Public Cloud: Are You Risking Security?

Cloud computing offers many benefits for businesses and consumers, however, many businesses worry that using the public cloud to store their data could open them up to security risks. Thankfully, the public cloud does not pose the same security risks today as it did in its early years. Let’s take a look at the potential risks posed by the public cloud and discuss how concerned businesses need to be.

How Safe Is the Public Cloud?

According to security experts at the RSA conference in San Francisco, the public cloud is a safer place to store data than an on-premise server. Eran Feigenbaum, security director for Google Apps, says that enterprises can store data on the public cloud without worrying about taking a risk. Bruce Schneier, a cryptographer and security expert based in Cambridge, MA, backs up this claim, saying that outsourcing data storage to the cloud allows technology experts to consolidate their expertise for better results. He likens storing data in the cloud to hiring a professional to do your taxes for you rather than doing it yourself: the results are likely to be more reliable thanks to the professional’s skills and knowledge.

Public Cloud Technology Is Up to Date

Most enterprise IT departments cannot afford to update their IT infrastructure and security systems every time a new option becomes available. Unfortunately, aging infrastructure presents a security risk that some hackers are able to exploit to steal valuable data. Similarly, IT managers don’t always have time to implement fixes to protect against the latest viruses, malware and methods that hackers use to try to obtain access to business systems.

Public cloud vendors have the time and resources to devote to staying ahead of the latest generation of security threats, which means they can keep your data safe. They have the advantage of being able to work with modern infrastructure that doesn’t depend on legacy systems, which can introduce risks.

Big Businesses Are Targets

Many businesses assume that the public cloud is an attractive target for hackers, which can make them wary about storing their data in the cloud. Meanwhile, those same businesses overlook their own attractiveness to hackers. As public cloud security systems are hyper-alert to security risks, many cyber criminals are turning their attention to big businesses instead. For example, in late 2015, the Hilton Hotel Chain was the victim of a significant data breach that accessed customer credit and debit card information, leaving the IT department baffled about how the hackers gained access. Businesses should never assume that steering clear of the public cloud will ensure their data stays safe, as their systems can also be attractive targets for cyber criminals.

How to Use the Public Cloud Safely

Of course, using the public cloud doesn’t guarantee safety either. While public cloud providers devote a huge amount of resources to protecting their clients’ data, they can’t control all their customers’ interactions with the service. To transfer data safely to and from the public cloud, it is essential for businesses to use encryption and IAM-based security.

Should Businesses Use the Public Cloud?

Using the public cloud is a smart move for businesses that want to protect their customers’ data. Outsourcing data storage to experts who have enormous resources to devote to data security makes sense, not only from a security point of view but also in terms of saving time and money for the company’s IT department. If you are looking for a partner to help you with your journey to the public cloud, contact us.