Hoards of companies continue to move their systems from data centers to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and a whole new host of “as-a-Service” acronyms that have recently burst onto the scene.
These cloud-based platforms promise inexpensive and streamlined IT services, yet after a series of high-profile cloud security breaches in 2013, more and more users are questioning the safety of their cloud data. While big contenders like Amazon and Microsoft tout the safety of their cloud systems, cloud security is never completely airtight. Therefore, companies must weigh the security risks against the benefits before migrating sensitive information, such as agreements or compliance data, to the cloud.
While these risks might deter some companies from moving their data to the cloud, SaaS offerings still offer great benefits, especially for emerging growth companies. Growing companies face the same challenges and complexities as their larger counterparts, but have fewer resources at their disposal.
The cloud levels the playing field, offering emerging companies the IT infrastructure of enterprise companies without the capital expenditure, allowing them to maintain growth while remaining competitive with larger players.
With the risks and benefits in mind, here’s what an emerging growth company or anyone interested in the cloud should do before migrating:
Assess external risk. By developing a process to assess external risk, your company can better determine if the class of data in the cloud fits with your risk appetite.
Here are some final recommendations for companies interested in moving into the cloud:
Cloud services provide an easy and inexpensive route to data storage, yet the security of that data isn’t certain. While companies increasingly transition their information into the cloud, both emerging growth and established companies must understand the limits of security and take appropriate measures to protect sensitive data.
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[A version of this post originally appeared on the Revitas Blog and is republished with permission.]