Cloud computing is secure. There, I've said it. It may sound like an obvious thing to say for someone who works at a company specialising in ensuring a smooth, reliable and secure network, but there are still misconceptions about cloud security.
These concerns and misconceptions often arise from fears over losing control. Some IT departments will fear that losing control of the infrastructure will leave their data and applications more open to issues such as malware, hacking and data loss.
There is a fear that cloud providers do not secure their environment to the same standards as a business will secure their own data centre. There are also fears over controlling who has access to that data.
But cloud providers are often a more attractive target for attackers because of the variety of data they could be storing. That means cloud providers can and do expend vast resources on security - after all, it is their reputation and even their entire business on the line if something goes wrong. The truth is, therefore, that cloud computing can be more secure than a traditional, on-premise infrastructure.
Using the cloud does not mean settling for lesser security than you'd get in-house. If fact, it can mean extending your own security out to the cloud environment and adding that to the security offered by the cloud provider.
Sending your data out to the cloud does not take it outside your responsibility. Businesses can and should ensure that any policy they have regarding security in-house is enforced beyond the perimeter as well. This means the policies you know and trust are enforced regardless of where it is deployed from, and where the user is located.
Additional features such as encryption and multi-site backups mean that your data is probably more secure than if it was sitting on servers in your own office, and in-built redundancy means it will be available whenever your workers and customers need it.
Ensuring your own policies are enforced regardless of where the data is being held provides peace of mind that your business will remain compliant even when adopting cloud computing.
The cloud is not really a scary, unsecured place. It's a place that is as secure as you make it - and why would you make it any less secure than your on-premise infrastructure? If fact, moving to the cloud can provide your business with agility and flexibility while improving control and access over your applications and data.
- Nathan Pearce is a Cloud and SDN specialist at F5 Networks.
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