Cloud computing, cloud storage and the use of the “cloud” has skyrocketed in the past several years. Many businesses ask themselves, their IT department and IT partner….is my data safe? is it reallllly safe? Knowing who to trust and what vendors and partners you can rely on can be difficult for business to navigate without a total understanding of data cloud storage and cloud technology.
Many of the questions we hear are:
- Can cloud services be hacked?
- Am I putting my business at risk if the cloud provider goes down?
- Is my data being backed up regularly?
Most of the questions and concerns we see are about service up-time (i.e. have there been any outages?), data loss, and security.
Here are some ways that you can vet cloud service providers and ensure that you can keep your data safe in the cloud.
Vendor Selection: Who you work with is incredibly important. You need a company that seriously focuses on security and compliance. If they don’t take it seriously then re-consider that vendor. Check their reputation, do some research before selecting that provider. Find out what their downtime % is and if they have supporting documentation on their security measures.
Employees: Make sure that your employees are on-board and are aware of all of your security policies. Not only that, make sure that they don’t put the company at risk by having weak passwords, visiting questionable web sites and downloading apps and programs that could put the business at risk.
Encryption: Is your data going to be encrypted in the? What happens when it is downloaded? What happens when it is being transferred to the cloud? What does that process look like and how secure is it? Ask these questions when speaking with your service provider.
Access to the Cloud: How do you and your employees access online cloud folders? What does that process look like, are their passwords in place and what are the security measures that are put in place? Are there personal info attached to the files, who can access them and change them?
Loss of Data: In the case of potential data loss, are there terms and conditions in place that protects your business? What does that look like?
Even though it is incredibly important for a business to research the cloud provider that they will work with, it is incredibly important that they keep tight security standards within their own business on a day to day basis. Backing up data, changing passwords on a regular basis and not sharing those passwords helps protect your business from outside threats.
The reality is, most of these cloud computing companies supply such secure services, they understand the implications of any network crash on your business and its impact on your bottom line. They have a fleet of cloud professionals that have a deep understanding of cloud technology and invest their resources into insuring that disasters do not occur. All that said, it’s incredibly important to do the research, homework and due diligence before selecting a cloud provider. This will in turn help you sleep better at night knowing that you did so.