The following guest post is by Gabriel Shaoolian, founder of Blue Fountain Media.
There’s no doubt the “era of cloud computing” foretold by Bill Gates (and many others) is here. The cloud has taken the world by storm, with everyone from small business owners to large organizations (as well as consumers and families) racing to free up their hard drives by moving their goods to the cloud.
Then came the legions of stories about the security threats. (The Cloud Security Alliance reported the top 9 threats to cloud computing in 2013. Data breaches, data loss and accout or service hijacking topped the list — for a full description, John Fontana recently covered the issues for ZDNet.)
What’s the solution? Last month, FORBES reporter Karsten Strauss presented an answer in the form of Duvon Corp’s soon-to-be-launched “cloud locker” which, when you examine it closely, is simply another version of—you guessed it–a traditional hard drive, in the form of a 250 GB device that sits on your desk.
That’s one solution to cloud security worries. But here’s another: While I agree with Strauss that we should take cloud security seriously, there are far better solutions available than chaining our data resources back down to our desks.
As end-users of cloud computing and storage, we should diligently practice and enforce the security procedures cloud technology providers have put into place. Research your providers. Choose them carefully. Take the time to review the detailed tutorials your provider provides. Follow their instructions to fully secure your accounts.
Companies like Dropbox, a company at the helm of many of the worrisome headlines, even offers their users incentives to secure their accounts. These are simple and effective procedures within easy reach of every one of us that we can follow to ensure our use of the cloud stays secure. Larger organizations can address the need by providing thorough training on cloud security guidelines and can empower their teams to adopt and implement best practices.
Here’s the security fact that should frighten you: Researchhas shown that 89% of the global workforce community currently lacks understanding of the ways security protection applies to the cloud. Do you understand what I’m saying? The issue is not the security of the cloud itself, but the knowledge and training we make available to users and require them to use—a factor that every individual and company can directly control.
Mike Lynch, founder of Autonomysaid“Security is probably the first question people ask when the cloud is raised. It’s a big PR issue, but the reality is that the security bridge has been crossed a long time ago.”
I agree with this statement. Don’t let hype and p.r.derail you from embracing the savings and business utility cloud technology can offer.
The more quickly you can learn to use the cloud correctly (with full security precautions in place), the better for your business and data, and for your company’s profitability as well. Here’s my own prediction: In 5 years, we will not have hard drives, veiled as “cloud –locker” devices or not. Businesses and consumers of the future will store every data resource they need on the cloud. Don’t let your company be left behind.
Gabriel Shaoolian is a digital trends and on-line business expert. He is also the CEO and founder of Blue Fountain Media, a NYC-based digital agency helping to grow companies worldwide through creative web design, mobile development and online marketing solutions.