Security in the Cloud

It’s interesting to note that security remains one of the biggest concerns when businesses are considering deploying services to the cloud. Bearing in mind that many large organisations don’t have an effective disaster recovery plan in place and IT managers feel that a disaster could affect the successful running of a business for a matter of days or weeks, it seems somewhat churlish to worry about something which is a better way of protecting data. However, whilst as many as 86% of respondents to a Citrix survey cited security as a major concern, according to figures from Backup Direct, 60% of all business information is stored locally on a desktop computer or laptop and not backed up elsewhere.

This can lead to serious data breaches should sensitive information fall into the wrong hands. Not many of us need facts and figures to back this up, the amount of media stories about government, educational institutions and NHS database information being held on stolen laptops is something we are all familiar with.

Many of these stories were made even more sensational by the fact that much of the information stored on stolen devices didn’t even implement encryption software, so the data was instantly accessible.

Of course this isn’t a problem if your company uses a hosted desktop. All of the information sent and received is encrypted and data centres where information is stored is secured physically, as well as electronically.

A more recent survey by ramsac reveals that whilst 94% of organisations say they understand the benefits and risks of cloud services, 44% believe that premises-based systems are the most secure.

Many of the worries appear to be based on the idea that passing their data to a third-party to secure represents a security risk. However, this would seem to be a ridiculous premise when you consider the lack of security currently in place in many physical infrastructures, which are far more likely to find themselves the victims of a targeted attack than a fully secured data centre.

Bearing this in mind, if you are considering becoming a GoCloud hosted desktop reseller, then it’s imperative that you communicate to potential clients the security advantages that hosted desktop solutions represent.

The most obvious of these is backup; many companies retain their data on a physical device or media. Whilst there is nothing wrong with using this method (assuming it’s backed up to more than one medium), these solutions are often kept in one place, the office, which somewhat defeats the object of backing up in the first place.

Should fire, flood or theft occur, then all of the data can potentially be lost and could take some organisations months to recover from, especially if they have been required to implement compliance solutions when it comes to customer/private data.

With GoCloud hosted desktop services however, all company data is backed up to an offsite location and customers also have the option to backup hosted desktops using a self-managed backup system, so that they can ensure that vital data is retained for additional peace of mind.

Whilst many companies also seem to worry that using the cloud will prevent them from having full control over their network, this is an unnecessary concern, as users are still able to manage the network in the same way they would with a hardware based infrastructure.

As ramsac’s Robert May points out:It’s up to the IT industry to demystify exactly what the Cloud is and what it can offer, so customers can make informed choices and to help them find the right fit for their IT needs.”

Hosted desktop and cloud services offer undeniable benefits to companies, both small and large. In order for resellers to be successful in their endeavours when asking businesses to move to the cloud, it’s important that they attempt to put into layman’s terms the security benefits and why they don’t represent a problem.

Many companies are considering hybrid solutions, retaining some applications at a local level whilst carrying out the majority in the cloud. It’s up to resellers to ensure that clients are informed of all of the benefits and work with customers to arrive at the perfect solution for their business.

As Robert May concludes, “our survey showed that of all the companies making the decision to use Cloud, 50% want to do so within the next twelve months and the rest intend to do so within the next one to two years – so we are likely to see the trend really take off in the immediate future.”

This would suggest that now is the ideal time to take your IT or communications company to the next level and become a GoCloud reseller, so that you can stay ahead of the competition and offer a quality, secure and up-to-date service fully branded with your company logos.