Regardless of their nature, companies must protect their sensitive data. This particularly applies to legal contracts, as a breach of such information could easily cause an organization major harm.
Is the Cloud Secure?
One of the most important aspects of Contract Life-Cycle Management (CLM) is document security and highly controlled document access. That's one of many reasons why businesses invest thousands of dollars in systems that can adequately protect and comprehensively manage contract documents throughout their life cycle. But what about the environment a CLM operates in? Since the emergence of cloud technology, there has been a sizeable debate regarding its security, with those against the cloud pointing to information protection (or a lack thereof) as their primary reason for not considering cloud-based solutions.
More Secure than On-Premises Storage?
It is understandable that such conclusions continue to be drawn. While this can certainly be true of poorly managed, local cloud storage solutions, by comparison, professionally managed cloud services are generally a much more secure environment than many on-premises environments. This is despite the fact that Cloud security must deal with more failure and access points, a plethora of traditional computer, telecom computing, and operating systems, business systems and enterprise computing environments. Professionally managed cloud services are generally architected with greater security and reliability, using well understood, uniform, proven technologies. Perhaps of equal importance is their ability to detect threats rapidly and respond globally to them quickly when they occur.
Enhanced Security, Monitoring and Responsiveness
Analysis from Saugatuck Research suggests the same. According to the firm, "the growing prevalence of cloud IT use, including communication and interaction throughout multiple 'Internets of things,' can deliver vastly improved security that reduces the risk of data loss and system breaches by improving the ability to secure, monitor, and manage devices and software."
So, while SaaS cost savings and ease of management is typically the primary reason companies adopt cloud-based services, adopters are not doing so while trading-off security. For most companies it is just the opposite. Security is actually enhanced (and it is less costly and more highly leveraged across the enterprise), especially for companies with facilities that are separated geographically.
Another Layer of Abstraction
There will always be people who wish to penetrate your network infrastructure and data. Operating in the cloud does nothing to change that. Storing and managing your contracts within well architected contract management solutions in the cloud does, however, impart an additional level of abstraction. If attacking on-premises servers, by definition, the hacker knows where the data is located. In the cloud the location is more obtuse and the data is among millions of other records, without any ability to see or download data without encrypted authentication, some as high as 2048 bits. Despite the fact that it would take many decades to find and generate the encrypted password, systems with a single point of access, and continuous intrusion and failed log-in monitoring, make unauthorized access virtually impossible.
Companies who elect to use professionally managed, cloud-based contract management solutions, can rest assured they will be able to access their data quickly when needed, while protecting it with the utmost security.
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