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Data security in cloud computing Cloud Key Management Cloud Encryption Cloud Computing  security daily Datacenter vs Cloud: Which is Right for SMEs?Finally! As an SME competing with the big boys, you are often at a disadvantage: they have more money, more people, and more resources. But now, finally, you are in a better position than they are. When weighing cloud migration, your infrastructure is more easily adaptable, flexible, and migratable: you are positioned to take advantage of the benefits of different cloud scenarios faster than the big boys are!

The CRN predicts that in 2014, small businesses will spend almost $100 billion on cloud computing services[1]. But, is the cloud right for your SME?

The advantages of cloud computing for SMEs
We have all heard the buzzwords surrounding the benefits of the cloud, but how do they apply to SME workloads? Which systems, applications, and services are best to migrate to the cloud and when?

SME workloads are often not consistent, making the flexibility and scalability of the cloud a compelling reason to migrate. In the data center, to grow your infrastructure means expensive hardware costs and IT personnel, which, if you need to change or scale down a few months later, is a heavy burden. The cloud’s continuous availability and automated software updates and maintenance are also key features.

As an added bonus, the cloud is environmentally friendly. For SMEs concerned with sustainability, using only the server space you need is a big draw, which results in less energy consumption.

SMEs are wise to consider migrating their on-premise hardware to a pay-as-you-go cloud model. Systems to consider: servers, storage, application servers, and backup. Companies also see great benefits from running office applications in the cloud: email, collaboration solutions, and web conferencing.

Does the datacenter offer better data security?
Many SMEs still see security of data in the cloud as the biggest barrier to cloud adoption. In fact, a survey conducted at AWS re:invent in November found that 60 percent have security concerns, while other top barriers include organizational resistance (53%) and performance issues (29%).

However, the truth is that cloud security can be as secure as that of the datacenter. In fact, in most cases, data and apps in public or private cloud can be even more secure.

The main draw of hardware-based security models is that they have walls. The physical walls give us a sense of security; albeit, perhaps a false sense of security. As technologies innovate, we now have ways to erect virtual walls that are more secure than the physical partitions of the datacenter.

The best practice for properly securing data in the cloud, of course, is strong cloud encryption. SMEs who invest in state-of-the-art encryption gain a sense of security too. Unfortunately, this too, is not enough.

Attaining real security in the cloud comes not only from encryption, but, more importantly, for management of the encryption keys.

The key to cloud data security
Encrypting your cloud data and letting someone else control your encryption keys is metaphorically locking your valuable business assets in a safe deposit box and handing the key over to someone else.

The key to cloud security, then, is not only to erect those impenetrable walls (with encryption), but also to make sure that only you control access.

The best cloud technology for this purpose is called split key encryption. By encrypting your cloud apps and data, you lock them in the proverbial safe deposit box. This innovation then enables you to split the key into parts. One part is controlled by a cloud appliance (negating the need for hardware-based models) and the other part is controlled by you. Both parts are needed to access your information.

By using this new technology, you ensure that only you have access to your data and that you can benefit from the transformation available from the cloud while achieving greater security than that of the datacenter.

The draw of the datacenter
Why, then, do some SMEs continue to choose the datacenter? As we learned from the AWS survey, the main reasons are security concerns and organizational resistance.

Security concerns are easily alleviated by understanding the new technology that enables cloud data to be secured. Even strict industry regulations like HIPAA in the healthcare world and PCI in the financial segment can use split key encryption as a viable way to secure data.

As for organizational resistance, when we seek to understand the source of the resistance, we often find that it can be alleviated by providing strong solutions.

Cutting-edge SMEs educate themselves and their stakeholders in the innovative technologies that facilitate their advancement. Migrating to the cloud, taking advantage of its cost and operational efficiencies, and improving data security are empowering opportunities available to SMEs.

The post Datacenter vs Cloud: Which is Right for SMEs? appeared first on Porticor Cloud Security.

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More Stories By Gilad Parann-Nissany

Gilad Parann-Nissany, Founder and CEO at Porticor is a pioneer of Cloud Computing. He has built SaaS Clouds for medium and small enterprises at SAP (CTO Small Business); contributing to several SAP products and reaching more than 8 million users. Recently he has created a consumer Cloud at G.ho.st - a cloud operating system that delighted hundreds of thousands of users while providing browser-based and mobile access to data, people and a variety of cloud-based applications. He is now CEO of Porticor, a leader in Virtual Privacy and Cloud Security.