The security concerns around cloud computing are real, according to ShareFile CEO Jesse Lipson, but they may not be the same concerns foremost in the minds of IT professionals and corporate decision-makers.
Data loss, Lipson writes in a guest article for Forbes, is one of the most common concerns about storing important information in the cloud, but it is also one of the most poorly understood. Businesses that believe they can do a better job of securing their systems and information against loss or theft than a third party are "conflating control with safety," according to Lipson.
He compares the phenomenon to the fear of flying experienced by some travelers. In reality, according to Lipson, the drive to the airport is actually far more dangerous than the flight itself, but because the traveler is in control of his or her destination on the road, the sensation of security is present. Conversely, even though the flight is comparatively safe, the lack of control can cause fear.
The problem, in terms of cloud computing, is that most cloud companies are the equivalent of experienced airline pilots, but their services are still treated as insecure by large parts of the business community, Lipson writes. While it's important to verify that a company trusted to handle critical services or data is "not operating out of a garage," most are comparatively safe and secure, and there are questions that can be asked in order to make sure of their bona fides. These include whether all data is stored and transmitted in an encrypted format, the frequency of third-party security audits, and any blips in the company's uptime record, according to Lipson.
However, other experts point out that some companies might still want to take control of their own systems, if their in-house staff is up to the challenge.