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Cloud vs. desktop: Is cloud-based software safe?

2018-08-03

By: Brian Thomas

In the past, companies have stored data, downloaded software, and run their programs on physical servers & computers in company offices. As technology has evolved over the last decade, so has the way companies conduct their business. The shift to cloud-based software has been one of the most influential changes.

Related: Managing brand consistency in the cloud

A recent poll showed that 41% of surveyed businesses plan to spend more on cloud technology. Large companies are hopping on this trend more eagerly than smaller companies: 51% of large and mid-sized companies plan to increase cloud spending, compared to 35% of smaller ones.

Cloud computing is internet-based and offers companies a wide variety of benefits and greater flexibility. However, every internet-based technology is susceptible to hacking and has the potential to be compromised. While many companies are rushing to move their systems to the cloud, they should first ask some critical questions regarding the safety and security of their data.

"There was a time when most companies were reluctant to move their sensitive data to the cloud because they lacked confidence it would be protected, but perceptions are changing," said Oracle CEO Mark Hurd.

"Now, 62% of the companies surveyed by Oracle and KPMG consider the security of cloud-based business applications to be superior to the security of comparable on-premises applications. And 90% report that at least half of their cloud-based data is sensitive."

As they operate in an increasingly competitive space, cloud service providers are working to make their software more accessible, affordable, and most importantly, more secure to meet the needs of those businesses. Two-thirds of the 450 companies surveyed by Oracle and KPMG said their operations have been disrupted by a security incident in the past two years, and more than half said they've experienced a breach-related financial impact. Airtight security is of the utmost importance to modern enterprises—but how can that be achieved?

Here are a few ways that cloud services like Lucidpress protect their customers against breaches.

Automatic updates

Cloud-based software limits the need to constantly monitor and maintain on-premises servers. When storing data on remote servers, it's imperative that everything is up-to-date to protect you from the most recent malware and hacking strategies.

Companies pay a high price for their inability to stay ahead of hackers. A staggering 85% of security breaches take advantage of system vulnerabilities for which patches were available for more than a year.

Rather than hiring people to monitor and patch systems on a daily basis, businesses can outsource this work to cloud service providers, who maintain the security of each system on their end.

We see this benefit with software, too. For example, Lucidpress automatically updates every two weeks, so you're always working with the best, most up-to-date version. Users don't have to worry about downloading or installing programs, and there are no compatibility issues.

Data storage & backup

There are other benefits to housing your documents in the cloud beyond the increased security. One major benefit of cloud storage is its cost. Because cloud-based software can be accessed by any computer with an internet connection, these programs can be much more affordable.

Likewise, many cloud services offer the ability to upgrade or downgrade storage volumes as a business scales, empowering companies to budget accordingly and pay only for the space that's needed at any given time.

Businesses with significant data storage investments can find themselves unable to take advantage of shifts in the market or respond to competitive pressures, because the necessary capital has already been deployed on hardware. The increased agility offered by cloud computing solutions can give businesses an advantage over their competitors—it's not surprising that "operational agility" consistently ranks as a top driver for cloud adoption.

Another benefit of cloud-based data storage is its ease of access for employees. Using the cloud makes accessing brand assets and documents much easier, so employees can access their work no matter where they are. Employees gain greater flexibility and can continue operating as long as they have internet access.

Finally, the ability to recover data after a disaster is far easier and cheaper when your data is stored in the cloud. IT disasters come in many sizes when dealing with on-premises systems. They can range from the loss of a single-but-important document to the loss of an entire database. The recovery of corporate data could take herculean efforts, equaling or exceeding the efforts needed to reconstruct a company's hardware infrastructure.

At Lucidpress: We store every version of your projects and automatically save your changes. Your documents are backed up hourly to multiple data centers—no more fretting about misplaced files or hard drive failures.

Losing any amount of data causes stress and panic, regardless of how large the disaster. Companies of all sizes need to have solid recovery protocols in place. An all-encompassing disaster recovery plan is necessary for the survival of any business, large or small, and the cloud turns that into a far easier proposition.

Data encryption

With sensitive data and information constantly being transferred from employees to the cloud, each piece must be secured on a minute level. Many cloud-based software providers, including Lucidpress, use multiple layers of data encryption to safeguard user information. Additionally, encryption keys are commonly rotated to further protect important company information and files.

At Lucidpress: Your data is safe with us. All data is transferred to our servers using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) with AES-256 bit encryption. We securely store and frequently rotate encryption keys to further increase site security.

Companies want to choose the software that best fits their business for a multitude of reasons. Using cloud-based computing systems can help your business run more efficiently and make it more convenient to do what you want, where you want, and without being tethered to your office computer.

While it's true that cloud-based systems are not 100% secure, there is simply no internet-rooted network—cloud-based or not—that is absolutely hacker-proof. By following security best practices, you can have peace of mind in knowing that you can safely enjoy the benefits of cloud-based computing. As the shift to cloud platforms continues, companies will search for the best option to ensure that their data is in safe hands, and service providers will strive to provide just that.

Learn more about how Lucidpress acts as a safe & secure brand portal for your business.

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Brian Thomas

Brian Thomas is a contributor to Enlightened Digital, long-distance cyclist, and lifelong advocate for women in tech from Philadelphia. Tech and business are his lifeblood, but he's also a fanatic of brewpubs and just about every sports team in Philadelphia.

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