Breaches in data security can be scary. Surprisingly, compromised information doesn’t just pertain to consumer transactions (like the recent one at Target); it can involve sensitive patient information and other private data that’s supposed to be protected from criminal activity.
As these trespasses have occurred in the cloud, it has contributed to the misconception that somehow storing information in the cloud is risky. People erroneously believe that the cloud lacks “real” security. If the cloud were secure, the fact that at least 90% of healthcare organizations have had exposed or stolen patient information wouldn’t exist, right?
Wrong. Often these types of security breaches initiate from internal devices that distribute malware among other devices because they lack intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS). In other words, the security breaches happened because internal controls were lacking after the initial perimeter was penetrated.
Understanding Cloud Security
The public cloud is basically just storage, data and program execution through a data center that isn’t owned by the user. Options like NaviSite or RapidScale allow businesses to upload their data to a center that offers incredible scalability and accessibility.
But these providers also specialize in data security. In fact, they have the tools and security protocols in place to repel the constant bombardment of viruses, hackers, and other cyber-attacks.
Imagine a massive treasure vault. All those precious items located inside twenty feet of solid steel and concrete walls. But when a thief finally digs through the wall, he realizes that another, thicker wall is located behind the first. If he gets through that one, he discovers that another wall protects the treasure, and so on, and so on. This is how cloud security works.
Yet, many business owners still feel that their data is somehow safer when it’s housed on their premises. That somehow having possession of a physical data center for storing information is more secure than utilizing a reliable cloud service provider.
Consider the previous ‘vault’ comparison. If inadequate IDPS is involved, the business is actually at greater risk to theft because once the first wall has been breached, the treasure is gone—metaphorically speaking, of course. But literally, if a business operates with a single firewall, that’s exactly what can happen.
Using a reputable cloud data center to store information is often superior to physical locations because of the services provided. Basically, once information gets connected to the Internet, having the data center close at hand really doesn’t matter. Having an expert staff who knows the latest and best cyber-security protocols, and who can react swiftly and ruthlessly to any threats is the best defense.
Will any and all providers offer the same cloud protections and solutions? Of course not. But what a reputable service provider does offer is layers of firewall defenses and a professional staff who are attuned to virtual security and specialize in protecting information.
As technology advances, so will cyber crime. But business owners don’t have to be timid about cloud data centers, they just need a strategy. And just like every aspect of business, if the service is confusing or unknown, talk to an expert to find out more.