More and more businesses are moving their data, or at least some of it, to the cloud. There are many benefits to be had, from reduced IT expenses to tapping into a level of security that would be unavailable to the average business otherwise. Because of the importance of protecting your data, you do want to make sure all appropriate measures are being taken to keep it secure. Here are just a few helpful tips to ensure optimal security when storing your information in the cloud.
Know Where Your Data is Stored
You can’t optimally protect your data if you have no idea where it is being stored. While there are several measures in place to protect it, from firewalls to encryption, you want to know where it is actually being stored. You want to know what happens should your cloud provider go out of business or you end your service agreement with this company. A provider should offer dedicated hardware for your information.
Always Back Up Your Own Data
While your cloud provider will provide a data backup for you, it is a good idea to have your own back up. While cloud computing services takes a lot of the burden off a business in terms of managing its data, having to learn complicated IT matters and what have you, ultimately, you are still fully responsible for everything that happens with your business. The issue of cloud computing security is not something you just hand off to your service provider…you must take an active role as well.
Assess Security Level of Data Center
There are several indicators a cloud computing provider has a high level of security. Check if they are SOC 2 SAS 70, and SSAE 16 audited. Do they have clients that are PIC or HIPAA certified? Do they offer managed services such as firewalls, anti-virus, or intrusion detection to offer an extra layer of security for your data?
Getting references is a common suggestion when picking a provider for any reason, but it is particularly important when it comes to choosing a cloud provider because you want to make sure they are taking all the measures they purport to be taking; you want to get first-hand accounts of other businesses’ experience using this company. It is a good idea to check with companies that are similar to yours. If you really want some extra peace of mind, ask for references from organizations that have very stringent security requirements, such as those of government, health care and insurance.
Take care when choosing your cloud providers… it is easy to think they are all the same, but there are many differences among them. Some tend to specialize in serving certain industries, for example, and it would be a good idea to reach out to companies that work with businesses like yours. They are well aware of your particular needs, particularly that of security.