Silver Linings: Why Your Data Is Safer in the Cloud

They say that every cloud has a silver lining. This may be especially true for the cloud, the term which has developed to describe network-accessed, off-site data-storage, where more and more individuals, companies, and even government organizations are choosing to store their valuable information.

As cloud technology becomes more widely used, businesses in particular are discovering that maintaining their data stores off site offers a number of significant advantages. Cloud services erase the need for expensive on-site hardware installation and upkeep, and can be accessed by any authorized user over any standard web browser, from anywhere in the world. Likewise, cloud services allow for limitless scaling, so growing businesses won’t find themselves having to replace their data infrastructure every few years just to keep up with demand.

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That said, in the minds of some business leaders, this silver lining has a touch of gray, in the form of potential issues related to Cloud security.

Is On-Site Data Safe?

It’s not difficult to see where these concerns originate. After all, data is valuable, and cyber criminals are targeting companies more heavily than ever before. It’s estimated that 37,000 websites are hacked every day, with nearly half of all cyber crimes targeting small businesses. Taken all together, the cost of cybercrime is expected to reach $6 trillion per year on average by 2021.

With so many threats to consider, many businesses are hesitant to trust their data security to any outside party, the cloud included. In fact, the top two challenges facing organizations when adopting cloud solutions are concerns related to cloud security and where the data is stored. Unfortunately, the knee-jerk reaction — that data kept close to home is safer than assets maintained off site — may not be totally founded.

In-house data management carries with it certain problems. For one thing, data stored in on-site servers is susceptible to a number of dangers, from flooding and fires, to office break ins, to employee error. If those servers are damaged or stolen, then there’s a chance that massive amounts of valuable data may be lost forever. Additionally, as BYOD culture is becoming more commonplace, the risk of sensitive information making its way onto personal devices and then being lost, stolen, or misappropriated is significant.

That’s to say nothing of the risks posed by employees themselves. 60% of all cyber attacks are carried out by insiders, with three-quarters of attacks involving malicious intent, and one-quarter relying on inadvertent participants.

Finally, many businesses simply don’t have the resources or the training to effectively manage on-site data security. There is currently an undeniable shortage of skilled cyber-security professionals, with approximately one million cyber-security positions going unfilled in 2016, and an expected 1.5 million unfilled positions by 2019. IT organizations in particular face skill gaps which are highest in the areas of security and mobile development.

Data is Safer in the Cloud.

The stark reality is that on-site data isn’t nearly as safe as some assume. On the other hand, cloud security, particularly for businesses, is demonstrating itself to be a much more reliable option.

The cloud effectively eliminates a number of the aforementioned security concerns, simply by virtue of being located off site. Disasters, breakins, and disgruntled employees have no access whatsoever to the physical servers that make up the cloud, and most cloud providers ensure that access to data is closely monitored, meaning that no one should be able to dump a bunch of company secrets onto a flash drive and walk out the door.

Cloud providers also generally have much more in the way of resources to dedicate to data security. Where the average business is currently engaged in reducing IT budgets, cloud providers have built their entire business on client trust, making IT spend absolutely vital to ongoing success.

To ensure the safety of client data, cloud providers rely on skilled cyber security teams backed by the latests security technologies — resources that are often well beyond what their customer organizations could afford on their own. Effective cloud providers offer security solutions at every security level, including infrastructure security, network security, and application security, to counter threats both internal and external.

Cloud providers also bring with them the added security of compliance. Especially among regulated industries, the issue of compliance is one that plays an important role. Cloud platforms can be designed to include compliance tools, constantly updated to reflect ongoing changes to regulatory laws. This protects businesses in ways that would be difficult to emulate with basic in-house solutions.

Finally, with cloud providers handling the bulk of any and all security tasks, the need for trained, in-house cyber-security specialists disappears. Any necessary platform training can easily be provided via multi-channel support options and built-in tutorials.

Salesforce Builds Security into Every Solution.

Salesforce, the leading authority in cloud-based CRM, recognizes the need for a secure cloud. To provide clients with the most secure solutions possible, Salesforce incorporates a range of security tools into every service they provide. In fact, Salesforce provides a community hub for real-time data on Salesforce system performance and security, in the form of Salesforce Trust.

Salesforce Trust is a website that gives uses access to the security status of every Salesforce platform, so they can see at a glance how protected their data is. Service availability, privacy, compliance, and security are all presented with total transparency. Essentially, with Salesforce, trust is built right in.

Of course, client needs are not all the same. Businesses in different industries are subject to regulatory and governance laws, which is why Salesforce takes security even further. With advanced event monitoring, Salesforce clients can receive detailed reports, accounting for every action occurring on the system, so that any suspicious or unsafe activity can be identified and resolved quickly. Two-factor authentication, coupled with identity verification, ensure that only those who are authorized have access, whether they are approaching from within an organization's network, or from an outside IP.

Similarly, organizational identifiers, assigned at the beginning of each new sessions, guarantee that data is accessible only by the company that owns it. Transport Layer Security (TLS) keeps data safely encrypted against attack with the most up-to-date solutions available today. And, because security solutions are only as effective as the employees who use them, Salesforce also includes tools to identify any user-introduced weaknesses, such as in passwords, network configurations, and sessions settings.

For clients who want to build these same levels of advanced security into their own custom applications, the Customer 360 Platform can deliver cloud security intelligence, intelligent prevention, encryption at rest, and auditing capabilities into every app designed on the platform. After all, when cloud solutions offer the best security available, it only makes sense to incorporate those solutions into every business process.

Cloud Security Is More than a Silver Lining.

Despite what some may believe, the future of data security in the cloud is a bright one. 83% of IT leaders say they feel more comfortable with their knowledge of cloud security than they did five years ago, and as improving security policies and practices remains the top critical priority for IT teams for the immediate future, more and more organizations are going to be able to experience for themselves just how secure off-site data storage and application building tools can be.

Salesforce and the Customer 360 Platform make cloud security a reality. Experience it for yourself. Sign up today for your free 30-day trial, and see just how brilliant the cloud’s silver lining can be.

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