For some organizations, cloud computing itself can be a hard sell, even before you come to the question of how to handle cloud computing security. Public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, encryption, tokenization, data residency, privacy regulations—so many factors are involved that the perceived effort can sometimes seem to overshadow the benefits. But just as cloud computing comes with a slew of demonstrated business benefits, so does effective cloud computing security. Here are three of those benefits.
1. Regulatory compliance prevents costly fines.
One of the most common reasons enterprises have for investing in cloud computing security is, of course, regulatory compliance. And regulatory compliance is no joke. Heavily regulated industries like finance and health care—industries which handle the most sensitive personal information—must remain in compliance with relevant regional, national, and international laws, as well as with relevant industry standards. Failure to do so can come with a high price. Banks that fail to comply with the PCI DSS requirements, for example, may face fines of anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 per month, costs which tend to get passed downstream, resulting in higher costs for all, according to the PCI Compliance Guide’s FAQ.
2. Cloud computing security preserves consumer confidence.
Additionally, data breaches can cause irreparable harm to a business’s reputation. When improperly protected data–data that has not been encrypted, or that has been encrypted in such a way that the encryption keys are compromised along with the data, for example–is breached, most regions’ laws mandate that the businesses that lost the data disclose the breach to the public. And this is not uncommon. Between February 2005 to December 2006, for example, “100 million personal records were reportedly lost or exposed,” according to the IT Law Wiki. How many customer records does your enterprise handle? Too many to misplace, most likely.
3. Secure cloud computing improves reliability and flexibility and lowers costs (lower TCO).
So regulatory noncompliance and data breaches pose significant dangers to your business. Better to avoid the cloud, some say, but if you do so, you lose the opportunities for far greater reliability and flexibility in your business’s computing infrastructure. As Abby Shagin wrote in the SAP blog, cloud computing liberates employees from dependence on in-house infrastructure, “creating a more flexible and mobile work lifestyle”; the cloud also allows for far more agility in implementing change. Additionally, Shagin points out that the economies of scale in the cloud allow for greater reliability, since “the vendor is more able to give 24/7 technical support and highly trained experienced staff to support the infrastructure at its best condition.” Additionally, cloud computing can reduce business costs by shifting the burden of IT staffing away from your enterprise and onto the cloud provider, as TechRadar’s Kate O’Flaherty observes.
Want to reap those benefits? A strong cloud computing security strategy will open the door for your business to do just that.
At CipherCloud, we believe the cloud is here to stay. Its benefits are too great for any enterprise to ignore, despite lingering data protection and compliance . This is especially true given how well-equipped an enterprise can be to implement effective data protection. Ultimately, what any enterprise needs is a focus on encryption, key management, and control over its data, no matter where that data is headed, and solutions like our Cloud Information Protection platform provide just that. What other business benefits does secure cloud computing bring? Let us know in the comments.