Security Concerns Shouldn’t Prevent Cloud Migrations

Dell Boomi, an integration-platform-as-a-service company with offices in Austin, recently released its new cloud-based enterprise integration platform. Amid touting its flexibility to manage data across hybrid IT architectures, the new release focuses on one relevant issue: improvements in data security.

As the cloud becomes more widely adopted, discussion around its security has mushroomed. When RightScale conducted its “State of the Cloud” survey in January, it found 41 percent of companies were utilizing public cloud and 38 percent were running workloads in the private cloud.

This means 79 percent of companies were utilizing cloud computing, and though there was an overall decrease in security concerns (with 25 percent calling it a major concern, down from 29 percent in 2016), security is still tied with cost and lack of expertise as the biggest issues standing in the way of cloud adoption.

Boosting, not bruising, security

Unfortunately, cloud security breaches become a topic of discussion when a few prominent incidents generate high-level media attention. For instance, exposure of the personal data of almost 200 million Americans by Deep Root Analytics — which was a leak, not a breach — garnered widespread attention, and got even more press because the firm was under contract with the Republican National Committee.

Instead of “private,” the firm had left the files in its S3 storage bucket in their default “public” setting, which left them visible and ready for download to everyone with an internet connection.

But the reality is that most businesses will probably be more secure in the cloud, provided you’re partnering with reputable cloud providers with strong service level agreements. Some small business owners tend to feel more secure with their data onsite, but these businesses usually have fewer safeguards against theft or natural disaster than a secured data center.

Setting privacy standards

Some businesses might also be worried about leaving sensitive data in a third-party provider’s hands, but there’s little reason for that concern — a cloud provider snooping around in its clients’ data is so contrary to the provider’s own business interests that the possibility should not really be a legitimate source of concern.

In fact, in many instances, migrating data to the cloud can make it easier for businesses to achieve compliance under different regulatory regimes. Certain industries have specific electronic data privacy standards they are required to meet, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or the payment card industry data security standard. Working with a cloud provider can help streamline meeting those requirements.

Major cloud providers know compliance is a priority, and many offer built-in tools. Office 365, for example, offers administrators the option to set and audit various security compliance settings that would be more difficult to manage outside the cloud. Cloud vendors list the standards they meet, and most are quickly getting certified for all the major requirements if they haven’t done so already.

Especially for smaller businesses that don’t have extensive security measures already in place, moving some of your business operations to the cloud can help add a greater degree of security against theft, leaks and losses from natural disasters. In other words, security should often be a reason for migrating to the cloud — not a deterrent.

Adam Levy is the founder of Magnet Solutions Group and LoTops, a CRM and management application for small businesses.  This article originally appeared in the Austin Business Journal.