Sep 14

DON'T PANIC! Cloud security concerns are unfounded


The cloud has suffered from a lot of unfair stigmatization. While there seem to be countless horror stories of clouds being breached or hacked into, what's rarely mentioned is that many of these issues are related to weak security practices on the user-end of the situation - or companies that simply don't understand what they're dealing with. The problem isn't with the cloud itself, but how it ends up being used.

"The information technology and cloud solutions space is crowded and can seem complicated, expensive and unsecure," wrote Sydney Morning Herald contributor Robin Allardice. "However, many of the challenges small businesses highlighted can actually be solved with cloud based-solutions if they are well-constructed."

This omission is hindering the adoption of cloud assets in many organizations. Those companies that have already embraced the cloud are experiencing massive benefits as a result, and their competitors that haven't are starting to fall behind.

One of the biggest ways that the cloud can be integrated into the enterprise is in terms of communications. Cloud business phone systems, for example, can allow workers access to the company voice network from beyond the office walls from their smartphones and tablets. This can be a critical asset for small and growing businesses as it reduces costs and increases productivity.

Cloud phone systems are something that every organization should consider. Regardless of if they are sought out through a hosted provider or enabled on-site through SIP trunking, having voice in the cloud can be a valuable way to enable staffers for success.

Cloud communications not inherently vulnerable
Just like with everything else, there's a right and wrong way to use the cloud. This is why people are seemingly so vulnerable when they use it. Considering that popular passwords have often included phrases like "12345" and even "password," it is easy to see how someone's cloud could be hacked.

According to Allardice, it is important not only to embrace the cloud, but to do so correctly. When integrated properly, the cloud is a secure and valuable tool.

"Cloud technology is particularly beneficial for small- and medium-sized businesses," Allardice wrote. "It allows for instant access to data from any location, reduces administration time and, most importantly, aggregates multiple channels of data, improving a company's access to and flow of information. With the right cloud solution, businesses can save a significant amount of time spent on administrative and compliance activities, providing the opportunity for greater investment in other areas of the businesses."

With the right precautions and best practices in place, there is nothing preventing organizations from leveraging cloud communications assets. This is good news for present-day employees, who are beginning to require the ability to work remotely. The consumerization of IT has bred a workforce that is skilled in the operation of mobile hardware and applications. Some staffers are able to conduct themselves from home as if they were in the office, and the technology that allows for this is more available and effective than ever. Embracing these changes can foster greater employee satisfaction and productivity, ultimately helping to drive the company forward.

Don't believe the 'hype'
It is important to take negative stories about the cloud with a grain of salt. The cloud is the wave of the future and it needs to be explored as a possibility for enterprise communications. While there are examples out there of cloud failure, they are not indicative of the technology itself - just poor practices regarding security. In order to best enable staffers in modern times, cloud business phone systems will be essential.