changes. This means your data is at great risk of falling into the wrong hands.
Another key area of concern when storing your data internally is that you have to worry about server maintenance. Particularly if your company is growing rapidly, servers will need adding to and maintaining often. This is not only time-consuming and expensive but it can also put your data at risk if something goes wrong.
Also, if all of your data is stored in one place and you don’t have it backed up at another location, what happens if there is a fire or flood at your office?
Data security using the cloud
Now let’s look at data security when using cloud servers. One of the biggest advantages to using cloud servers is that they’re extremely secure. Large cloud service providers have the resources available to take extreme precautions to ensure that your data is completely safe. This is why they back up data every night and make use of things like armoured trucks and double-gated premises to protect their data centres. SMBs are extremely unlikely to have any level of security that comes close to this.
In addition, they use multiple data centres to host their applications and data so that if there is a problem with one data centre – such as a fire or flood – your data is still available at other locations.
And it isn’t just the regular back-ups and redundancy that makes the cloud a more secure option. The fact that your employees can access company data from anywhere, at anytime actually makes it a lot more secure. This makes sense when you think about it, as it means company data doesn’t need to be placed on any external devices for it to be accessible and you will have a full audit trail of who has accessed it, when and where from.
Cloud software designed for businesses will offer strong authentication measures, such as multi-factor authentication, making it very difficult for hijackers to gain access. Plus you can set varying roles and permissions for each employee – this means that you can control who has access to what data. – or even restrict it to a specific set of IP addresses or devices – something that cannot be achieved with standard industry issue USB sticks.
If you’d like more information on how cloud services can make your business more efficient without any compromise in security then don’t hesitate to get in touch.
What are you experiences using your own server vs the cloud? Which do you find to be more secure? Let us know in the comments below.