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By Samantha Fecteau • November 19, 2018

Document Security: Why Physical Infrastructure Matters

Document security, like an ogre or an onion, has layers. Protecting sensitive information from threats and human error requires meticulously layered security protocols. If we peel back these layers and look more closely at the entrails of a secure system, we’ll find the two vital parts that keep the entity afloat: physical infrastructure and network security.

Our previous edition of the document security series covered 4 key reasons why your sensitive company data is best secured with the Cloud. In this episode, we’ll explain the importance of a solid physical infrastructure and a secure network in ensuring that your enterprise data is as secure as can be.

Clunky physical frameworks are a liability

There is no denying that even the most minor human errors can have major impact on businesses and their customers when it comes to companies (im)properly securing their data centers. We’ve seen countless examples, like when British Airways had to cancel over 400 flights because an engineer tugged on the wrong cable, accidentally disconning the power supply at a nearby data center. Let’s face it, people aren’t perfect and we can’t always accommodate for innocent (if detrimental) slip-ups, so why rely on physical document security systems that are susceptible to such risks?

Don’t underthink Network Security

Physical security is important, but protecting your network is too. The problem is, many companies are still relying on in-house security networks and internally-built firewalls. Organizations may automatically assume these firewalls to be invincible, but after a slew of security breaches in past years, there is no denying the limitations of these in-house solutions.

Not only are internally-built firewalls often poorly managed, they are also unable to provide the necessary risk alerts. With the range of network vulnerabilities that exist in today’s world where sophisticated hackers prey, companies need to be sure they are getting the best protection. Simply having a firewall is not enough to ensure that your internally-housed sensitive documents are secure, and the constant testing, maintenance, and upgrades required are too rigorous and costly for even the best businesses.

Let the experts do the work for you

If the extensive costs required to build and maintain a secure on-premise system aren’t reason enough to turn to the Cloud, the expertise that comes with public cloud solutions should be. The reality is, the only companies that truly have enough properly trained staff and dedicated resources to stay on top of network security are public cloud companies. These companies employ some of the world’s foremost experts in data, application, and network security.

Google for example employs more than 550 full-time security and privacy professionals in their software engineering and operations division, with teams broken down into dedicated departments. This is a level of specialization that can’t be ensured with on-premise security solutions.

Not only are these companies specially trained but they’re also fully equipped. Google uses a layered security model that includes safeguards like custom-designed electronic access cards, alarms, vehicle access barriers, perimeter fencing, metal detectors, biometrics, and laser beam intrusion detection to make sure only authorized users have access to servers. And that’s just one layer. Cloud companies and data center providers altogether spent a record $20 billion in 2017. They have the resources most companies don’t.

The Cloud just makes more sense

The success of cloud companies is dependent on their security reputation and competences. With that in mind, not only are security measures built directly into their technology solutions, but they invest in the staff and technology required to provide the best security. These same criteria are required when constructing their data centers. Traditional IT departments may not have these same incentives, and certainly don’t have the same resources. So why not let public cloud companies do the work for you, and allocate your time and resources towards effectively running your business?

While hosting data on the public cloud doesn’t guarantee complete elimination of security risk, it does give companies cost effective access to a level of expertise and capabilities that would otherwise be out of reach. It might even help you sleep better at night.

The document security series doesn’t end here. Check out our article on how centralized, cloud-based document management system can help keep your sensitive data safe. Or, download our complete document security white paper for everything you need to know about protecting your sensitive data.