Co-Authored by: Christon Valdivieso, CSCP, SSBBP and Afton Knight, CSCP, SSBBP
With seemingly weekly news of data breaches, it can be tempting to bring data security in-house and off the cloud. But will that make your data safer? Cloud computing—services offered over the internet—can be a scary decision, but as business advisor Carol Roth points out, “[cloud computing] technology can help make your small business safer.”
Most businesses are continuing to streamline workflows and increase workforce demands. This creates more pressure to get tasks done effectively. For many small businesses who cannot afford top-tier talent, this puts an even greater strain on their workforce. In the middle of this struggle for associate’s energy is the company’s systems. Having secure, reliable data and systems is paramount to an operation’s success and Carol points out four undeniable reasons why cloud computing makes that a better option:
1) You’re not a security expert
2) Your staff members wear enough hats
3) Cloud providers have better safeguards than you do
4) It’s not just about data protection
While business leaders have experiences that qualify them to run an operation, “does that background include intensive knowledge of cybersecurity?” As for associates, Experian predicted in a 2015 data breach analysis “that the largest threat to businesses will be employee errors.” In effect, maintaining data and processes in-house puts operations at greater risk due to lack of cybersecurity training. Cloud providers have a core competency in cybersecurity. Pulling these functions from local operations allows for increased focus on business operations while decreasing the operation’s vulnerability.
Carol’s final point is possibly the most poignant. Cloud computing is more than data protection. Similar to the difference in e-retailing and e-commerce, cloud computing goes beyond data protection. Cloud computing—through its various forms—increases transparency, efficiency, and business continuity.
In the end, “no matter how impressively cloud providers protect data, security is a team effort” and “small business owners still have to take common-sense measures”. Companies spend vast sums of money to recruit and train associates, but that cannot be the end of the story. Companies must ensure they have the best tools in place to allow their associates to be successful. That being said, I supply this thought: Is fear of the cloud keeping you grounded or rooted?