Put Aside Fear and Embrace the Cloud Strategy

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CloudIn about 10 years, experts suggest that the public cloud will be so widely accepted that businesses may wonder why they were afraid to incorporate cloud solutions in the first place. While fears about security still run deep, studies show that many businesses are increasing spending on cloud services and applications. Cloud technology offers opportunities for companies to streamline and strengthen common business processes and for these reasons, the cloud shouldn’t be ignored for much longer.

As discussed in “Cloud is now a core strategy – are you onboard?,” posted by Phil Weinzimer on CIO.com, a recent study by Gartner revealed that public cloud spending is up and could reach $16.5 billion this year.  Another study by Forbes indicates that 93% of organizations have cloud applications and 82% of enterprises have hybrid cloud strategies. Yet even with this notable interest in cloud technology, security remains a top concern. Cybersecurity expert Bryce Austin, CIO and CISO at Digineer, offers insight about cloud security.

New technology can be scary for many businesses, like the fear of electricity at the turn of the century. Austin suggests that companies like General Electric encountered concerns when selling power to manufacturers who weren’t ready to outsource a major business function. Similarly, there is a fear with the loss of control. Companies have been using their own servers and managing proprietary and private customer data for years. Turning such sensitive data over to another company and putting it into a public cloud seems risky.  However, the cloud is not less secure than a private data center. To the contrary, it could be safer than harboring data on-site.

Today’s cloud providers have strong security measures including complex passwords and multi-factor authentication such as RSA key fobs, smartphone apps that display six-digit codes, or a one-time password sent via text. In addition, the data stored in the cloud is also encrypted using keys managed by the customer, not the cloud provider. Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services have also achieved Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) compliance. For a system that stores active FBI investigation data, it must be well protected.

Businesses can benefit from cloud services through added mobility, agility, cost-savings, and, in many cases, improved data protection. In a few years, the cloud will be as standard as the electricity that lights the office. Contact Integrity Data to discuss how managing your Affordable Care Act compliance in the cloud can be a game changer.

By Integrity Data, a HR and Payroll software provider out of Illinois

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