The recent global ransomware attacks have left data-heavy organisations across the UK feeling wary about the state of cloud security. The attack involved the use of malware which spread across computers throughout more than 150 countries, taking over user files and demanding money in return for restoration. In the U.S., the White House has already paid $70,000 to regain access to sensitive data.
According to Microsoft, a global leader in cloud computing and office management, the latest attacks should serve as a wake-up call to organisations around the world. Microsoft, as well as other advocates for the strength of cloud computing, noted that most of the problems had been caused by a failure to keep systems updated. Though a security update was released in March to defend against the issue responsible for the latest attack, most users have yet to install it.
The NHS and the Cloud
Perhaps the area most impacted by the latest ransomware attack in the UK is the NHS. The healthcare organisation suffered a huge shut-down as a result of losing access to critical patient files, and this event seems to have compounded the anxieties that the NHS already had about cloud computing.
Although the launch of the Cloud into the medical space began with 30 NHS Trusts, almost two-thirds of NHS trusts have failed to embrace the benefits of the cloud. The belief is that this unwillingness to upgrade has been caused by a general paranoia about the state of cloud security.
NHS trusts are responsible for handling a great amount of sensitive data every day. However, the important thing to remember is that hosting on the cloud doesn’t necessarily leave organisations open to attack. Rather, the truth is that the cloud can be highly secure when used properly, and when the software associated with it is kept updated.
The Benefits of The Cloud Remain Strong
Though the recent ransomware attacks have increased the feeling of anxiety that companies like the NHS feel when considering the cloud, it’s important to remember that cloud hosting still offers a range of benefits that might be crucial to various industries.
As sectors like the medical space continue to grow, the cloud offers a level of flexibility and reliability that can’t be accessed through on-premise systems. This is part of the reason why specialist recruitment agencies are constantly searching for cloud and technology-skilled applicants.
Cloud-based services are ideal for any group in a constant state of fluctuation or growth. As the needs of a business increase, the cloud can simply scale to meet demands, drawing on the power of remote servers. Similarly, if a company needed to scale down again, that flexibility comes as part of the service. This is why IT directors and CIOs consider “operational agility” to be one of the prime reasons behind cloud adoption.
Cloud Hosting Can be Secure
Concerns about security are nothing new in the world of cloud computing. However, though the cloud hosting services of the past might have been brimming with holes, today’s services are patched, and stronger than ever. Not only can they offer the same level of security as any other data-storage service, when used properly, but cloud hosting also provides additional safety benefits too.
For instance, when an automation professional ensures that software is set to automatically update whenever a new patch comes out, your cloud computing software could effectively protect you against ransomware attacks like the most recent worm to hit the cyber space.
Additionally, in industries that use a great deal of data management, document control and disaster recovery measures are essential. When companies make a move to cloud computing, all files are centrally stored, and everyone sees a single version of the same data. This greater visibility leads to better collaboration and productivity. Additionally, those stored files act as a form of robust disaster recovery if something was to go wrong in-house.
Cloud Hosting is a Cost-Effective and Efficient Solution
For organisations like the NHS, who consider cost management to be an essential priority in the current circumstances, cloud computing could be the most viable option available. This solution for data management cuts out the higher costs of hardware, as companies can simply pay as they go with a subscription-based model.
Additionally, when teams can access and share documents anytime, and anywhere, they’re able to collaborate more effectively together. This is why the cloud computing industry is delivering a more efficient, and connected workforce to the world.
When it comes to answering the question “Should I continue to host in the cloud?” The answer is a resounding yes. The only caveat is that companies need to make sure that they have the right internal, or external skills on hand to navigate cloud migration and manage the online environment. By using specialist recruiters to search for salesforce and cloud experts, companies can create a secure, flexible data management environment that permits the growth of their business.