The internet is open to anyone at anytime from anywhere in the world (for the most part).
There’s also a lot of money and valuable information transmitted over the internet.
Add to the mix some people who want that information or who just want to screw things up for the rest of us and the inevitable result is that there will always be people looking for security flaws to exploit.
So why should your business even use the cloud if everything would just be safer on local machines?
The Business of Cloud Hosting is the Business of IT Security
Aside from being convenient, fast, cheap, and reliable, it’s because cloud computing is actually very secure. Cloud computing services stand to lose everything if they let your data fall prey to any third party. The basis of their business is that you can trust your data in their hands. Betraying that trust means losing both established and potential customers.
These companies (like Amazon Web Services) are constantly upgrading the security of their software in order to protect the data you share with them. The reason you don’t often hear about major security flaws is that many flaws are discovered and dealt with before they become issues.
No Perfect System
However, using cloud hosting services will always mean putting your business’ security at least partially in someone else’s hands—there’s no getting around that.
There’s also no getting around the fact that the security systems we use will always possess flaws; humans develop these systems and humans manage them as well.
Recently, a critical security issue hit one of the biggest web hosting services, Amazon Web Services. Specifically, the issue affected a key component of Linux hosts, which means many of Amazon’s EC2 servers were affected.
West County constantly monitors news in the security community and was able to patch our servers immediately. The patch, which counteracts the security flaw, was deployed quickly by Amazon and spread through the Amazon Web Services community.
It may be surprising or even shocking to some that an online company as large, dynamic, and innovative as Amazon still deals with security issues. We all remember Target’s big security mishap not so long ago—but surely Amazon is different?
The truth is that any system may have minor or major security issues at any time, no matter who runs it or how much trust the public puts in that company.
Vigilance… and Updates
Does this mean that we should constantly be afraid of world-shattering security issues and distrust companies like Amazon? No. However, it does mean that everyone who uses cloud hosting services should always be vigilant in monitoring and patching your software.
Keeping all of your software up to date is key to staying secure in today’s world. Patches and updates are far more important than many businesses realize. From the web browser your employees use to the software running on your servers, everything should be up to date.
Updated software often fixes security issues, both minor and major. In the vast majority of cases, patching and installing updates will keep your business completely safe, barring human error.