Underground Hackers Have Trouble Reaching The Cloud

HackersIn the tech industry, there is constant debate about the safety and security of SaaS. This is a long and complicated debate that would require more than just this article.

For this post, I would just like to isolate one important factor for you to think about. Hopefully, this can help put some of these issues into context.

One of the most common arguments against cloud computing is that… by hosting the application in house… you will have better control over security.

However, IT departments always have great hopes about future projects that they want to implement. But time and resources are limited… and important business processes often take first priority over regular maintenance. Daily routines become established, and habits sometimes fall to the wayside. Or, other details might get overlooked.

Unless you have a large budget that allows you to hire a dedicated security person, it’s very likely that each employee within your IT department will wear many hats. When you have several people who are jacks of all trades and masters of none, it can often lead to minor slip ups or procrastination on import and tasks.

These types of organizational vulnerabilities are what hackers and viruses prey on.
SaaS providers – on the other hand – are a completely different beast. For them, security is a core business process. Their entire reputation depends on their ability to secure their internal networks and protect their client data.

Just one slip up can destroy their company overnight.

Although you do lose some control over the applications when your hand your data over to a company like this, you can rest assured that network security is a much greater concern for them when handling your data then it would be to one of your overworked internal IT staff. And you also know that these companies will probably spend much more money and resources on security than you would internally.

For them, there is simply more to lose in the event of a breach.

Of course, no system is perfect. Once in awhile, a cloud provider will get exploited… just as ordinary companies get hacked into every day. But your odds of a security breach when dealing with SaaS are still much lower than they would be if you’d hosted the application yourself. (In my opinion)

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhl/241180672/

3 thoughts on “Underground Hackers Have Trouble Reaching The Cloud

  1. admin Post author

    There is no such thing as a “hack-proof” system. Even AS/400 servers are vulnerable so social engineering.

    But SaaS is almost always more secure than a DIY web-accessible on-premises alternative. And IaaS is still vulnerable since the host has no control over the client’s server configuration.

    The most common attacks you hear about on cloud applications are denial-of-service attacks, where thousands of infected computers overload the host with traffic. But these attacks would work just as well on an on-premises server.

  2. A. Mason

    It’s definitely true, regarding Saas providers, that security is a critical, core business process for these companies, and that their entire reputation does depend on their strengths in securing their own internal networks and protecting all client data. A Software-as-a-Service provider must closely guard against any slips in security or fault-tolerance, or they certainly can be out of business in a few hours.

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