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Is your company's data secure in the cloud?
23 May 2020  |  By Hiend Software Pte. Ltd.
Does cloud computing provide the safeguards to protect your critical business information from hackers and thieves?
When it comes to the cloud, it's easy to see the benefits: virtually unlimited storage, bandwidth and computing power on demand, rendering systems and IT services far more scalable and accessible. But what does this new generation of hosting have to offer in terms of security... and should you trust your company's vital data to the cloud?

Some businesses should steer clear of the cloud
Not all companies are well-suited to the cloud. For instance, no level of encryption or security in the cloud can compare to the kind of lockdown that banks, financial institutions, and insurance groups use to protect their clients' personal information. For this reason, it's wise for certain industries to avoid using cloud services, such as:

  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Insurance companies
  • Hospitals and medical groups
  • Therapists and counselors
  • Certain government sectors

Will it ever be possible to instill enough security in the cloud for credit card companies and banks to rely on it? Probably not in the foreseeable future. As long as information is worth money to someone, there are going to be people willing and able to hack into the cloud, making it a risky proposition for storage of any valuable data.

What's safe in the cloud?
While experts say it's best to keep critical data out of the cloud - even if you're considering the private cloud option - there are ways that the cloud can be used safely by even the most privacy-conscious businesses.

Information that doesn't have to be kept secure, like maintenance orders or company-wide memos, is safe in the cloud. It's unlikely to be of any value to hackers who may discover it; there's no reason for a hacker to waste time on a database that holds innocuous information when they could be gunning for richer targets.

If you believe your business data is of relatively little value to hackers, or you want to explore the possibilities available to you in the cloud, read on for the key items to consider.

What to consider before entering the cloud
There are four questions that all business owners or managers should ask themselves before putting company information in the cloud:

  1. How valuable is our business data - to this company, and to potential hackers?
    Are there people who could profit from stealing this information?
  2. What would happen if our data storage was breached?
    If data loss could drive you out of business or cause serious problems for your clients or colleagues, then the cloud may not be for you.
  3. How much am I willing to spend to protect this data?
    Your budget will determine the power of the safeguards that you'll be able to put in place, in terms of hardware, software and administrative security measures.
  4. How can we manage the risk of data loss, and how far are we willing to go?
    Mandatory use of standardised, company-issued devices creates a far more secure (and costlier) system than one that can be accessed from any device of your employee's choosing.

While companies that prioritise security probably won't choose to move to the cloud anytime soon, there are options and solutions to make the cloud more secure if it's a practical and functional choice for your business.
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