Cloud is not a risk - with the right tools
Monday, March 11, 2013
Cloud computing is undeniably one of the most significant technologies to emerge in recent years. The cloud has dramatically affected the way organizations in virtually every industry conduct their businesses, allowing countless firms to become more agile, cost-efficient and productive. Once seen as a cutting-edge technology, many now view the cloud as a basic, essential business tool. Businesses that fail to leverage this resource may find themselves outcompeted by their more technologically advanced rivals.
Yet for all these benefits, cloud adoption in the United States and elsewhere has progressed relatively slowly. While many companies now leverage the technology and many more have plans to do so in the near future, overall adoption rates are not as high as the technology's maturity might suggest.
The reason organizations most commonly cite when asked to explain their hesitation regarding the cloud is security. Many personnel believe that the cloud is riskier than their legacy computing solutions and so, fearing a data breach, they have delayed pursuing this technology.
This is a misguided, and potentially costly, attitude to hold. As numerous industry experts have explained, the cloud is not inherently any more risky than legacy solutions. As with any technology, though, cloud computing requires employee training and secure file sharing tools.
Secure in the cloud
Cloud computing represents an major shift from traditional computing, as the company's files and data will by definition be stored outside the organization's internal firewall. This is unnerving to many firms that are wary of the possibility of a data breach.
This is a reasonable subject for concern. After all, data breaches can lead to a loss of credibility, fines, even lawsuits. Data breaches are costly in a range of ways and businesses are right to take steps to avoid them.
Yet there is no reason why a firm needs to choose between utilizing the cloud or preventing data breaches. It is extremely possible for an organization to achieve both of these goals, so long as it trains employees and utilizes security tools.
Training is necessary because, as studies have shown, many individuals still lack a clear understanding of what the cloud is and how it works. Consequently, workers may not fully appreciate how they can and should utilize the technology. For example, employees who have not received training and guidance may put the company at risk by storing mission critical files on an unsecured cloud-based file sharing system, such as Dropbox. Only by educating workers can firms encourage best practices in the cloud.
It is also necessary for companies to invest in the right tools to leverage the cloud while ensuring data is as protected as possible. For example, firms should choose a cloud FTP provider that puts a strong emphasis on security. By conducting research and vetting candidates, a company can ensure it puts its trust in a services provider that has the resources, experience and dedication needed to guarantee that data sent and received via the cloud is protected at all times.