In the 20th century, security often meant anything from lockboxes and safes to armed guards, and there is little doubt that this line of thinking is dated. In the 21st century physical security still has a place, but more of our assets are are digital. New asset forms require new means of protection. With the explosion of digital assets many small and medium businesses are asking, “should I move my assets to the Cloud and how do I do it securely?”
No matter how and where you protect and store your assets and those of your business, it is a critical decision that demands careful consideration. To that end, we got in touch with some preeminent thought leaders in the field that can offer some insight, and asked them about migrating your valuable data to the cloud.
Don’t Let New Tech Cloud Your Judgment
Daniel Steeves is a technology and business-focused growth and marketing hacker. His videos and articles on cloud technology and other tools can be seen at his websites deRisk the Cloud and BeyondSolutions.
Steeves asks the tough questions, and he leverages a deep technical background with experienced commercial and business points of view to ensure clarity in direction and an end-to-end understanding of what modern success looks like. When you ask him about moving assets to the cloud, he’ll tell you that whether you’re a big fish or an up-and-comer, you need to not only think carefully about what you are moving to the cloud, but whether or not it’s the best way to meet your goals.
It is imperative to find the best security approach for each specific situation. While larger enterprises typically have increased security requirements in comparison to smaller businesses, the nature of the business and the data being stored (not to mention the regulations regarding that data) are the bottom line in determining where and how to store your assets. Do not fix things that are not broken, don’t move things to the cloud unless you’re sure that it’s the best way to meet your requirements. If it turns out that cloud computing is more effective and can deliver efficiencies, then why wouldn’t any growth-focused business take a serious look?
Outsourcing your Security
René Büst, senior IT analyst at Crisp Research, is a specialist when it comes to cloud computing, IT infrastructure and collaboration. Büst is the author of numerous professional cloud computing and technology articles. On clouduser he writes at great length about cloud computing, IT infrastructures, technologies, management and strategies.
If you ask Büst about moving assets to the cloud, he’ll tell you that in terms of security, most providers may be able to cover all your bases better than you can hope to on your own.
Storing the data within a cloud basically upgrades the status of the data from available to highly-available since most providers store the information redundantly to at least at three different locations. On the other hand backup and disaster recovery scenarios without cloud storage are vulnerability points for most companies. They have to make sure that their system is running properly, that they test the scenarios frequently and also designate staff to be responsible for this. Many companies, especially SMEs, don’t have the staff, money or awareness to establish these kinds of scenarios. So, to that end, cloud providers are able to offer easy service that will keep a business’s data, and assets, more secure.
Enjoy Added Security While Keeping One Eye Open
As a lawyer specializing in cloud & technology, commercial contracts, data security and intellectual property with DMH Stallard, Frank Jennings knows a thing or two about the pitfalls of moving data to the cloud. The independent legal directory, Legal 500, ranks Jennings as the #1 lawyer in the cloud computing industry.
Jennings will be the first to tell you that moving your assets to the cloud may be a big upgrade for your security, but it’s no reason to write it off, because as with anything else, there is no silver bullet.
“It all depends what steps your organization has taken to secure your data. Coming to the cloud can indeed improve the protection of your IT and data. The cloud can provide better data security than on premise storage as cloud providers have invested so heavily in security. However, as revelations about Prism have shown, it is not sufficient to just assume the cloud is safe. It is important to be proactive to protect business assets and data through encryption or other safeguards.”
Senior writer at CloudTweaks, Steve Prentice, is a journalist and expert in the area of business productivity, specifically at the juncture where humans and machines interact. For 20 years he has assisted companies across North America realize the potential of technology, from the first inklings of the public Internet, through Y2K to the current world of social media and the cloud.
Prentice’s long history of riding in the passenger seat as new technological advancements have come to market, makes him uniquely qualified to weigh in on moving one’s assets to the cloud. He feels that the cloud’s everywhere-at-once presence can add a new dimension to your security.
Although local storage seems like a sound concept, much like having a wall safe in the house, data that is restricted to a single physical area and may be more prone to external attack, physical disaster (fire and floods, for example) and premature aging of infrastructure. Private cloud technology protects a business’s mission-critical assets by distributing saved data across numerous servers in invisible locations. Cloud companies make it their business to ensure that security is up-to-the-second and reliable. They tend to use stronger encryption systems and have greater access to the experts and technology that will keep them competitive – which in turn means better protection for their customers.
Using the Cloud Without Getting Rained On
An important component of any security infrastructure is the essential plan B. Any security system has to have a failsafe to encourage confidence. For example, who is more afraid of a bank robbery? An average depositor or the bank’s many insurance companies? When you put your hard cash in the bank you know that even if the worst happens to that bank, the FDIC will cover you up to $200,000. As technology changes, services like the cloud are going to try to match that level of safety, and they are already well on their way.
You may decide that moving your assets to the cloud is the right choice for you at this time, and Forte Systems can help you along the way.