The Cloud and why its safe for your company data

If youre discussing how to store your company data securely, its likely that you will have talked about storing it in the Cloud. Buzz-word of the moment, the Cloud is one of the hottest topics in tech with more and more of us using it

Jessica Hildyard: BrightHR Lion Whisperer

So, even if you don't think you have a Cloud to use, chances are if you have updated your status on Facebook, you will have used the Cloud.

But is it safe for my business?
We love the Cloud for many reasons, one of them being its capacity for safe storage of data. From negating the requirement for expensive additional servers to easier backup and restoration of sensitive information, there are many benefits to Cloud storage but we understand that the security of the data you handle far outweighs your need to access it from wherever your employees happen to be.

For many modern businesses, this fact is precisely why they are choosing to move their operations onto the Cloud. In 2014, almost 80% of businesses were using at least one Cloud-based service and that number is increasing, with a Forbes study showing that by 2020, 78% of small businesses in the US will have fully adopted cloud computing. This means that the demand for top notch Cloud security is higher than ever before and the quality that you can expect is getting increasingly more sophisticated.

Here are some key factors that help to make Cloud storage the best and safest option for today’s progressive businesses.

Data is encrypted
To prevent your company data and that of your employees getting into the wrong hands, cloud systems are encrypted with algorithms that hide every piece of data. This means that files are stored behind a protective virtual wall that can only be penetrated by a hacker if they have the encryption key, which requires a vast amount of time, effort and specialist software to decipher the encrypted data. Due to the complexity of this advanced security feature, data stored in the cloud is arguably more secure than data that’s stored on a backed-up server at a secure data centre.

Security updates are automatic
Cloud-based storage solutions are looked after by your provider, so updates to maintain the security of your data are periodically installed by your provider, who can look after this aspect of cloud computing so that you can get on with looking after your staff.

Nothing physical to destroy or steal
Unlike traditional methods of storing data on a back-up computer in your office basement, for example, storing data in the cloud makes it immune to hardware failures and accidents that can cause flood or fire damage. This has a huge security advantage, particularly for businesses that share office space or buildings with other businesses or for companies whose buildings are perhaps in areas that are prone to theft or arson. Furthermore, if an employee’s laptop is stolen, all you’ll need to think about is replacing the hardware - you can remotely wipe any data on the laptop and your employee can get on with their work using any other computer to connect to the applications, services and data you use in the cloud.

Risk of user errors is reduced
One aspect of security that can be overlooked when it comes to data storage is user error. In traditional storage setups, when files are produced, edited and developed by multiple users, perhaps in different offices or timezones, document control can be difficult to achieve. Storing information on the cloud can help to reduce the risk of overwriting files and creating conflicting content by offering one up-to-date version of the data.

Good practice goes a long way
To further enhance the advanced security that cloud storage offers, you can introduce a policy of secure password creation to your company. Encryption is extremely reliable but good practice includes adding symbols and numbers to your passwords and enforcing the need for a unique password for each user that is not used on any other platforms.

To understand more about how BrightHR uses the cloud in our product, head to our Features page.