By definition, a cloud is hazy, foggy, vague and obscure. And when things are nebulous, our sense of worry heightens. Yet most of the time our fears of the unknown are unjustified, and they limit us more than they help us.
The kinds of fears we hear about the cloud are numerous. Things like “If I put my data on the cloud, won’t it be open to the public?” to “How is my data safe if it’s in someone else’s possession?” to “Doesn’t Google control all the servers? What if they get struck by a thunderstorm?”. CloudSuccess wrote a great summary of the unjustified fears commonly held by people considering SaaS applications. The Top 10 Myths of Cloud Computing they list are:
- My data is less secure
- I won’t have full ownership of my data
- My system won’t perform as well in the cloud
- I’ll be caught by vendor ‘lock-in’
- My business is too small for the cloud
- My business is too big for the cloud
- Everything on the internet/web is cloud
- Cloud is cheaper than on-premise
- Cloud = Virtualization
- The cloud has more downtime
Just like each of these 10 myths above, many of the concerns we hear about the cloud are actually inaccurate. Security is not necessarily compromised on the cloud, especially for smaller companies that can’t afford enterprise level firewalls and security systems. Information won’t be open to the public, but ownership of data is not much different than when it is on-premise – your data will in most cases still be owned completely by you. Cloud-based apps have reliable connections and show downtimes lower than that of on-premise solutions. And you can pretty simply migrate to the cloud or away from SaaS applications if you choose.
On the flipside, there is one major cloud-related concern people have that is quite valid. That is the concern of user error – how users can very easily delete, mislabel, misarchive, or override important information. Not taking proper precautions against this can result in accidental or purposeful deletion of important cloud-based data. In fact, 1 in 3 instances of data loss on the cloud are due to user error. Fortunately, there are easy ways (like backing up your cloud data and optimizing your web browser for your SaaS application) to mitigate the risks that are present in the cloud.
Our job at Backupify is to bring some clarity to the cloud and to allow education to alleviate the invalid fears our customers have. We want to show friends that the cloud is not as dangerous as most people think. And if you take proper precautions to secure your information, Google Apps for Business, Salesforce.com, and other cloud-based apps are excellent ways to streamline operations at your company, maximize productivity, and provide your employees with the convenience of accessing their work information from anywhere.
For information on optimizing your web browser for Google Apps security, check out these white papers: