By Rafael Laguna, CEO, Open-Xchange


Are you on the cloud? That’s a question that many businesses are having to face these days, and one that more and more is being followed up with: well, why not?

It’s easy to see why some companies may be hesitant to jump on the cloud bandwagon. It is, after all, still a relatively new form of computing storage and getting businesses that favor their legacy platforms to adopt to new technology or services can be a bit of an uphill climb. A slew of news stories over the last few years – and even in just 2015 alone – have spread doom and gloom about the rise in data breach incidents, and the financial fallout of such events, has made some companies even more cloud-shy.

But, that’s not a concern that should put you off of the cloud either. While cloud computing and storage offer ubiquitous access to users, that access is also locked behind a sophisticated set of security protocols that ensure a company’s assets are as safe as possible.

We’ve answered some questions around why cyber security concerns shouldn’t deter businesses from moving over to the cloud.

How does open source play into cloud computing?

The next generation of Web innovation can only come about through the development of ruthlessly open source products and services. Facilitating this innovation means promoting open source, cloud-based collaborative platforms that strengthen digital connections among millions of customers, while still offering the robust security that their businesses demand.

Why, from a security standpoint, have organizations been hesitant to move their operations to the cloud?

Since Edward Snowden first began making headlines, the average American’s trust in the government, service providers and the cloud itself has done nothing but decline. With a new report from The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) now revealing that the price tag for the NSA’s surveillance will run far north of the original $35 billion estimate, it’s easy to see why more and more people – both individuals and businesses – are becoming increasingly skeptical about cloud adoption.

How can companies mitigate any concerns around cloud security?

Customers need to get answers to some key questions before investing in a cloud service provider. It’s important that the first question they ask is, how the provider will act responsibly with the customer’s data and if their cloud needs can be fulfilled by other providers. Cloud security provides customers with a certain flexibility in their choice of providers, giving them a greater degree of control over who is being entrusted with their sensitive data. That’s why it’s important that providers offer their cloud services with on-premise software, granting customers the choice in switching providers, if need be, without worrying about their data essentially being held ransom. This gives customers a leg up and direct control over their own cloud security and safety, thus boosting their confidence in their security.

Tips for maintaining cloud security?

It’s important for customers to avoid signing up with a cloud service that is specific to one vendor, as this can leave you and your data effectively trapped in a corner. As with any big investment, make sure to shop around for different vendors and ensure that their offerings – and your cloud needs – can always be met by other providers, so you’re never locked into one place.