Business and attitudes to cloud services: security issues

In the days before the internet, the concept of business security – on the face of it – seemed much simpler.

Keeping someone out was just a case of physically stopping someone from taking what was yours. Locked premises, security guards, maybe an alarm – ultimately, if you had been unfortunate enough to become a victim of crime, you knew about it.

However, all this changed with the adoption of the web. Suddenly, businesses were at risk of a new threat – one that couldn’t be warned off with a big padlock or manned patrols. As we let technology do more work for us, we also shared with it some of our most sensitive data – exposing ourselves to new risks of being compromised.

As the world becomes increasingly connected through new advancements like the cloud, there is a perception that the threat is continuing to grow. Sadly, that view is limiting the opportunities for many businesses that simply do not know how they can protect themselves from cybercrime.

While everyone now seems fascinated with the cloud and how it can potentially help them, a lack of knowledge of the different types of cloud available means many entrepreneurs presume one system will be exactly the same as the other.

Obviously, one of the widely-recognised advantages of the technology is that it gives companies the ability to enable their workforce to effortlessly share data and work together in a more efficient manner. However, this advantage can also be perceived as a weakness – as greater access can result in a larger chance of experiencing a security breach. For this reason, it appears as though many companies have an automatic aversion to using cloud systems altogether.

The private cloud

This certainly need not be the case. For a start, there are two main variations of the cloud – public and private. Many business owners that only have a basic understanding of the technology think of the public cloud when trying to figure out how its principles can be applied to their operations – and this is why their worries about the security risks they would face in transitioning to the system can be unfounded.

Whereas with public clouds you are unlikely ever to have any contact with the physical machines that run the system, the private equivalent sees you manage the server yourself – meaning you have much more control in terms of what can and can’t be accessed.

Of course, not all of us are IT experts and this is where third-party providers like Canopy can come in to help facilitate the implementation of the technology.

There are many advantages the private cloud can have over a public system. In addition to the increased level of control, you will have jurisdiction over how it is managed, allowing you to completely isolate your data infrastructure and minimise the risk of outside attacks.

Another plus point is that, unlike a public cloud, there is no threat of losing your data or suffering a drop in productivity if your provider shuts down. In many instances, the private cloud is yours – you own it and its maintenance is in your hands. With this in mind, you can also design the architecture so it suits your needs – tailoring its functionality specifically to support your operations.

So, if you’ve dismissed the cloud in the past as not being for you, think again – it could prove to be the best move you’ve ever made for your business.