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John Wheeler October 11, 2019 0 Comments

While many businesses are prioritizing their migration to the cloud, many are still hesitant because of security concerns. The common perception is that moving your data into a remote location and having a third party be responsible for its care is an inherently bad choice from a security and compliance standpoint.

These concerns tend to be overblown, but it’s also because there are dozens of subpar cloud providers that fail to meet their clients’ security requirements. To make sure a prospective partner is reliable and will keep your data safe, ask them the following questions.

What’s your backup plan?

The first thing to think about is data backups. There’s no such thing as a computing solution which is 100 percent secure. Fortunately, the cloud offers the potential to secure your digital assets in a way that simply isn’t possible when relying only on in-house resources. Most data kept in the cloud is stored in at least three different physical locations, complete with automated rollovers in case the primary system fails.

However, just because your data is stored in the cloud doesn’t mean you can take backup and disaster recovery for granted. What if your cloud provider often suffers from a widespread outage, or they charge exorbitant rates for backing up your data? This is why you need to ask for a detailed account of any breaches they’ve suffered in the past and how quickly they’re able to recover from one. The ideal provider also charges an affordable monthly fee for regular data backups and outlines their recovery procedures in their service level agreements (SLAs).

Is your data secure in transit?

When it comes to cloud computing, data tends to be most vulnerable while it’s being migrated to an off-site server. For example, wireless network eavesdroppers might be able to intercept data in transit and, in doing so, gain wider access to your computing environment. However, if the data is encrypted, it will remain unusable to any unauthorized party.

Because of the increased bandwidth and computing power required by encryption, however, some cloud providers limit its capabilities to reduce costs. Most public cloud storage facilities, while still secured behind login screens, do not encrypt data by default, so don’t assume that every cloud provider will offer safeguards that align with your security requirements. Some companies choose to encrypt their data on-premises before moving it to the cloud, while industry-specialized cloud providers might handle all of the security for you.

Generally, you’ll want a provider that offers end-to-end advanced encryption systems to keep your data safe in storage and in transit. This way, hackers won’t be able to access any mission-critical information you decide to store and share in the cloud.

How many layers of protection do you have?

Companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google offer a level of protection that no small business can hope to achieve in-house. That’s why the world’s major data centers are some of the most secure environments on the planet. Yet we’re also hearing about cloud security threats and data breaches all the time, so what’s happening? The problem almost invariably comes down to phishing scams and mismanaged access rights, and that’s why every cloud security strategy should incorporate multiple layers of protection.

Cloud providers should offer multifactor authentication, single sign-on, security assessments, and encryption to keep your data safe. Cloud solutions must also enable you to set access restrictions to groups of employees so you can prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data. All in all, privacy and security must be baked in from the outset, rather than being tacked on later.

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