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Think Your Organization has a Security Policy Against Cloud Hosting Your ILS? Think Again!

Softlink Information Centres hosts many of their Liberty and illumin Library and Research Management System customers in the cloud. Is your library software in the cloud? If not, why not? It should come as no surprise – companies, academic institutions, non-profits, and government agencies at all levels have moved to host their systems in the cloud. It has proven itself as a secure option for sensitive data.

The Cloud is the Trend

One of the biggest trends of the last half of this decade lies in public and private organizations gaining confidence in using the cloud for a variety of purposes. The US federal government has moved sensitive data and essential services there to improve security. This has inspired other institutions to follow their lead. Even in an era of ever-increasing threats to data and delivery of services, the federal government’s confidence in the cloud serves as a model to organizations of all kinds, libraries included.

Why Organizations Prefer the Cloud

It is not just an alternative, it is an evolution in both data management and security.

Organizations and their libraries can save time and money by moving from physical data storage facilities to ILS vendors like Softlink IC, who offer cloud hosting services.

Purchasing, maintaining, and periodically upgrading hardware and software for data storage can result in increasingly unsustainable costs. It can also bind an organization to the limits set by their own systems.

Conversely, cloud-based systems allow organizations to enjoy greater flexibility, scalability, accessibility, and agility at much lower costs. For libraries, there is no need to wait for their IT department because the library is viewed by some as a low priority.

In many instances, getting IT to complete an upgrade is costly, in both time and money. In the cloud, it happens automatically. It is included in the cost of the library’s annual support and maintenance agreements.

Lower costs, scalability, increased opportunities to adapt and collaborate globally, allow organizations, institutions, and their libraries to establish and maintain competitive advantages. The benefits to library or knowledge managers, faced with decreasing budgets and staffing levels, are significant.

Myths Busted About Cloud Cybersecurity

As data breaches and malware dominate the headlines, many still fear the cloud. The belief persists that physical control of data services lessens the chance of a breach. It is one of many myths about cloud-based services.

Countries, collectively and individually, are setting standards and guidelines:

  • The European Union passed strict laws holding companies accountable and liable for data losses that affect other organizations or individuals.
  • The Australian government has introduced a certification program to promote security in both cloud and data center facilities.

Companies that maintain cloud-based computing services have every incentive to make security their number one priority. Even before governments proposed or implemented regulations, cloud storage providers had developed layers of security to protect their clients. Their survival and growth as businesses depend on it.

Data Security Versus Physical Control

Some still believe that physical control serves as the best guarantor of data security. Not true. Only a closed network with no connection to the internet comes with this kind of protection, but even that can suffer breaches as the US intelligence community can report.

Data security relies not on where the equipment is housed, but on encryption and controls. Cloud companies continually work to develop the most sophisticated security technologies to keep their clients’ data and services safe.

European Union requirements ensure library services providers adopt the latest measures to comply with recently set standards. Australia, the United States, and other countries have also established regulations that must be met.

ILS vendors take their cloud security responsibilities seriously. Like their library clients, protection of personal and sensitive data is of the utmost importance. Those who already have their library system hosted in the cloud, or considering it, can do so confidently.


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