Is your data safer in the cloud or in your own hands? The answer might surprise you.

There’s been a lot of discussion in recent years over the merits and drawback of cloud vs on-premise business solutions. Not since Joe Strummer asked if he should stay or go has there been such confusion. And it can understandably be difficult for a spa executive to know which route to take. There are obvious benefits to both solutions, and which route you take will depend on your spa’s individual needs. So, in this post we’ll take a look at one of the most universal concerns: security.

Research shows that data security is the biggest concern for a majority of IT decision makers, and the question of whether your data is safer in your own hands or in someone else’s is a serious one, particularly with spas – where you’re handling sensitive health information – on top of credit card info.

It must be safer with you, right? Obviously. Well, maybe. Maybe not. Let’s explore some reasons this might not be the case.

First, though, what are we talking about when we talk about cloud vs on-premise solutions?

Cloud computing means storing and accessing your data and programs over the internet.  On premise means storing and accessing these things on your computer’s hard drive or a central server somewhere on the premises. It’s probably worth noting as well that hosting everything yourself can be far pricier than subscription-based cloud services.

Letting your data out of your own hands can seem like a bad idea – there have been widely publicized cloud data breaches after all – the 2014 iCloud breach comes immediately to mind.

But is that specific to the cloud? Hardly. Remember the 2014 Sony hack – also in 2014 – in which personal information about Sony Pictures employees and their families, internal e-mails, company salary information, and more was leaked? That was an on-premise breach.

And, that same year (a big one for breaches), the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) fell victim to one of the biggest on-premise breaches in history, in which records were stolen containing data from 21 million people, including sensitive personal information and social security numbers.

“You only have to look at the number of penetration attacks that there have been on on-premise environments to see that statistically it has now been proven that people cannot manage security as well in their own on-premise environment,” says Philip Turner, VP EMEA at Okta, is quoted as saying in an Information Age article.

 

Surprised? Here are three reasons you shouldn’t be:

  1. Most breaches are inside jobs: That’s what the experts say. It’s like hiding your valuables under your mattress vs putting them in a safe deposit box. Who’s more likely to take something out of it? Someone in your house or someone in the bank? (Insert joke about banks being thieves here – but they’re not going to rob your box.) Storing information off premise makes you less likely to inside attacks.
  1. Someone is always paying attention. The OPM breach went undetected for a staggering 343 days – or nearly a year. Maybe you’re confident that no one could ever breach your system, but if they did, how long would it take for you to figure it out? A good cloud provider makes it their priority to know these things and to alert you immediately in the event of a breach.
  1. Your security is their biggest concern. No matter what cloud service a company is offering, their reality is that a breach would ruin them. So, while they have other important concerns, like running a smooth service, keeping your data safe is their most important task. Can you say the same of anyone running your in-house IT service? Is this your main concern? Or do you have a spa to run?

Your data is actually safer in the cloud – as long as you choose the right service provider.

These are things you should be taking into consideration when deciding what to do with your sensitive customer information. Be informed so you can make the right decision for you and for them.

They will thank you for it.

Book4Time.com offers a secure cloud-based spa software solution to help spa and salon management handle online spa booking, spa reporting, and much more all in one place. Learn what all the hype is about. www.Book4Time.com

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