It is true that data breaches have garnered much of the news lately but is computing in the cloud less secure than computing controlled by the business? The answer is, no. What you gain from computing in the cloud is mobility, access from anywhere, having the ability to switch to the latest hardware in a flash, never having to be one step behind in software versions, and for businesses, less cost in the IT department.
Newest Hardware Always
One thing to consider when looking at the cost of doing business is the cost of the server hardware needed to power all of your internet business. Cloud Service providers like Microsoft Azure, and Amazon AWS are always upgrading their hardware for you in order to bring you the latest and greatest in options and speed available on the market today.
With these providers you will set up all of the server operating systems and software and never have to worry about the hardware end. Is your data safe somewhere out there in the ether? It is no more likely that your data will be breached off of one of these service providers than if you housed the servers yourself. A study on the cost of data breaches in 2012 stated that two thirds of the data breaches in the United States where due to human errors and system problem; not in where or how the data was stored.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software applications are being moved to the internet as an easy way to provide fast updates to customers. Having an application on the internet housed at the software provider means you will never have to patch, or upgrade the software.
You will also save the cost of the IT people in-house from testing every patch of the software before it is made live. You will always have the newest and latest tools provided by the provider and your service will be backed by an Software License Agreement that helps to guarantee safe data and reliable up time.
Not only can you do Software as a Service but there are a number of other business operations you can do as a service such as business process, infrastructure, and security. Security as a service is not a new idea but it is growing into a much larger area than just virus scanning, and security probing. There are now services out there that will watch your server logs for malicious activities and send reports of attempted access to data by entities other than those that are accepted.
Lower IT Costs
Smaller companies have more to gain when moving services to the cloud because they do not have the initial layout of money on the hardware and software involved. They do not have to over-stretch their budgets to develop their IT infrastructure by investing in a service provider to make it instantly available. You will save money. It doesn’t matter if you are looking at only outsourcing the hardware or if you are outsourcing everything tech-related, your business will save money and will be secure.
There are a few areas where you will need to make sure your service provider can provide for you. They should have:
- Redundant connections to business internet service
- Firewalls available to secure connections to the service
- Full reporting of services including access and connection logs to data
Data that is involved with your business structure is valuable. When looking at any service provided over the internet you will have to consider how well known the provider is for their data security. Remember that they too have a risk benefit in providing the service; if your data is not safe they will not remain in business.