In the early days of cloud computing, a lot of companies were wary about utilizing “the cloud” to store sensitive data instead of keeping it on site. Small business owners, in particular, questioned whether the cloud was secure, and many with merchant accounts expressed concerns about compliance.
But cloud computing has come a long, long way since the idea was first introduced in the 1960s—and one key area of improvement has been security. Thanks to recent developments in cloud computing technology, data stored in the cloud is now more secure than ever. This is likely why analysts say a growing number of businesses are planning to migrate to the cloud in the coming years.
Think about it: when information is stored on a physical device it can be lost or stolen, and transporting that data to another network leaves it vulnerable to security breaches. But data stored on the cloud is safe from theft and inaccessible to those without the necessary login information.
Keeping data secure is the primary job of cloud storage providers. It’s their bread and butter. So, while merchants are juggling a million and one other tasks on any given day, cloud providers are focused solely on finding new ways to keep your data safe by improving security measures—with enhanced encryption methods for example. And not only safe from a cyberattack, but what if an unexpected disaster wipes out your on-site servers? With cloud storage, data is easily restored in the event of a loss and the potential crisis averted.
At the end of the day, cloud computing is safer than using an in-house system and better protected against security threats. Offsite backup makes a big difference. It’s the twenty-first century, and hacking has become a highly sophisticated business. These days, even the big corporations are vulnerable to large-scale data breaches, denial-of-service attacks, Fraud as a Service (FaaS) scams and countless other cybersecurity threats. The cloud reduces the risk of potential cyberattacks, viruses and other threats by backing up all data off-site, which provides an added layer of security for users. And because information stored in the Cloud is replicated across numerous data centers, data will not be lost in the event of system failure—so you never have to start from scratch.
Staying compliant is easier in the cloud. Merchants who accept credit card payments understand the importance of PCI compliance. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard ensures cardholder data is protected from potential fraud and data breaches, and failing to meet PCI standards for compliance can mean steep penalties and even termination of your merchant account.
But today maintaining compliance is simpler and more cost-effective with the help of the cloud. Because network maintenance is automated and therefore continually updated to comply with enhanced security standards, cloud storage makes it easier to track, record and classify data to maintain compliance.
New cloud-based security certificates are available. With more and more businesses migrating to the cloud, top names in security certification have stepped forward to fill an important need: cloud-based security certificates. Organizations such as (ISC)² offer in-depth certifications to further ensure that sensitive information will remain secure.
Faster patch deployments mean fewer headaches. As we learned from the recent KRACK attack, the swift deployment of security patches is crucial in the aftermath of a cyber attack. If your security measures are not up to date, you run the risk of exposing critical information to opportunistic hackers. In the cloud, automatic software updates ensure your security measures are continually up to date, which means faster patch deployment in the event of a security breach and peace of mind for merchants.
Business is better (and more secure) in the cloud. When compared with traditional on-site computing, cloud computing offers significant benefits for small business owners, including speed, flexibility and the ability to accommodate growth. Today we can add enhanced security to that list. With improved data security and document control, it’s no wonder more businesses are migrating to the cloud.
Yet, despite the fact that cloud providers have a greater cache of resources and are better able to predict, prepare for and quickly act upon security threats, many merchants are still hesitant to take the leap. Talk to the security experts at Merchant Broker to find out more about merchant security in the cloud. We can help align your business with the right cloud provider to ensure your payment platform is secure and your business is up to speed with compliance regulations.