Why Cloud Computing For Our Business?
Cloud computing is one of the fastest growing segments of technology and is expected to grow even more in the coming years. In fact, the cloud computing market is expected to hit $800 billion by 2025 as the world continues to make the transition to cloud infrastructure. This growth was further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 that forced businesses into a remote set-up that was optimized by use of cloud architecture. As employees moved into working from home, using the cloud allowed them to access information they previously would have only been able to access in the office. Over 50% of companies moved their workloads to the cloud through the end of 2020 and this number is only expected to increase as more companies see the benefits of integrating the cloud into their infrastructure.
So what is “the Cloud?”
The term “cloud” is thrown around a lot, but few really have a good understanding of what the term actually means. The cloud refers to the data centers and servers that store information that is then accessed via the internet. Essentially, the cloud takes the data that was stored on company devices such as computers and laptops and stores it elsewhere on remote servers. That data can then still be accessed by any device through the internet. You probably use some form of cloud technology whether you know it or not. Email services such as Gmail or Microsoft Outlook are cloud services that store your emails on servers and allow access to your emails through an internet connection. Services made to store collaborative projects such as GitHub and Box are also cloud services as they store projects that can then be downloaded over the internet.
Benefits of Cloud Technology
There are many advantages for businesses to adopt cloud architecture into their system. For one, as was shown in 2020, cloud systems allow for increased remote work. Employees can work from home and access files that would regularly be stored on office computers through an internet connection, making the office not nearly as necessary. As well, cloud computing can provide financial benefits, especially for small to mid-size businesses that can’t afford a large IT team. Instead, many cloud service providers do a lot of the heavy lifting for businesses through services they provide. Oftentimes, these services include providing data insights which can provide great benefits for your business in decision making. Additionally, due to the large number of cloud service providers like AWS, Google, and Azure, cloud computing costs are expecting to go down due to increased competition in the market, which is even better for the consumer. Lastly, cloud services provide faster data recovery in the case of an emergency than what on-site systems can as the providers give support to the business and have effective methods of getting back up and running. All of this combined with other benefits should incentivize businesses to integrate cloud architecture into their systems.
Security and the Cloud
Many businesses are hesitant of a transition to the cloud due to concerns regarding the security of the system. Those concerns are warranted, as anything added onto the network will create new attack vectors for criminals. Cloud infrastructure provides a few security challenges that businesses need to understand and mitigate. One of the largest challenges is data leakage. Since data is sent to and received from the cloud over the internet, the data is at increased risk in transit. Another challenge that has emerged especially within the last year is use of personal devices by employees to access the corporate network. Employees do not always take the time to ensure that their personal devices are secure, which means that these devices are more susceptible to attack than a company device would be. The increase in personal device use also creates a greater number of endpoints that can be exploited by attackers, thus making the attack surface even wider. Risk of DDoS attacks are also a large threat, as such an attack on a cloud service provider would take down the provider as well as all of its clients, making clients unable to reach their data until recovery is complete.
However, cloud service providers do provide some security components that can increase the security for a business. The encryption of files in transit as well as in storage makes information less susceptible to attack and, in the case of attack, this encryption makes the data less useful to the attackers. Providers also have security teams that are fully dedicated to monitoring the security of the data on their servers, which could be especially useful to businesses that do not have the resources to have large security staffs. Cloud firewalls also provide a virtual barrier around the cloud infrastructure and the data within, thus making the data less susceptible to attack.
Even if your business migrates to the cloud, you should not trust solely in the security measures taken by cloud service providers. Read here to find out how to mitigate risk when using the cloud and reach out to Corporate Information Technologies for help with making your transition to the cloud as safe and secure as possible!
Corporate Information Technologies provides small to mid-market organizations with expert I.T. services including compliance assessment, cybersecurity penetration tests, and comprehensive business continuity planning services. Corporate Information Technologies can help organizations, quantify, create, refine, and mitigate the risks presented by business threatening disasters in whatever form they may be disguised.
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Written by: Michael Honrine