It’s hard to remember the last time the IT world saw a paradigm shift as significant as the move to cloud. Almost overnight, organisations in just about every industry have swapped their on-premise data centres for cloud solutions and the promise of greater speed, agility and cost-efficiency.
And yet even with the cloud now embedded in the IT mainstream, many decision-makers still resist adoption on grounds of security.
According to a survey carried out by the Cloud Industry Forum this summer, some 70 per cent of would-be cloud adopters cite security as their primary barrier. A further 61 per cent believe cloud usage would undermine the privacy of their customers. These anxieties don’t appear to be fading, either – in the 2014 edition of the survey, the figures were just 61 per cent and 54 per cent respectively.
Fears of this sort are sometimes rooted in legitimate concerns – whether or not solution X complies with rule or regulation Y, for example. Often, though, it’s little more than a simple misconception about cloud security that stands in the decision-maker’s way. This applies as much in the contact centre industry as anywhere else.
Here are five of the most common myths about cloud contact centre security. Are you guilty of having fallen for any of them?
Myth 1: The cloud can’t compete with on-premise for security
One of the most common cloud security myths – and one that crops up in every industry – is the assumption that cloud solutions are inherently less secure than on-premise data centres. In reality, most cloud providers massively outrank even the biggest enterprises in terms of the resources at their disposal to keep their facilities as secure and resilient as possible. And where an organisation might see security as a cost centre, cloud providers see it as key to their value proposition.
While it may be reassuring to have your servers sat blinking in the corner of the room rather than in a cloud-scale data centre on the other side of the world, you’re usually actually putting yourself at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to keeping rogue elements away from your data.
Myth 2: It’s simple for tenants in a single cloud to attack each other
Another industry-agnostic misconception is the idea that the shared nature of a cloud environment makes it simple for tenants in a single cloud to access each other’s data. This isn’t the case – most of the time, virtual environments are isolated both from one another and the resources of their host machine.
It’s much easier to mount an insider attack from within the perimeter of a traditional network, where the principle of least privilege might not be so well applied.
Myth 3: The cloud is a compliance risk for contact centres
It’s not uncommon for contact centre professionals to be acutely aware of their organisation’s regulatory requirements, as well as how time-consuming and costly it can be to achieve compliance with industry mandates like PCI DSS. This gives them cause to think that no cloud provider would ever go to the same lengths to play by industry-specific rules and regulations, and that bodies like the PCI probably look down on the use of cloud solutions anyway.
It’s true that not all cloud providers are compliant with PCI DSS and similar standards, but some are. One example is the Aspect Cloud, which has been PCI DSS-compliant to the highest standards since 2007.
Myth 4: Cloud users lose control over where their data is stored
Similar to the above is the misconception that every cloud solution on the market robs the user of any control and visibility over where their data is stored. So, for example, there’s a risk that customer information may reside in countries where it isn’t legally supposed to go.
In reality, this comes down to the cloud provider. While some will refrain from giving users control over data sovereignty, others will allow them to be very specific in terms of where their records are kept.
Myth 5: All clouds are created equal
Finally, it’s not always understood that the cloud comes in all shapes and sizes. There’s a plethora of cloud providers, delivery models and deployment options out there, and the service you get at the end of the day can vary wildly in functionality, flexibility and agility – and security. If you’re thinking of moving your contact centre to the cloud, leave your misconceptions at the door – the most important thing is to find the solution that’s right for you.
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