Moving to the cloud is a big decision for any business, and security is an important factor to consider before making the switch. In fact, one of the biggest reasons businesses avoid making the switch is due to security concerns. However, it’s important to remember that cloud security has improved dramatically over the past several years. Today, we share an article from Online Tech that gives you five tips to help keep your business documents safe in the cloud.
Tip #1: Know where your data lives. How can you secure your data if you don’t know where it is? Sure, firewalls and intrusion detection and prevention can keep out most intruders, and data encryption keeps the data safer, but how do you know where your data goes when you terminate your service or when the cloud provider goes out of business? Being able to point to a machine and say your data and only your data is on that machine, goes a long way in the security of your data in the cloud. Dedicated hardware is the key that allows for cloud computing services to pass the most stringent security guidelines.
Tip #2: Always backup your data. One of the most overlooked aspects of cloud computing and one of the easiest way to increase the control of your data is to make sure that whatever happens, you have a secure backup of that data. This is more about securing your business than your actual data but provides the same type of peace of mind. We have seen big companies like T-Mobile lose its customers data, by not having a backup, leaving them with nothing.
Tip #3: Make sure your data center takes security seriously. By knowing which server and data center your data is being stored at, you can probe them for all applicable security measures that are in place. You can see if they are SSAE 16, SAS 70 and SOC 2 audited, and if they have clients that are HIPAA or PCI certified. Managed services can also add a great deal of benefit and expertise to making your applications, data, and business more resilient. Services like managed firewalls, antivirus, and intrusion detection are offered by reputable data center or cloud providers, and allow for increased security measures for managed servers.
Tip #4: Get references from other clients. When in doubt, ask your cloud provider for client references that require stringent security measures. Financial, healthcare, insurance, or government organizations are a good start. While references don’t guarantee anything, chances are if other companies that have similar security goals are using the provider, you may be a good fit as well. Be sure to contact these references directly when possible to see what these companies are using the cloud services for, and the steps they have taken to secure their data.
Tip #5: Test, Test, Test. Assume nothing. The only way to make sure something is secure is to test it. It is not uncommon for highly data-sensitive organizations to hire a skilled ethical-hacker to test their security provisions. Vulnerability scanning and assessments are just as important inside the cloud as they are outside the cloud. Chances are that if you can find a way to get unauthorized access to your data, someone else can as well.
Great Lakes Offers Cloud Computing
If you’re looking to move your business operations into the cloud, we’re here to help. Whether you’re considering a small step by moving your email server to Office 365 or you’re ready for our complete cloud solution, Great Lakes is ready to guide you and help you make the transition.