For a very long time there has been much uncertainty and fear about doing business over the Internet using cloud computing technology. Much of the doubt has arisen due to misinformation or lack of knowledge on the subject.
Since the beginning of time, humans have built the foundation of their relationships on trust. In the modern world, our societies could not conduct business without trust. We base everything we do on being safe in our environments that includes how we travel, and how we protect ourselves against disease. For business owners, trusting the intangible can be challenging. Using cloud computing technology requires a level of certainty that the confidential information which is being transmitted out to the world remains fully protected throughout the entire process.
The lack of trust and high level of skepticism should be expected in both the service and manufacturing industries. The distrust of safeguarded cloud computing technology is realized in the failures and breaches of Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon and others. Even with these considerations, cloud computing technology is slowly turning the corner and is being recognized for the many benefits it provides.
Many medium and large sized businesses have incorporated specific tactics as a way to gain trust in cloud computing. These include:
- A Service Level Agreement (SLA) – As more businesses make their way into the world of cloud computing technology, many service level agreements between managed service providers (MSPs), and their clientele have gotten stronger. These strong, high level SLAs have highly defined privacy procedures, to ensure that all performance measurements are tied specifically to safeguard strategies of the company.
- Global Privacy Regulations – Much of the distrust of cloud computing technology arose from not understanding where the confidential company data is being stored. One avenue to circumvent this problem was the development of strong global privacy regulations that could effectively deal with data flow restrictions across borders. Many of these regulations incorporate in-country compliance when maintaining security, and confidentiality of the company’s data.
- Pilot Test Models – One of the ways larger companies help build the trust in using cloud computing technology is to run their own pilot program as a way to test the cloud provider. This often involves a record extraction so that the company can quickly recover their data in the event the relationship between them and the cloud provider turns sour, resulting in a lockdown from the vendor.
- Building Trust – One of the quickest ways to help build the trust in cloud computing technology is typically demonstrated by what the cloud provider can offer. More than just automating mundane processes in the company, the cloud provider can use their extensive knowledge and expertise to enhance the company’s IT strategy, saving them time and money, while enhancing productivity and profits.
The idea of turning over the majority of the IT department has often confused business owners and CEOs. Outsourcing the most critical and sensitive information in the company to others seems counterintuitive. However, there are specific benefits other than just the reduced cost of an in-house IT department including a higher level of service, better continuity, and fully enhanced security. These are usually three specific in-house IT department components that are difficult for a company to maintain on their own.
The exact location where all the data in service is being stored and utilized in the cloud is extremely crucial. Many businesses follow compliant regulations that require that all of their information remain within the country of service. Any analysis, or transfer of data generated within the United States should be performed and stored within the boundaries of the country. The same is true for any business in South America, Europe, Asia, or any other country on the planet.
Dealing with Security
It is hardly a secret that doing anything online has its own inherent risk. Exposing any confidential data over a public Internet is quite similar to simply leaving it taped to the front door of the business. While nearly every passerby will simply ignore it, others will see an opportunity from its value.
However, with recent advancements, most cloud providers use highly encrypted technology, virtual private networks (VPNs), transmission tunnels, and other proven safeguards as a way to transmit confidential data across an unsecured environment (the Internet). Through encryption technology, it is virtually impossible for any hacker to decipher any information even if they can gather the data during transmission. Even though the information is being transmitted over public routes, it remains confidential.
One of the key components before hiring any cloud provider is to understand the quality and continuity of the service they provide. The provider should meet the implicit expectations of their clients and provide complete transparency and verification of every duty they perform. This would include all their policies and procedures on backing up data, clustering data, and every redundancy instrument in place. Until the day arrives when all breaches in the cloud no longer exist, there will still be companies that simply cannot trust cloud computing.
Looking to build that trust in the cloud? Multi-factor authentication is a great way to add security without adding undue burden to the login process. Download the free eBook below to learn more about multi-factor auth.