17 December 2018
What is ‘The Cloud’?
Clouds are no longer just the fluffy white things in the sky; ask a teenager and they’ll probably tell you that its somewhere they store their photos etc… instead.
When we think of ‘The Cloud’ it does paint the picture that when you are saving your information it is shooting up into the sky and being stored up there, but that’s not quite the case. ‘The Cloud’ is actually software run on the internet and accessed by a network of servers.
There has been an increase in popularity with saving information to ‘The Cloud’, as it no longer means that you are clogging up your hard drive or using up all of the space on your mobile. There are so many cloud-based solutions now, not just for storing your documents, but you can even use your landline telephone from ‘The Cloud’.
From a business angle, the introduction of ‘The Cloud’ has meant an increase in productivity. Employees are now able to work on documents simultaneously rather than having to wait for the other person to finish editing before they can go in and make changes. It also allows for documents to be stored and shared securely, and most cloud-based solutions abide by ISO standards.
Whilst this was more of a disadvantage a few years ago, it is still something that affects businesses now – Broadband outages. Yes, we’re in 2018 and most providers have reliable connections, but outages can still occur, take last week as a prime example – O2. The O2 networks went down for a full day meaning their customers were unable to access their 4G network, so individuals who use cloud-based services on their phones were unable to use this function unless they connected to another provider’s WIFI. Plus there is also the risk of technical issues or outages on the server side.
As an adviser, you hold very sensitive client information, that if it got into the wrong hands would be detrimental to your firm. So how do you break down that guard you have and trust ‘The Cloud’?.
- Use trusted software. We feel like this goes without saying. Use a name that you know and trust and always ensure that you install updates in a timely fashion.
- Ensure that you abide by any compliance requirements before choosing a cloud-based
- Consider how easy it is to move providers. When choosing your provider, you possibly don’t foresee having to move your information but don’t lock yourself into one provider. You don’t know what the future holds.
- Partner with qualified, trustworthy people who understand the complexities of cloud security.
As with the implementation of any new software, you’re ultimately responsible so we would always recommend completing due diligence when choosing to use a cloud-based provider to ensure that they adhere to the security guidelines that you require them to.