Security in the Cloud

By: Scott Filiault

Do you consider the money you have deposited at your bank safe? How familiar are you with the safeguards at the bank that are designed to protect your nest egg? Would you feel safer installing a safe in your home or business perhaps?

Think about why you are, or possibly are not, comfortable with allowing your hard-earned future to be “kept safe” in your local bank.

Banks spend vast sums of money on very specialized safeguard technologies, some leading edge and some old-school. They have impenetrable safes, security systems, full-time paid guards, and they move money offsite when it becomes too risky to keep local. It’s their job to keep currency safe and flowing. Plus, they are insured by the FDIC just in case all the security were to happen to fail. These concepts make most people comfortable when considering where to keep their valuables, but most people don’t really know or understand what goes into keeping their money safe do they? They keep it at the bank because history has taught them it’s acceptable, and preferable, to do that (how often do you hear about a serious bank robbery these days?).

What if you tried to replicate that level of security and protection in your home or business? What’s the advantage(s) to doing that? The obvious ones are that nobody knows how much you do or don’t keep in the safe. Also, bank robbers wouldn’t necessarily know that you have a safe – so anonymity is a form of safeguard. Would you ever get to a point where you could trust a safe in your home or business to the degree you trust a bank? Would it be worth the expense and energy to do that? Even if it is, the FDIC is not going to insure your personal safe like they do a regulated bank.

So how does this relate to your data being “in the cloud” vs. “on-premise”? In some ways it’s actually quite similar. Large-scale hosting companies like Amazon.com and others have invested in the knowledge and expertise needed to protect and secure your data and your systems in the cloud. They have (or they employ) everything from the latest technology to prevent unwanted/unauthorized access, to 24×7 building protection monitored by guards and security systems, to generators and backup systems – just like a bank. Their job is to assist in keeping your data and your systems safe and available, and they have Service Level Agreements that contractually obligate them to do just that.

Cloud

When it comes to keeping your data on-premise, again, what are the advantages? Anonymity? Local access? Unlike the bank analogy where a robber is unlikely to know whether or not you have a safe, when it comes to your data hackers and other unwanted intruders can much more easily ascertain if you have your data on-premise. Are you willing, or are you even able to provide a similar level of security, fault-tolerance and reliability to that which a large-scale cloud provider is capable of?

The reality is that the vast majority of businesses could not hope to replicate the level of security, performance, fault tolerance and reliability that a large-scale hosting provider can deliver – and they definitely cannot do it for the same cost.

Acceptance of the cloud as the most secure choice of a place to house your data is becoming as commonplace today as putting your retirement nest-egg in a bank vs a home safe. And like a bank, you may not have the time to invest to understand all the techie ins-and-outs of how Amazon and other large-scale cloud providers protect your data, but again – like a bank – intuitively you know there’s something better about it. You see the majority of other businesses and even the Federal Government putting their trust in the cloud, plus more and more adopting it every day.

Banks serve a valuable purpose. They provide levels of protection, reliability and trust that individuals and businesses alone cannot attain. Large-scale cloud providers are very similar. They provide protection, performance, fault-tolerance and reliability that an individual business cannot hope to attain, and they do it for a cost an individual business can afford – most often for a lesser cost than than the on-premise “home safe” requires.

If you would like to learn more about LillyWorks Security, please fill out our contact page and one of our security specialists will contact you!