One of the biggest concerns for business owners moving over to the cloud has and always will be security. Not having hard copies of the data in your business seems scary to a lot of people as they constantly fear all of their hard work can be erased at the click of a mouse or stolen by some random person with a laptop at Starbucks. Data recovery is another hotly debated topic. Any quality cloud provider with IT managed services will have your data saved in a primary server offsite from your business and a backup in case that one fails. This is why the cloud is considered a safer option for those whose business is in an area prone to natural disasters. The big question business owners ask here is who all can access their data from this server. All of this and more is addressed when initially setting up managed hosting through your cloud provider. Here are seven key points to address when signing a contract with a cloud provider to ensure quality security of your data:
1. Do Your Research on Security Requirements
With industries like banking and healthcare, the government or industry regulations may dictate that standards for how your electronic data is stored and handled. Some businesses may not even be able to use cloud services or are required to have their data stored in a server within your country’s borders. Make sure both you and the cloud provider are willing to adhere to any necessary regulations or you could get in big trouble.
2. Research the Potential Provider’s Methods
For some people talking to the IT pros can be intimidating but it always important to make sure you understand every aspect of the service they are providing you. Ask about the data centers. What happens if one is damaged or destroyed? Will there be more than one data center? How many different places will store one? What sort of reporting/check-ins does the provider do? Will they notify you in case of a breach? All of these are important questions to research and ask potential providers about.
3. Determine Who Will Have Access to Server Data Outside of Work
So many security breaches or system compromises occur because people are using an unsecure connection to access important data or messing with unsafe applications. Determine which employees will have access to more secure information and plan to have certain files encrypted just in case.
4. Read and Study the Cloud Security Alliance Guidance Document
The CSA (Cloud Security Alliance) has released a guide for companies who are new to the cloud. Study it and be sure to understand the major aspects of operating in the cloud before making a final decision.
Reanna Gutierrez is a writer for OneNeck Solutions. She enjoys helping small businesses better understand the cloud and the perks of IT managed services.