Is Your Data Actually Safe with a Cloud Provider?

With so many high-profile cases of hacking being reported in the news every week, it’s natural for us all to feel a bit scared and apprehensive about the security of our data.

One common concern among companies is whether it’s safe to store data in the cloud, particularly with a third party cloud provider for services like CRM. The natural tendency among many people is to think that entrusting your data to a cloud provider is dangerous, and few are aware of the huge security advantages that you actually gain by going to the cloud.

In reality, keeping your company data on your own computers and servers is like keeping your money under your mattress or in a shoebox rather than entrusting it to the superior security of a bank.

If you store money under your mattress and people learn about it, your home is a prime target to be burglarized, and the locks or security systems that you have for your home can never compete with the strength of security that a bank provides. Banks often have security guards, cameras, advanced alarm systems, expensive vaults, and many procedures to ensure the security of your money. In your home, you have the comfort of having your money nearby and having a sense of control, but it’s almost always at much greater risk of being stolen.

Keeping your data within the confines of your company computers and information architecture is much like trying to keep your money under a mattress or in a shoebox. It might feel safer and more comfortable, but if you ask companies like Target, Home Depot, UPS, Sony, and Anthem—all of whom suffered huge data security breaches at the hands of hackers who compromised their company servers—that sense of security doesn’t necessarily mean that your data is truly safe.

Just as banks provide vastly more robust and sophisticated security for storing your money, most cloud providers use security infrastructure, mechanisms, and processes that far exceed the capabilities of most small to medium-sized businesses.

Cloud providers use enterprise-grade hardware, equipment, and security solutions that are often unaffordable and difficult to manage for many businesses. They also generally make a much greater investment in secure infrastructure, so when you move your data to the cloud, you’re actually upgrading to safer equipment and greater data security.

With powerful security architecture, 24-hour monitoring, real-time threat detection, protection against network attacks, and on-demand security controls, cloud providers have an array of systems and tools to keep your data safe. Server redundancy, backup, and disaster recovery also provide additional assurances against data loss from issues that extend beyond hacking or cyberattacks.

Another advantage is that cloud providers typically have a dedicated security team with highly qualified professionals and experts whose entire focus is keeping your data secure. With more personnel and resources focused on data security, cloud providers can achieve better results than most companies achieve by relying on their internal IT staffers, particularly when they have to juggle many responsibilities beyond data security alone.

Of course, there are always exceptions, and some companies may have the money and resources to create and manage their own world-class data security teams and infrastructure. But this is usually an option for only the largest companies that have multi-million dollar IT budgets and can attract top data security talent.

After all, if you want to keep your money safe at home, you could invest in a sophisticated security system, motion detectors, cameras, and install a vault or 1,500-pound safe in your basement and deploy security guards around the premises.

But wouldn’t it be much easier and less expensive to put your money in the bank, where you can leave the security to professionals with the expertise, resources, and mechanisms to keep it safe?

If that seems like a more feasible and sensible idea, then consider putting your fears to rest and trusting your company data to cloud providers who bring the same level of professional and sophisticated security expertise to keep your data safe.