Your content could be safer in the cloud

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When you look at surveys about cloud computing like the one recently released by KPMG, the biggest concern among IT pros is security, but maybe they are looking at this wrong way, and the cloud is actually a safer place for your company's content in an increasingly mobile world.

Before you jump to conclusions, hear me out. 

For starters, the survey found that nearly half of respondents reported that loss of control was their biggest concern. It's understandable, really. The idea of putting your data and possibly mission critical apps in the cloud takes it out of your data center, where at least you have some semblance of control. In the cloud, you are relying completely on the vendor.

In spite of this, two-thirds of respondents reported that they use some sort of software as a service and they expect to move some of their operations to Infrastructure as a Service (such as Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Web Services) or Platform as a Service (such as Windows Azure or Open Stack) in the next couple of years. 

Yet, while customers are comfortable finding services, the KPMG survey found there is a big knowledge gap when it comes to researching vendor security, pricing models and service level agreements, which define the responsibilities of the vendor in keeping the service secure and running.

Not surprisingly, 60 percent of providers have found that customers are working with third-party consultants to help them navigate the shifting marketplace and fill in gaps they don't understand. 

This is somewhat ironic given that the cloud is supposed to simplify matters, not complicate them, but there may be advantages here that aren't readily apparent to the IT pros charged with making the purchasing decision.

One major advantage could be protecting employees who are increasingly going out into the world with mobile devices and using them to access enterprise content and resources. As they do this, the real danger can happen when they download content directly to those devices. Should an employee lose a device, the content is then exposed because it's stored locally and is easily accessible.

Were the same user accessing the content in a cloud service such as Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Drive or Box, then it would require some level of authentication to get in and without a user name and password, the person with the phone is locked out of the content (and with two-layer authentication that is even more so).

Other services that give you control from the back end to shut off access to enterprise apps on a mobile device, or that provide a way to remove or lock out users from content, also gives IT greater control than they might have imagined.

The cloud offers the mobile users easy access to content through a protected security layer and has the potential to offer IT increased peace of mind by protecting that content from unauthorized users. In a world where users access content on smaller devices, the cloud could be the safest place of all--just depends on how you look at it. - Ron

Editor's Note: This is the last issue of the year. We won't be publishing between Christmas and New Year's. Our next issue will send on January 2, 2013. Enjoy your holidays and thanks for reading FireceContentManagement.