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The Truth Behind Cloud Security: Risk vs. Reality

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Although cloud adoption is on the rise, there are still many myths about how secure the technology really is. In fact, according to a study of 250 global CIOs, 30 percent marked cloud security risk as the thing that they are most worried about.

There are certainly some considerations to explore in any cloud infrastructure—whether it is a single, private cloud or a hybrid, multi-cloud environment—but it is important to debunk the myths, properly weigh the risks, and flesh out the benefits to make sure you have all the right information to make the best decision for your organization.

Don’t know where to start? That’s where this article comes in; we’re here to help you sort fact from fiction so you know the true story behind the benefits of the cloud.

Myth #1: Cloud security is too hard to handle

One of the most commonly heard myths surrounding cloud security risk is that it is too hard to overcome compared to on-premise. Similarly, there is a fear that data cannot be controlled once it is in the cloud or that your data can be viewed by anyone. The result is that companies can decide to not explore the cloud as a business enabler. Or, if they do decide to use the cloud, they only migrate non-mission-critical data and applications.

It is important to remember that the “cloud” is a network just like your own; it just happens to be somewhere else and managed by another team. The same types of hardware, software, security features, staff, and access controls apply. However, the level of focus, the amount of resources, and the dedication that a provider has to ensure the effective, secure, and efficient management of the cloud service could be more than what your on-premise solution can provide. After all, that is the service provider’s business model.

Myth #2: The cloud is less secure than on-premise

Though this myth may just be the result of circular reasoning—could 30 percent of CIOs be onto something?—it is still worth debunking. Because the technology can be harder to grasp, it can be easy to perceive the cloud as less secure. However, according to Gartner, very few data breaches have occurred in the cloud, and the ones that do, the majority are not the cloud provider’s fault. Instead, most breaches continue to involve on-premise data centers.

What is true about cloud providers is that not all of them are the same. Make sure you take the time to understand their security defenses and have them demonstrate their technologies before you enter into the partnership.

Myth #3: Compliance is harder in the cloud

For many organizations—especially those in finance, healthcare, or any industry with a lot of client data—maintaining compliance with regulations is not negotiable. With many industry- and location-specific regulations that need to be followed, it is easy to believe that a cloud provider could not possibly fit the bill.

In fact, working with a cloud provider can actually make meeting and maintaining compliance with regulatory standards easier. For example, many cloud providers work with the regulatory providers to pre-certify their cloud data centers, infrastructure, policies, and staff with the necessary levels of security, such as PCI and HIPAA.

To do so, cloud providers offer strong perimeter defenses, active intrusion detection systems (IDS), and other security features, such as encryption and logging, to meet the necessary standards. And, in the event of a standard change, cloud providers can often pivot and modify configurations to match the requirement on your behalf.

Myth #4: Cloud providers take on all security responsibility

Although there is no doubting that moving your applications, workloads, management, data, and many other services to a cloud service provider can greatly reduce your operational costs and capital investment in IT, that does not mean you are off the hook when it comes to security.

Your relationship with the cloud service provider should include continuous evaluations of the data that is being hosted, the types of access levels authorized, and the prevention techniques in place. After all, it is still your data.

Give the Cloud a Second Look

Once you are able to get past these myths (and many more) surrounding the cloud, you can get a clearer view of how using the cloud can really improve how your organization operates. Lowered operating expenses, streamlined maintenance, and faster adoption of new technologies and tools are just a few of the most common factors driving the move to the cloud. If you are interested in learning more about the cloud and how it can change your bottom line, reach out to FNTS.

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