There is an ongoing debate about the safety of internal IT systems vs. cloud or external hosting. Some CFOs or CTOs argue that internal servers are safer. That is a very risky statement.
Consider the following: the very architecture of cloud operations provides a layer of security. Even if cyber criminals know the specific cloud provider an institution uses, they’d still have to find the right data center and gain access. Businesses that store information on their own servers offer a comparatively easy target when compared with those that use the cloud, since hackers and potential enemies know exactly where the data is and can easily target it.
Cloud based shipping ERP solutions are more secure then on-premise ERPs or databases for many reasons:
Service providers: SaaS providers use reputable service providers. These providers use the highest hardware and software standards for security, which far exceed the security architecture of a single enterprise.
Human risk: It is a well known fact that the highest Security risk is the human factor. An innocent mistake by one IT personnel is often enough to let any malicious software penetrate the corporate internal network, and hence the database. Cloud hosting prevents that from happening. Only a very limited number of users has access to the server and to the database, and these users are monitored on regularly basis according to SOX requirements. In addition, when the system is hosted inside the company, there exists a physical access to the servers. In the case where someone decides to go there, it’s much easier than would be the case with a Service provider whose job it is to ensure safe and secure data storage. His business depends on that.
Backup: quality SaaS providers backups the entire database on the highest standards according to SOX requirements, which is by far superior to most internal procedures if hosted inside the company.
Log files – any entry into the system is logged and clients are given access to these log-files as an external audit.
High Reliability: Cloud computing uses multiple redundant sites, providing business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities. With that, there is virtually no chance that your site will be disrupted for long by any single event.. Disaster recovery is immediate.
No Server Downtime: Service providers provide essentially 100% up-time.
New Technologies Adoption – for the same reason that cloud based ERP’s will keep you updated with the latest changes and improvements for your different modules, they can continuously update their security without any additional effort from the client.
In summery, external hosting is superior by an order of magnitude to any specific IT team of a given shipping company. The standard of hosting is in line with leading large corporations and by far exceeds the ability and standard of any specific group and the resources that could be given inside a ship operations business.