If you are reading this blog, then this topic peaked your interest. Central Coast Solutions gets more questions about security of data than almost any other topic. Here’s what you need to know about the risks, and why your data is only 100 percent safe when kept in a known, stable environment that you control.
Cloud computing: a third-party provider is directly managing your data.
Essentially, as a business owner, CIO or IT manager, you have now transferred this responsibility to somebody else. Make sure that you understand this: No cloud-based provider is ever going to be as passionate about your data as you. Furthermore, “securing your data” is often a popular marketing theme more than a practice of what happens in real life. It’s offsite where you cannot see behind their curtain – do you even know the names of the people that have full access to your confidential files and proprietary business information? Additionally, if you have your customers’ proprietary information to manage (and have signed NDAs ensuring this is buttoned down), putting all of this in the cloud puts you at an undetermined level of risk that you cannot measure but is not zero percent.
Compatibility issues: What you see is what you get.
If you move to a cloud-based provider, you get whatever tools they offer. If they don’t have what you need to creative deliverables for your customers – you are likely out of luck.
Cyberattacks – the bad guys generally go after a concentration of large data
So if you have your data stored in the cloud with a bunch of other random customers, this is attractive. The cloud become a singular point of failure, as it impacts a wide group of people, and it’s more effective to steal in bulk. Most cloud providers have decent security measures, but passwords and secret questions/answers make it easy to phish around restrictions to try to unlock them. Furthermore, the most serious breaches (historically) have been due to insider threats and privileged administrative access by employees. Understand that any cloud environment can be destroyed in a matter of minutes if in the wrong hands – after the data is stolen.
As data breaches happen – lawsuits are on the rise.
There’s a tradeoff between keeping your data secure and ease of sharing information. Logically, this just makes sense – the more open your network is, the easier it is for everyone to get into it – wanted or unwanted. There is no “cloud standardization” so the question of risk has a lot of components to consider. As a consumer, you need to understand the word “safe” will be used, but has no real definition that can be backed by clear-cut rules or guidelines.
Enough said. When this happens, you are officially down. You have a hunk of metal and wires (your computer) with no tools, no email, no functionality.
Long-term investment is expensive.
Short-term, the cloud can look attractive when companies can forgo purchasing their own equipment and software. But run the numbers. Studies show that after two years, onsite investments become the winner from an accounting perspective as capital assets depreciate. Plus – your cloud provider is not one stop. They are not going to provide what you need when your hardware breaks, your wireless doesn’t work, your employees don’t know how to use their tools, or if their network is too slow to meet your needs.
Yes, the Cloud can be realllllllly slow.
Sending data across the internet is always slower than using is from a local source (your server). It’s even slower when you need to get your data back from them. Cloud providers have finite amounts of bandwidth. When customer use is high, you slow down too. We often hear people complaining it’s easier to work during off hours because their cloud is slow. Is this really part of your business model for getting productivity from your employees?
Bottom line: A known, stable environment is best
Central Coast Solutions offers comprehensive service, products and training – in a way that all the factors above are managed in a known, stable environment – by you or those you personally hire to manage your information technology. Our service plans and maintenance packages make it easy to budget and plan – and service hours NEVER expire or have pressure to use them.
Over the last 20 years, we’ve created the best methods and service options for working with our clients — based on their feedback and what works to keep productivity high and down time low. Call us at 763-422-3922 if you’d like to have a conversation about having your technology help you make your organization more profitable!