Any London-based firm that uses IT these days – which is most companies – needs to be secure. Whether it is your financial records, client data or company secrets, a breach can have catastrophic consequences ranging from losing money to suffering reputational damage and loss of custom.
Indeed, it can be terrifying to think of what might happen if anything does go wrong in this area, not least with regular headlines about hacking and cyber warfare. The need for good cybersecurity in London has never been so great.
All this can leave a lot of questions for anyone considering taking on new IT applications. Will they be safe? How could you know if there is a problem? What measures are in place to ensure threats are spotted and defended against?
Such questions may be multiplied when it comes to the cloud. Rather than storing data on a hard drive that sits on your desk, or on memory sticks, zip discs and other paraphernalia that you can lock away in a draw, it is held in the ‘cloud’, a non-physical internet-based infrastructure. How, you ask, can that be safe? Who can access it? What are the cyber equivalents of a lock and key?
A good start is to understand more clearly just what the cloud is. Microsoft describes the cloud as “the delivery of computing services – including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and intelligence – over the internet (‘the cloud’) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources and economies of scale.”
It adds that a key benefit is that you only pay for the services you will actually use, so it becomes very cost-efficient, while offering the flexibility for your firm to do more or do something differently as your business needs evolve.
Clearly anything that offers flexibility, ease of adaptation to changing circumstances and cost control is likely to be beneficial, which is why it can be an effective and important central feature of your IT strategy. But how does it stay safe?
The Microsoft answer is as follows: “Many cloud providers offer a broad set of policies, technologies and controls that strengthen your security posture overall, helping to protect your data, apps and infrastructure from potential threats.”
Vague as that may sound, the key point to note is that the Cloud is not some wild, insecure environment where data floats around like a small boat on the ocean that’s vulnerable to pirates. Instead, to take this analogy further, our clients would be effectively guarded on their journey by the heavily-armed HMS Stellarise.
As Tech21century.com notes, there are a number of cloud applications such as gateways and sandboxes that enable you to put data in encrypted safe spaces.
However, what provides the greatest element of security is that when you are using an outsourced cloud services provider like ourselves, it means you are gaining the benefits of the latest security solutions.
This will include things like 24/7 monitoring of data, up-to-date knowledge of (and responses to) the latest emergent threats, updated firewalls and sensitive security blocking systems.
In short, with a cloud services provider like us, you can benefit from someone else doing the heavy lifting of ensuring your data is secure. That means you can concentrate your efforts on growing your business in confidence that the IT systems you have will give you all the support you need and none of the headaches you fear.