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Moving to “the cloud” is good business sense – the cloud makes financial sense as opposed to the costly real estate involved with server expansion and never-ending data needs. But how can you protect yourself and your data in something you can’t see, touch, or control?
“Change is scary.”
It’s a phrase often uttered in response to big news that means change on the grand scale; something big is looming. The reference to change being “scary” really has to do with human nature and the fear of the unknown. But are we really afraid of the unknown? Or is this more to do with apprehension over something we don’t yet fully understand?
You’ll pay a small fortune to a therapist to get the answers to all of those questions, but the bottom line really is just that change makes us nervous for all of those reasons. When the discussion turns to the cloud, this intangible and invisible “thing” that is ever-evolving and so adaptable that it’s seemingly different for everyone, our collective guard is up.
The reality is that the cloud is only invisible to us – these storage servers do physically exist somewhere, using another entity’s real estate and power supply. Hired staff maintain and protect these servers on your behalf. The cloud is scalable based on your needs, meaning you can secure more or less storage space as your business needs change. Win-win-win, right?
Yes and no.
Myth: I’m paying someone else to store my data, so the burden of security is on them.
Fact: It’s your data being stored in the cloud, so you still need to think about security. You have a duty to protect the information of customers and clients, and if there is a data breach or other cybersecurity vulnerability, there is still a liability.
Myth: Cloud providers are super high-tech and impenetrable.
Fact: Your data is stored on third-party servers and accessed via an Internet connection. Any reputable cloud solution provider employs incredibly strict security measures and keeps abreast of the latest cybersecurity news – so you don’t have to. That doesn’t mean, though, that you don’t need to worry about secure access and taking every precaution you can to prevent unauthorized access through a breach on your end.
Myth: My cloud solution knows what they’re doing, so I don’t have to.
Fact: You are paying an expert to provide you a service, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to be aware or your team doesn’t need to be knowledgeable. More importantly, why would you not want to know how your cloud provider is protecting you – and your data. Would you be concerned if servers were stored in an unlocked and unguarded facility? What about if your data was backed up on hard drives that sat exposed to the elements or accessible to anyone? Or worse – if your data wasn’t being backed up at all? That’s like letting your staff keep passwords to their network or cloud access on a notepad on their desktop for the world to see! Don’t let human error be responsible for a breach – keep informed.
The most important thing to remember is that a 100% cybersecurity guarantee isn’t possible, but that every business can take steps to make sure they’re protected, and so is their cloud service access. How can you make sure your data is secure?
Establish a formal process with your team.
Follow the latest security best practices.
Proactivity and consistency.
Is the cloud right for you? You may not have a choice. Recent estimates show that costs and other factors will require organizations to use the cloud in some manner within the next five years and that the next decade will see a massive migration to the cloud to leverage the technology and the many benefits that cloud services can offer.
Are you considering a move to the cloud but aren’t sure if it’s right for you? Prepare now, and when the time comes for you to make the change, it won’t seem so scary. Is the sky the limit on potential? Nah – we say there’s no limit!
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