It has become increasingly common for companies to adopt paperless document storage, due in large part to cloud technology advances. The idea is that files are more easily accessible when deployed in this manner, giving businesses more flexibility for employees and clients alike.
However, there are growing security issues associated with the use of the cloud for data storage. Each individual server that a provider offers is shared by multiple subscribers, meaning that even if you aren't directly targeted by a hacker, your important files – financial records, transaction receipts, personal information of employees and so forth – are at risk of being attacked by association. Given the escalating concerns regarding cybersecurity, there are plenty of reasons to alleviate potential data theft problems that could lead to the demise of your business.
1. There's a good chance you won't know where your data is stored
The Tennesean warned that often, transparency can be an issue when dealing with providers. They might not disclose the location of their servers, what security measures they employ, or whether or not they use encryption, a practice that can deter hackers. Like other industries, the source noted, even IT companies have outsourced some of their services. For example, if your data is being kept on servers that are physically located in China or elsewhere, it exists outside the U.S. Government's jurisdiction, rendering it less secure.
2. Apprehension surrounding the cloud percolates through the business world
More than 50 percent of respondents to a survey conducted by Wisegate said that the cloud is too risky for the time being, CloudTimes reported. The source cited additional responses that indicated this general uneasiness stems from the security risks associated with the technology, including 51 percent of polled IT managers declaring they had no plans to invest in such software for the long term. The promise of accessibility and flexibility apparently does not outweigh the risk of leaving your business in the hands of a third party for most companies. The BYOD – bring your own device – movement, which emphasizes working remotely via the cloud, is being met with widespread skepticism due to cybersecurity concerns, CloudTimes remarked.
3. The risk of internal theft is also elevated
What happens when employees depart from your company, The Tennesean quipped. Do they retain their access credentials and information they may have obtained throughout the course of their employment? Though it's not likely that every ex-worker is going to steal vital company records in an attempt to hurt you, there is certainly a chance of that happening. The risk of this occurring is heightened when you employ cloud services to manage your files, as they become more accessible to your employees and can be copied or taken digitally with relative ease.
4. It's impossible to hack into a file cabinet or a piece of paper
This should be fairly self-evident: It's much less likely that your office will be broken into and raided without anyone finding out than it is that a hacker will devise an algorithm that will allow him or her to crack the security codes protecting your information on a cloud server. If your financial records and other integral business-related documents are off the grid, they are, by nature, not susceptible to cyberattacks. The Tennesean stressed the importance of knowing where your data is. Every company needs to have some form of digitized documents and information; this has been necessitated by the contemporary business climate and is unavoidable. But not everything needs to be electronic. If you want to ensure that your records are untouchable by cyberattacks, the only way to actually guarantee this is to keep them offline.