With the surge of internet-connected and mobile devices, cloud software became the core of new generation of information systems framework. These services are managed by the provider that makes resources and information accessible from anywhere there is a working internet connection. IT outsourcing options are abundant indeed, and customers can choose from a variety of cloud computing services. Note, however, the vendors provide varying levels of security, and that a sophisticated security system is not a dime a dozen.
Hopes and concerns
Smart connected devices are integral parts of our daily lives, and their applications and infrastructure are constantly improving. Be it HRM, Accounting, E-commerce, ERP, CRM etc., Cloud services make it easy for companies and individual users to gather, share, process and store data. Many companies take advantage of the increased efficiency and the costs that are lower compared to in-house computing, but one must take both risks and benefits into account here.
One of the main possible drawbacks of cloud-based software solutions is safety. Some security threats may be overblown, but news like those on the dragonfly espionage campaign strike fear into the hearts of many businesses and individual end-users. Companies that deal with sensitive data have voiced their concerns and wondering whether they are facing an uphill battle.
With cloud computing, much of the responsibility is transferred from the customers to the providers. So, one of the first things to consider is vendor transparency and whether they offer clear service agreements. Customers should make sure that access is reliable and available 24/7, even in cases of natural or human-caused disasters.
The big picture
Big corporations like Microsoft and Google claim that, with some precautions, cloud is secure enough for handling public data. According to them, the main condition for this is to build trust between providers and customers. Their endorsement of the cloud encouraged many others to give it a go.
Cyber security is still a critical issue and many cyber criminals are seeking to exploit the weaknesses in security systems, networks and servers. Thus, companies must inquire what kind of support is offered in case of emergencies and security breaches. Service providers must divert resources to protect the system and applications that are under attack- otherwise it can all end in ruins.
Keep in mind that while safety measures and networks are evolving at a rapid pace, cyber threats are doing the same. The key is to keep the confidentiality of data and limit the exposure to compliance and legal risks. Companies are better off storing private and sensitive data somewhere else, on a password protected and encrypted hard drive or in-house data centers. It goes without saying that top-secret information should be kept off the cloud.
If nothing else, in order to minimize the risks of using cloud computing, companies should utilize specialized security and remote login software services. This enables better risk management and around the clock access to vital data. To mitigate the danger of exploitation, access control and monitoring policies should be in place. One must not forget that both external and internal threats are to be taken seriously if the business is to prosper.
Mission under way
The appropriate use of cloud computing services can provide numerous benefits, such as flexibility and scalability. Outsourcing is also the most cost-effective solution, and many startups and growing businesses use it to gain an edge over the competition. Here I have one idea How to Manage Your Business from Mobile Devices? However, privacy and security considerations need to be made before choosing a cloud service.
Companies both big and small should seek providers that treat security as a crucial resource, and put resources towards preventing data loss and security breaches. Trust is the foundation of safe cloud computing use, and benefits increase with experience in best practices.