Take it to the Bank – Security in the Cloud

Anyone who knows how to work a computer has heard the term “Cloud.” It’s beyond a disruption at this point and has almost become a standard in both our personal and professional lives. Even if you don’t quite understand what it is, you know about it, and you probably use it too.

Because of the increasingly blurring line between our work and personal lives, when we get an email saying that Dropbox has been compromised and our account is at risk, we immediately take that to a corporate mindset as well. In a world of hyper-personalization it can be hard to make the distinction between consumer grade and business grade.

As for IT professionals, the cloud is either a blessing or a curse, depending on what your day to day involves. Despite all the advances in the technology, there is still a lot of fear surrounding the cloud, especially in the security community. Thanks to a couple of serious cloud providers being hacked, leaking personal pictures of celebrities etc., the cloud is still fighting an uphill battle with several people which translates to corporate culture and decisions.

However – in a lot of ways, the cloud can actually be more secure than your on-premise equipment.

Hear me out here. It’s a simple thought process we deal with in our every day lives.

I would venture to say that just about everyone has some sort of bank account, right? That you access your funds via check or debit card? We get paid, it goes in our bank account, and we use our funds as we need them. Sound about right?

Now, I can’t speak for you, but putting my money into a bank was a decision that I made without even thinking twice. I got a job, signed up for direct deposit, and opened up a bank account. I even got a safety deposit box to put my critical documents in. I didn’t want to have those items on me physically at all times.

The cloud is a bank for your data.

Financial institutions have to hit all types of ridiculous standards in security (both physical and informational) which is why we put our “Trust” in them. (Pun intended.) Keeping our entire life’s savings in our living space can be a huge risk, and it’s even bigger to have it on you personally! Break-ins, muggings, scams… you name it, it can happen to you at any moment, which is why we lock them away in a place created specifically to handle assets. They live and breathe this world. Yes, we have knowledge about money and how to use it, save it, etc. but it’s not the only thing we do, so we entrust it with the experts. Your money and valuables are safer in a bank/safety deposit box than they are stuffed into your mattress. So why do we look at the cloud any differently?

Cloud providers make it their business to have the ultimate security standards and be those experts that the banks are in this analogy. Of course, I’m not by ANY means saying a business’ employees aren’t experts. But how many companies (who aren’t Fortune 500) have people dedicated to one single aspect of the business? Most of the people I work with wear several hats, even within the silos of IT. (i.e. The Security Director doesn’t just focus on firewalls, they also focus on internal security and DLP.) The same thing can be said for our part in the bank analogy – we understand money but we don’t focus solely on it. We have jobs, hobbies, and friends that take up other bits of mind-share in our personal lives.

Not to mention, the cost of getting to that level of security is astronomical. Trust me, I sell this equipment, it’s not cheap. If you process any sort of credit cards, customers expect you to be at the same tier of security as companies the size of Visa and American Express. There is this misnomer that the cloud is so much more expensive, but in doing real-live ROI analyses with customers, it’s actually not nearly as much of a gap as you’d think.

Yes, credit card scams happen. Yes, banks get hacked. Do we immediately pull our money out of the bank and keep it in our closet when this happens? No – we work with the banks to be reimbursed for any damages. If someone steals cash from you, you’re never getting that back.

“We’ve always done it this way” are famous last words for technology. If you’re not innovating, you’re dying in this industry. There are so many benefits of the cloud (scalability, etc.) that weren’t even touched on here that can assist with that too, but of course the cloud isn’t for everyone. That’s why people like myself and companies like HolistiCyber are here – to have these conversations and find the best solution for you and your business.

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them! Drop a comment, send me a message, let’s chat! I love these types of discussions.

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