The world is flat. We once believed that.
The human body isn’t capable of withstanding travel at speeds of 25 miles per hour. We once believed that too.
Both viewpoints now long proven to be wrong.
If you listen to Neil MacDonald, Gartner vice president and fellow, there’s another prevalent belief about to be shot down: Cloud computing is not secure.
Cloud computing is a hot topic and if the promises are to be believed, it is the future of business IT. But no matter how strong the concept, the cloud has still not shaken off security concerns:
- How secure can your data and processes be if another organisation is handling them?
- More crucially, how do you think customers would feel if they knew that the data you hold on them had been given to someone else to look after?
It sounds risky, doesn’t it?
Weigh the risks, then decide
MacDonald would argue that the perceived risk is much larger than the real one—and that the real issue has more to do with how much you trust someone else to look after your data, rather than how safe it really is. Cloud providers can talk about their own specific security measures. The question that then needs to be asked is: How much better is the security you have for your own infrastructure?
If your security is better than any provider’s then maybe they’re not the best choice. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that cloud providers rely on their technology being able to meet the needs of their customers to generate their revenue. For them security issues pose a bigger problem for their entire business model than it would be for you.
Simple rules for selecting the right cloud provider
If the question is around how much you can trust the provider, then the answer lies in how you select your cloud provider. Here are some simple rules to help you select the correct provider:
- Define and set the objectives for moving to a cloud infrastructure
- Determine what type of model you will use—public, private or hybrid
- Do your research on providers—examining their data protection controls and making sure they measure up to your internal ones
- Be mindful of country and industry-specific data laws and share these with your cloud provider. Make sure they can fulfill all these criteria.
The race to the cloud is on
MacDonald believes that we will all eventually embrace the cloud. The quicker we learn to trust it, the sooner we can reap the benefits.
We may look back in a few years time and ask why we questioned the cloud, yet we will always need to choose very carefully where we put our data. It needs to be stored on secure hardware and managed by trusted software. The processes and technology each provider uses can help minimise any risk. For now this is still a leap of faith. But having said that, remember . . .the world isn’t flat.
Let us know if you agree or if you think the cloud still has to prove itself before your business will consider making that leap.
To learn more, check out this article: Faith-based IT doesn’t work in the cloud