Times Change: Cloud Backup Now Considered More Secure than Traditional Alternatives
When cloud-based systems first started making appearances, there was palpable skepticism from all fronts. The notion of sending data into some “cloud” somewhere—that a business didn't even control!—just didn't make sense. Times have changed, though, and now, a majority of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have declared cloud backup more secure than its standard alternative.
The majority is quite large, too; almost 90 percent of SMBs surveyed by Clutch declared cloud backup either as secure or more secure than on-site backup options. Security is actually considered the biggest reason to use cloud-based backup in almost 40 percent of cases. What's more, a third of respondents reported that using such tools offered no real challenges, showing that it was not only regarded as safe, but fairly user-friendly as well.
The general manager of infrastructure services for IT outsourcing and cloud service provider mindSHIFT, Bob Lamendola, commented “The customers we speak to who are interested in online backup say security is high on the list of things they are fearful of. They want to make sure the provider is going to keep their data secure, particularly as they vacillate from file sharing data to enterprise database data.” Others, like SkySync's chief technology officer Steve Woodward, noted that inexperience or even ignorance might have made cloud sound riskier than it was, and with early adopters showing that the danger involved was minimal—backed up by plenty of development—more firms may be willing to make the leap.
This seems to be, more than anything else, a case of businesses responding to customer demand. Back when cloud storage was getting started, it was often poorly understood, and the concept itself sounded like a massive security risk. While some businesses were game to try it, particularly with less-sensitive data that could be comfortably stored off-site with little risk, there was still a lot of concern over security. Responding to that, cloud storage providers ratcheted up security to where it became easily a match for most on-site systems. With security issues now mostly taken care of, the advantages of cloud storage—not having to pay for on-site infrastructure and just allowing that storage to be one more monthly bill—could shine through and represent an excellent value for users. Throw in the early adopters who clearly were not getting burned by the experience and the lessons shine through.
It was easy, and almost prudent, to be wary of cloud storage. Developments in the sector, however, have shown that a business that listens to its customers and delivers on expressed concerns will likely come out ahead. That's what happened in the cloud storage sector, and what will likely happen in other fields.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi