Cloud – a false sense of insecurity?
April 29, 2015
In spite of the rapid rise in the use of cloud services in the UK, questions about the cloud’s security (or supposed lack thereof) keep on coming. The general attitude remains that cloud hosting is less secure than on-premises, and, in a sense, it’s easy to see why. Storing data on servers in a locked room in the office, and knowing exactly where it is, could offer peace of mind. But the reality is that it’s often where data is most vulnerable.
If cloud were truly and inherently insecure, the delivery model simply wouldn’t have taken off as it has. The security offered by a cloud service provider will more often than not far surpass anything that most businesses could hope to achieve on their own steam. The economies of scale that CSPs can achieve means that their customers able to offer leading edge technology and security solutions at a fraction of the price of buying it outright. By hosting data in the cloud, organisations are able to benefit from the regular overhaul of quality hardware and the services provided by expert technicians without incurring a large cost.
Moreover, recent statistics from the Cloud Industry Forum show that perceptions around the security of cloud don’t match up with reality. When asked what their most significant concerns were about cloud, 71 per cent of UK organisations stated security, in spite of the fact that only 2 per cent of businesses in the research had actually experienced a breach of security when using a cloud service.
That is, however, not to suggest that concerns about security are completely invalid. Indeed, the issue is far from trivial; without the right technological precautions and restrictions in place to govern cloud services there are risks. It all depends on how you manage them. It’s important to know the extent of your service package and be presented with a valid assessment of facts before adopting cloud. No matter how few and far between the instances of security breaches, companies should take cloud security seriously.
Security should remain a priority for organisations when partnering with a cloud service provider. The best providers will work with you to figure out what should and can be moved to the cloud and, importantly, what should be kept in-house. Through an awareness of data back up, access restrictions and the other ins and outs of the service offering, organisations are able to partner securely and effectively with the provider that best reflects their interests.