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Should you trust a cloud service provider with your business’s files? It’s a fair question these days. While companies like Facebook and Apple used to enjoy a high level of public trust, their reputations have taken a hit over the last few years.

Around issues like data security and privacy, both businesses and consumers are more wary of placing unbounded faith in the cloud. But are those fears warranted for business? The short answer is no. If your business is paying for a cloud storage and/or email solutions from providers like Google or Microsoft, you can rest assured your data is safer than ever.

Here’s why:

Free vs Paid Accounts

The first thing to be aware of is that there is a big difference between the free consumer services provided by cloud vendors and paid cloud software.

When you use a free cloud application like Facebook or Gmail, you are not actually a customer of the cloud vendor—you are part of a product that is sold to advertisers. You are agreeing to let the cloud vendors scan your posts and messages. They use that information to provide targeted advertising to you in exchange for the free use of their application.

When you become a paid customer, especially a business customer of a cloud vendor, the entire agreement changes. To retain your business as a customer, cloud vendors need to commit to keeping your information protected and private. They do this on several levels.

How Business Files Are Protected

There are a number of ways cloud vendors ensure their customers’ data is kept private and secure:

1) Physical Security: The “cloud” that vendors provide is a number of geographically disparate buildings full of computer servers. These are known as data centers. Vendors typically guard these with only slightly less zeal than the government guards Fort Knox.

Here’s an insightful video about the security of Google data centers:

Inside a Google data center

 

2) Data Security: Top cloud vendors like Google store business files in a different way from how files are stored on local servers. Not only are multiple copies stored on different drives in a a data center, but each file is broken up into many fragments (like a jigsaw puzzle). Each of those fragments is stored on a different drive. The document is reassembled in a user’s browser tab, on demand.

Cloud File Fragments

Because of this, even if someone somehow managed to get their hands on a drive (which would be a Mission Impossible style task), they would only have a small piece of any given file stored on it, making it completely useless.

3) Data Privacy: All of the security we’ve talked about would be meaningless if the vendors themselves ever shared your data, right? Unlike Facebook users, paying customers of cloud services providers can count on high data privacy standards.

Google, for example, has published a detailed white paper that provides a deep dive into their security and privacy practices for G Suite users.

Using IT Services For Additional Security

At the other end of the security chain, your business can take advantage of in-house security measures by implementing more robust controls within your own office.

Making sure sensitive computers are password protected, set up for two-factor authentication, and routinely checked for malicious software are common first steps.

Working with a local IT services provider (if you don’t have an in-house expert) is an excellent way to strengthen your business’s digital security without adding on a lot of cost.

At Fortis, each time you contact us, a support ticket is created in our system and assigned to the technician with the right skills to help you.

Our support team is rewarded for quick response and resolution of their assigned support tickets. This means you can count on us returning your calls, showing up on time and and fixing any problems the first time.