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Is the Cloud safe?

Airport business network cabinets

Yes. Well, safer than legacy systems. But by all means, not invincible. You might just have to reign in your expectations if you’re looking for a 100% guarantee. Or be prepared to waste a lot of time looking for that guarantee.

Firstly, what’s the Cloud?

Simply put, it’s a network of servers that are connected. A server is what it sounds like – it serves data and services to computers connected to it.

The name makes it sound like it is just up there in the air. It isn’t! It’s a physical and tangible thing this here cloud.

Usually, its a huge warehouse like the one above. It’s filled with servers that connect back to your computer over the internet.

So it’s physical and can be accessed over the Internet?

I know, so far away and out of reach, right?

In this case, there’s no correlation between proximity and security. It’s this misconception that makes sending these files potentially thousands of miles away, a little daunting.

Like with anything, there are risks and there are far more having data on your own infrastructure. This is because Cloud storage mitigates more risks than is feasible financially or practically for most businesses.

Like any crime, Cyber Crime will always happen. Why? Crime is opportunistic and exploits vulnerabilities. If you go out and leave your doors and windows open, would you expect your valuables to be there when you get back?

There’s 14 Ways to Protect Your Business from a Cyber Attack though, that should help you stay safer

Just like this, the vulnerabilities come from us people. The same happens on our PCs. We create weak passwords and have poor policies that are like leaving windows and doors open.

Whilst you have privacy rights, don’t confuse privacy and security. Data is never truly private anywhere. Legally, the government can request information. The provider can deny access but in most cases they’ll send just part of the data, not the full lot.

However, whilst you might think it is there to blame you for something, it can be used to protect you too.

The benefits are starting to stand out…

Good. And there’s a whole lot more.

Proximity does not equal security. You can save everything to your PC, but that can be physically stolen. Not sure the World’s Strongest Man could even manage a whole data warehouse.

Plus, you won’t have the security guards, access control and CCTV monitoring your PC 24/7. These warehouses do and they limit the people with access to them. They also have protection against things like fire – technology that sucks all the oxygen out the room – all expensive stuff that you can benefit from.

Hackers can easily attack a PC, usually starting by Phishing. This will expose your data (you’ll be having to give the ICO a call) and worse, deploy ransomware so getting you to pay for the privilege of getting what was yours back – robbed twice. And you’ll still never know what they did with the data (you’d be naive to think they just stole it to get you to pay for it back).

Cloud storage is encrypted which makes it harder work for hackers. It’s not like they don’t like hard work – too many people make it easy for them which makes it quicker. Time is money and they can be earning more from the easy pickings.

Chances are we all have one PC. We won’t have another one somewhere with all the same documents on – it’s not practical! Cloud warehouses have multiple fall back sites so your data exists securely in many locations. This mitigates risks and ensures at the click of a button, you can get your data back. Time is money! If you lost all your files, how much longer would it take you to earn the money your business earns? It’s why we talk about having both backups and offsite backups – mitigation and resilience.

Do you log every file that is saved, where it is moved, when, by who and why? Again, not practical! Cloud storage is regularly audited thoroughly – continually improving resistance to security flaws and the latest cyber threats.

All of this sounds rather expensive

It really isn’t! Economies of scale. Very cost effective. Personally, you’ll get some storage for free. Think of your personal iCloud, Google Drive or One Drive. The equivalent in physical storage costs more per gigabyte (GB) than cloud storage. And it is more flexible – if today you need 20GB and tomorrow 10GB – you pay for what you’re using.

And of course, everything is in one place and scalable. You won’t have to buy new PCs or transfer files to larger Hard Drives when you fill them or have more than one storage device.

So more secure? Yes or no?

Definitely. In addition to security and cost effective storage, you have to think of it as providing tangible benefits in terms of business efficiency and access to data, security and resilience not affordable to most businesses.

Change is hard but the benefits of acceptance can help a business grow – you focus more of doing what you do amazing and leave what others do amazing to them.

We talk of Big Data, AI, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and even the Internet of Things! They all rely on the Cloud – this growing reliance will only improve and grow the capabilities of the Cloud too.

Why not download our Office 365 Guide to see how cloud based solutions can help your business grow.

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Engineer installing a hard drive. Jupiter IT. IT support Hull

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