Why Data is Safer in the Cloud

Entrusting the security and privacy of your valuable data to the cloud can, understandably, make the risk-averse wary. However, unlike the fluffy white objects that float around in the sky above us, you can rest assured that your data won’t be there one day and gone the next. On the contrary, it’s safer in the cloud than on site.

Cloud-cuckoo land

The first thing to ascertain is what on earth (or hovering slightly above it) the cloud is. The term ‘the cloud’ is used to describe network-accessed, off-site data-storage. Increasingly, individuals, companies, and even government organisations are storing their valuable information in the cloud, ranging from family photos to classified documents.

There are many advantages to storing data off site. Firstly, is the expense. Using a cloud service means you don’t need pricey on-site hardware installation, which generates maintenance costs. You won’t have to update or upscale your data infrastructure every few years as you grow either, as cloud services allow for unlimited scaling. The cloud also offers much more flexibility, as data can be accessed from a standard web browser anywhere in the world, provided the user has been authorised.

Clouding the issue

These are the immediate pros. It’s always wise to look at the cons too though, most of which involve cloud security. With cyber criminal attacks on the increase, the burning question is, of course, is on-site data safe? According to CyberCrime magazine, an estimated 37,000 websites are hacked every day, and almost half of cyber crimes target small businesses. The aggregate cost of cybercrime is thought to be in the region of $6 trillion per year on average.

So, it’s no wonder you might be reluctant to trust your data security to an outside party to store and protect it. However, keeping your data in-house doesn’t automatically mean it’s going to be safe.

The problem with storing data onsite is that it’s very vulnerable. If your servers were damaged by a flood or fire, or stolen during an office break-in, the vast quantities of valuable data could be lost forever.

There’s also a higher risk of employee error or confidential information finding its way onto personal devices and then being lost, stolen, or misappropriated. As people often bring their own devices into the office to work on, this is an increasingly likely scenario.

On top of that, the Harvard Business Review has found that 60 per cent of cyber attacks are executed by staff. Seventy-five per cent of those are carried out with malicious intent, while 25 per cent happen through negligence.

Another problem is that effectively managing on-site data security requires a lot of resources, both in terms of equipment and skilled cyber-security professionals. These come with additional expense for your company and the necessity of having the right staff employed at all times.

Silver linings

When taking all of these factors into consideration, it’s worth having a more in-depth look at cloud security.

The prospect of having your servers damaged, destroyed or stolen is no longer a risk if they’re not on site. Acts of God, criminals or vindictive staff simply can’t happen without access to the data on the servers that make up the cloud. That access is closely monitored by the cloud providers, who invest heavily in data security. As their business is to keep client data safe, they’ll spend whatever it costs to protect it, or they won’t have a business.

To achieve this, cloud providers employ highly skilled cyber security teams and the latest security technologies, which very few businesses could afford to install. These technologies offer security solutions at each and every security level, including infrastructure security, network security and application security. These procedures will prevent both internal and external security threats.

Compliance issues play an important role within regulated industries. Cloud providers can design platforms to include compliance tools that are automatically updated to reflect changes to regulatory laws. This offers businesses an added layer of protection, which they wouldn’t get from a basic in-house solution.

Yet another advantage to using a cloud provider is that you can hand over responsibility for security tasks, including the need for trained, in-house cyber-security specialists. Multi-channel support options and built-in tutorials can easily provide any platform training that’s required.

Safety in Nimbus

Salesforce incorporates security tools into all of its services to give clients the most secure solution possible. The provider of cloud-based CRM solutions has even set up Salesforce Trust, a website community hub for real-time data on Salesforce system performance and security.

Salesforce Trust gives uses access to the security status of every Salesforce platform, enabling them to see how protected their data is, through service availability, privacy, compliance, and security.

Salesforce recognises that businesses have different needs. For example, some industries are subject to regulatory and governance laws, so need greater security. These clients can benefit from advanced event monitoring, which gives them detailed reports, accounting for every action occurring on the system. This way, any suspicious or unsafe activities can be identified and actioned quickly. Access is via a two-factor authentication and identity verification, whether applied from within an organisation’s network, or from an outside IP, ensuring only authorised clientele can access the data.

To reinforce this security, organisational identifiers are given at the start of each new session, so the data can only be accessed by the company that owns it. Transport Layer Security (TLS) keeps data safely encrypted against attack, with the most current software available. Security solutions are only as effective as the people who use them, so Salesforce includes tools to identify any weaknesses in passwords, network configurations and sessions settings.

These levels of advanced security can be built into customised client applications via the Salesforce Platform. Cloud security intelligence, intelligent prevention, encryption at rest, and auditing capabilities can be built into every app ensuring the best security available for every stage of the business process.

With so much security in place to protect your data, you have every reason to be on cloud nine.