Cloud computing for ERP platforms has become incredibly popular, and for good reason. Processing power has increased almost exponentially, making it easier and more profitable to run cloud applications and lowering costs of cloud business. According to a survey done by IBM, two-thirds of the 2000 companies interviewed were planning or had already deployed cloud-based technologies.
Not only has cloud computing becoming increasingly popular, it’s also decreasing in price. While the ways cloud computing can save a business money is a topic for another day, suffice it to say there are significant savings to be had over using an on-premises solution.
There’s still a crucial topic to consider, though, and that’s the issue of security. When data is no longer stored on a local workstation or server, it’s bound to raise some security questions and concerns.
Is the Cloud Secure?
Yes, it is. In fact, it’s often more secure than locally stored data. Most cloud services use more complex security methods than a typical workstation can provide, making your cloud-stored data more secure than anything stored locally.
The front line of defense for any cloud system is encryption. All data entering the cloud is encrypted and protected. Encryption utilizes complex algorithms to conceal information, which can only be unlocked with an encryption key. And although no system is completely impenetrable, encryption requires a huge amount of computer processing power, forensic software, and time, making it extremely challenging for outside intruders to work their way in.
Think of your data in the cloud like money in a bank. In the bank, your money is much safer mixed up with other people’s money in a vault than sitting in your dresser drawer. Banks have high-tech security systems with the sole purpose of protecting your money, whereas your dresser drawer (most likely) doesn’t.
The same concept goes for the cloud. In the case of the largest public clouds, security is handled by some of the world’s best computer scientists, and these public clouds maintain certification levels to ensure that their customers’ data is safe. Microsoft’s Azure, for example, was awarded Cloud Security Alliance STAR Certification at the Gold level.
Establish Your Own Security Measures
Though you may not realize it, keeping your cloud data safe & secure is as much your responsibility as it is your provider’s. Even something as simple as setting strong passwords can make a huge difference in the security of your data. Poor password security can give any would-be cybercriminals an easy way to pry their way into your private data.
With the surge in popularity of cloud architecture, many businesses opt to use a third-party security provider for their cloud operations. New security providers are regularly capitalizing on this trend, so there’s a host of options to choose from.
With the security aspect taken care of, there’s one vital question remaining:
What If the Cloud Fails?
While no system is indestructible, The good news here is the cloud virtually can’t fail. The cloud works in a way that allows data to be shared across several different servers. You’ll want to check with your provider to make sure, but most providers have several data sites. This way, if one site where your data is located fails, the data “moves” to another part of the system with little downtime, allowing your information to be accessed wherever there is internet access.
With the immense popularity of the cloud, there’s no better time to consider a cloud-based ERP solution for your business data. The cloud is safe, secure, and always available. For a hands-on look at cloud-based ERP, take a look at our sandbox, pre-populated with data that you can easily manipulate.