The Case for Cloud Security: Why Even the Most Regulated Industries Are Leveraging It

By Jeff Lanham| September 05, 2017

Despite the wide-scale adoption of the cloud, many well-established, highly regulated sectors have been slow to migrate to the cloud due to concerns about security. Understandably, businesses generating highly sensitive data such as healthcare and law firms need to take extra precautions to keep their data safe. But as the cloud continues to mature, even the most highly regulated sectors’ resistance to the cloud is waning.

Upgrading to the cloud is becoming a strategic tool for driving down costs, enhancing operational efficiency, and above all else, ensuring the overall future survival of the business. In today’s fast paced world, the low-cost to entry and easy-to-deploy nature of the cloud has created an environment where size is no longer protection against smaller, more agile businesses that are innovating faster and increasing efficiency wherever possible. To remain competitive, even the most well-established businesses need to embrace a digital environment that will enable them to keep pace in an increasingly agile workplace.

Is the Cloud Really Secure for Everyone?

Although all businesses, even those that have a great deal of regulations, are eager to capture the benefits of the cloud and avoid disruption, concerns around security remain the greatest barrier keeping them from fully embracing the cloud. In a recent study, more than three-quarters of the respondents (76%) said that security is the main reason why they would choose not to leverage cloud-based services. Clearly, there is still a common misconception that the cloud is less secure than traditional approaches.

The basic argument for securing your data in the cloud is this – cloud vendors like Microsoft spend more money on securing their systems than most organizations are able to do themselves. If you were dealing with a lawsuit and wanted the best representation, you would naturally look for the best law firm to represent you. The same is true for security. If you're a law firm looking to digitize your most valuable assets, wouldn’t you go with the company that specializes in security to keep your data safe? In the cloud, you not only get access to the best data centers but also the most highly trained IT security professionals in the world.

As the cloud market continues to mature, cloud vendors have developed tools and services to monitor and react quickly to security threats or attacks. Statistically, it’s been proven that the cloud is as secure, if not more secure, than on-premises environments. As a matter of fact, Gartner predicts that through 2020, the public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) workloads will suffer at least 60% fewer security incidents than those in traditional data centers.

But even with all the built-in security benefits of the cloud, prudent companies know that taking extra steps to mitigate risk is a good idea. While the cloud can reduce the overall security scope, it still requires businesses to provide focused protection on each user’s identity, data, and assets. Since traditional protocols won’t work for information stored in the cloud, businesses will need to take a different approach.

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