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Is technology making data security tougher?

​It's no exaggeration to say that modern day life revolves around technology, and some businesses completely rely on it to run. Whether it's communicating with consumers or actually delivering their product or service, most companies around the world need technology every day.

But has the rapid influx of technology in the workplace made data protection safer or not? With many businesses holding some sensitive information from their clients, it's crucial that companies are able to safeguard their online databases.

When it comes to data security, the growth of technology has had both benefits and drawbacks, and the question of whether it's been a positive step or not is still fiercely debated.

The advantages

In some ways, technology has made data security easier for businesses around the world. Instead of having physical files of consumer data and sensitive information that can be easily stolen or mistakenly taken out of the office, everything is stored online. This allows data to be encrypted so that even if it fell into the wrong hands, the information would be all jumbled and impossible to read without decrypting.

A cloud system can also give business owners the ability to finely tune their online security, giving individual users different privileges to access different information, which simply wouldn't have been possible before technology. With the right system in place, it's also possible to keep a log of activity so you can spot any potentially harmful activity.

The possible gateways to information stored on the cloud can be protected by a range of protection features, such as multi-factor authentication, web-based tokens, and limited-time or restricted access.

The drawbacks

When Apple's iCloud was hacked in 2014, and private photos of celebrities were leaked as a result, there was heavy criticism aimed directly at cloud computing and whether it could ever be secure enough.

Storing information online means that, unlike traditional methods, control over security is often out of the hands of those running the business. Whether you outsource your IT or hire your own specialists, it's usually someone who doesn't own the company who is responsible for keeping information safe. Before the dawn of cloud computing, it was more obvious to see the safeguards in place because they were much more physical - locks, passcodes, etc.

There is also the concern that having data on the cloud increases the number of people who could potentially hack it. Previously, there was some level of control over who was entering a building or had access to sensitive information, but the cloud makes it much harder to identify the specific people who may be about to steal your data.

On-site or online?

It's plain to see that there is a degree of scepticism when it comes to the vulnerabilities of storing information online. A study by BT found that nearly half of all IT decision makers (49 per cent) are ‘very or extremely anxious’ about the security implications of cloud services. In addition, in the same research more than three-quarters of respondents (76 per cent) cited security as their main concern.

There are arguments for and against cloud services, but with the right security tools in place, storing information online can help keep consumer data and private business information secure.