The term “Cloud” is quite a buzz word these days, and if you’re like most professionals, you probably have a basic understanding of what it is. However, you may not know how useful cloud software is to improving your operations, and how critical it is to data protection for both you and your customers. But, with all the high-profile hackings making the headlines, you may wonder just how safe is the Cloud?
Cloud Computing Defined
According to PC Magazine, in the most basic terms, “cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive.” It is an alternative to housing all your data in-house, on one hard drive or network. What cloud technology means for your day-to-day is that you can access your member data anytime, on any device. When you eliminate internal hard drives and networks, access opens up big time.
Imagining your precious data floating out in the online abyss may have your internal radar blinking red about now. Data security and safety is of utmost importance when it comes to the Cloud and that brings us to a very important distinction: Public vs. private cloud technology.
Public Cloud: A Risky Model
Public cloud computing is a shared online environment. All tenants of the Cloud share the same hardware, storage and network devices as the other tenants. The upside? Pay-as-you-go models can be more economical. The downside? You got it – data security. Meeting compliance requirements is simply out of the question on a public cloud model.
Take PCI compliance as an example. Any organization taking credit card payments is responsible for Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance. This requires meeting specific security standards, developed to protect card information during and after a financial transaction. Failure to comply can result in a heap of trouble, the most significant being your customer’s data at risk.
Public Cloud offers no control over hardware performance. Under this model, your data is placed on whatever server or network the provider assigns to you. They are also self-managed, meaning those who have the time, interest and expertise to set up their systems can go to town.
Is a safe, fully-managed system sounding pretty good about now?
ACTIVE’s Private Cloud: Keeping You and Your Customers Safe
Private clouds are dedicated to a single organization, providing significant security. Simply put, they are not shared. The hardware, data storage and network cannot be accessed by other clients, making compliance much easier to achieve. They can also be customizable to meet your specific performance needs, and the host can do the legwork for you.
With that said, not all private clouds are created equal. ACTIVE has not only operated but also mastered Enterprise-level, Cloud-based technology for over a decade. This means we can handle large volumes of data and transactions. We are certified for the highest level of PCI compliance in the industry. And as a fully-hosted solution, we take full responsibility for the safety of your customers’ data. We take on YOUR risk.
We understand that security breaches are catastrophic, and that’s why we’re dedicated to protecting you from them. Do you really want to own that risk, or would you rather leave it to an organization that provides the highest levels of protection?