The cloud is one of those hot buzzwords that gets thrown around a lot both in the tech world and in our daily lives. No longer reserved for IT departments alone, the cloud has become something that we depend upon greatly, especially in the way companies go about their business. And it’s about to become even more important.
In fact research shows that companies are looking to drastically increase their investment in the cloud in the coming years. Morphean recently conducted an independent survey of more than 1500 IT decision makers across Europe to discover their views on cloud services. The survey reported:
- 78% expect their spending on the cloud to increase in the next two to five years
- 47% said their internal data would be cloud processed within the same time frame
- 45% said they would definitely consider migrating their physical security systems, such as video
surveillance, to the cloud
There’s no doubt that the cloud is becoming a more important part of everyday business dealings, but some people still have reservations about the safety of this storage system, and whether or not it is worth it. We believe it is, and let us tell you why.
What is the cloud?
But what exactly is the cloud?
Short for ‘cloud computing’, the cloud is essentially a terrestrial home for your data. So instead of being stored on the computer in front of you, it’s stored somewhere else, or in multiple places, and it is up to a network of servers to take you to it.
Some everyday examples you may recognise include the Apple iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and even Netflix.
Is the cloud the future of cybersecurity?
Unfortunately, the cloud has received some negative press in the last few years in regards to security and safety. In fact, according to the Morphean survey, 45% of people cited security risks as being their biggest obstacle to instigating a full move across to the cloud.
The only way to truly protect your information is to lock it up underground, but you can rest assured that the cloud is far safer than information stored on a local device. Cloud computing services have more complicated security methods in place than the average computer owner can come up with. Any wannabe hackers would then have to get past the cloud system’s first line of defence; encryption.
Encryption is the practice of using complex algorithms to protect your data. In order to get past these algorithms, the hackers would need something called an encryption key.
But it’s not all down to these intricate and convoluted systems. In fact one of the biggest threats to cloud security is the barriers set by individual people. In other words, easy-to-guess password and security questions.
Above we talked about negative press aimed at the cloud over the past few years, most notably the infamous Apple hack where celebrities had photos stolen and leaked. The media reported that the cloud had been hacked, which led to a drop in public confidence and has no doubt contributed to people’s existing fears. In reality the cloud itself wasn’t hacked, but rather the accounts of individuals who used the cloud to store their data.
The truth is that the cloud is incredibly safe and secure, but it’s up to individual users to do their part. That means choosing strong passwords by adding letters, numbers and symbols, using different passwords for different accounts, and avoiding using passwords that relate to your personal life.
But if that’s not enough to convince you of the cloud’s excellent security systems, did you know that online retailing giant Amazon runs its entire business off of its own cloud service, AWS?
Other benefits of using the cloud
It’s not only the increased security that comes along when you start using the cloud. Here’s a few more that you can expect for your business.
No matter what kind of industry you are in, having a continuity plan in place is vital for protecting your sensitive data and systems. Disasters can strike at any time and for a whole multitude of reasons, ranging from the weather and natural disasters to power failures. By having your information stored off-site in the cloud, you can rest assured that it is backed up and protected in a secure and safe location. Even if you have to move office, you will be able to access and download your data from any location with internet, therefore minimising your downtime and avoiding loss of productivity.
The world is getting smaller. Not literally of course but modern technology is drastically reducing businesses’ needs for a physical office with staff present 100% of the time. The cloud helps to make this even more possible by granting flexibility in staff’s working practices. Once employees are able to access their work from home, on their commute or even on holiday – anywhere with an internet connection – suddenly the whole world is your office.
When it’s time to scale your business up, purchasing and installing upgrades to your storage needs can be both expensive and incredibly time consuming. But when you work with the cloud, everything can be done quickly to suit your exact needs. Whoever provides your cloud computer services will be able to handle all upgrades for you, leaving you free to get on with the important task of running your business.
It’s natural for any business owner to be concerned about the safety and security of their important data. Your business is your baby, and you of course want to protect it. The cloud is undoubtedly the best option and as research shows, more and more businesses will be placing their trust in this extraordinary technology, for more than its safety benefits, to further their growth and secure a strong future.