Five Cloud Security Myths Debunked

Cloud migration and its associated benefits and challenges continue to inspire debate in IT circles.

August 27, 2013
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You have a job to do: secure your credit union’s infrastructure and communications. No small task.

But your information technology (IT) budget is flat or shrinking, security risks are ever-evolving, and complexity and regulations are growing. Your employees want to use their own smartphones, laptops, and tablets at work, making it even more difficult to protect your company’s information.

You want to use the potential of the cloud. But you are afraid of the security risks, uncertainty, impact on IT, and cost of migration. Sound familiar?

You certainly are not alone. Cloud migration and its associated benefits and challenges continue to inspire a great deal of debate in IT circles. There are many arguments for and against cloud adoption as a viable alternative to on-premise solutions.

Some of these arguments are based on fact, others are based on perception—while still others are based simply on fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Let’s briefly examine (and debunk) five common cloud security myths:

Myth #1: Security issues are the biggest obstacle to cloud adoption

This is simply not true. What remains the biggest obstacle to cloud adoption is the idea that the cloud is not as secure as on-premise systems.

In reality, the cloud has proven equally to more secure. It’s analogous to keeping your money safely in a credit union versus keeping it home under your mattress. Everyone knows a credit union is a better, safer option.

But when it comes to data, we haven’t quite gotten there yet. It’s all about perception versus reality.

The good news is that confidence in the cloud is on the rise. A recent study of U.S. IT decision-makers shows that 67% of companies have increased their confidence in the cloud over the last year.

Myth #2: The cloud is less reliable than on-premise solutions

Despite what sensationalized headlines in the media tell us, downtime of on-premise solutions continues to outpace the cloud. Cloud vendors commit to and generally meet a 99.9% uptime threshold as part of their service level agreement—a level of service that cannot be easily replicated by on-premise solutions.

But outages do happen and things do go wrong. And when they do, what’s most important is transparency from the vendor: in ongoing, truthful communication and action when downtime occurs. This transparency is absolutely critical in building trust between an organization and its cloud provider.

Myth #3: BYOD is a major drain on IT resources

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) continues to be one of the hottest trends in IT, and countless IT departments are scrambling to establish corporate policies to keep pace.

But contrary to popular belief, BYOD management plans are much simpler and less resource-intensive than they’re made out to be—if done right. This means applying holistic, yet sensible management and security policies that are grounded in the law and enforced through technology.

Myth #4: All cloud services are the same

This may have been the case once upon a time.

But today, nearly all cloud providers offer customized solutions to meet the specific needs of your business, including high service level agreements, integration with existing business applications, private cloud options, and specific, tailored contractual terms.

Myth #5: IT needs to make the case for cloud conversion

Relying on internal resources to make the case for cloud adoption is a losing proposition. It is cloud vendors, not IT departments, who are responsible for making the path to the cloud simple, safe and secure.

It’s time to demand more from your current and potential cloud providers. You’re making a leap of faith by entrusting services your organization cannot do without to someone you don't know. It’s your right to demand functionality, transparency, clarity, and assurance around your provider’s security and data protection policies.

In fact, this should be built into your contract—as well as the right to audit the provider’s practices.





MIKE FLOUTON is vice president of product marketing for SilverSky, a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider.