Data security is increasingly becoming an issue of concern, particularly with more business activity being facilitated by the internet, for instance, transactions, data storage and business applications. And with businesses utilising cloud computing in growing numbers, naturally security around how data is stored in the cloud is an issue.

Generally security measures offered by cloud providers are good and many have invested heavily in this area. As security measures for cloud computing have advanced, the concerns around security have actually decreased over time. According to the 2017 RightSide State of the Cloud Survey, concerns about cloud security fell to 25 per cent from 29 per cent. The most cited challenge for cloud users was managing costs (24 per cent). 

In many instances, your data is safer in the cloud than stored in physical on-premise servers. Most on-premise servers have little to no security, so almost anybody coming into the office can access your critical business files.

Security measures do vary among cloud providers and when making any decision to invest in cloud options, it’s important to read the fine print to understand what you’re getting. Here are some of the security aspects you keep in mind when comparing cloud providers.

What happens if your cloud provider goes down?

With more business operations being hosted in the cloud, an outage can be a huge disruption. As we recently saw with Amazon Web Services, even large cloud providers can have outages. So it’s important to understand the provider’s track record with outages and what provisions they have in place for when outages do occur.

Understand the physical location of data centres

Even though your data is in the cloud, it is still physically hosted somewhere. Most cloud providers will have their own data centres or agreements in place with data centres. Questions you should be asking include: Are they climate controlled? How reliable are they? Is there firewall and intrusion protection, device monitoring and alarming?

The other important element to consider is data sovereignty. If you have data saved in public clouds it means your data is stored on a server in a different country, which is governed by an entirely different set of security and/or privacy regulations.

How will your data be protected against unauthorised access?

Even with your data in the cloud you want to make sure it is safe from unauthorised access, so you need to review what security measures are in place to minimise this risk. Beyond passwords, what level of encryption is on offer? And, who is responsible for encryption of files?

In addition to storage and backup, some cloud providers provide local encryption of your files, meaning the provider looks after encrypting both the files on your computer and the files in the cloud.

Will backups and virus protection be included?

Not all cloud providers will offer the same level of protection for your data. Public cloud providers often don’t offer protection against viruses, ransomware and malware as part of the offering but as an extra, if at all. Plus, in some instances, your data may not be backed up and recoverable if things go wrong.

On the other hand, private cloud providers usually offer the latest protection against viruses, ransomware and malware, as well as data backup and recovery.

Cloud computing offers many benefits from increasing efficiency to reducing running costs. When deciding which cloud provider will suit your business first do your due diligence, especially around security. With businesses holding much more sensitive and business critical data, it’s important to ensure your cloud provider can support you in ensuring the security of your data.

 

About ITonCloud

ITonCloud helps businesses simplify and automate their IT systems by leveraging the cloud. With ITonCloud businesses have their entire IT environment in the cloud, including email, files and business applications, making it easy for your workforce to access anywhere, anytime, on any device with comprehensive security. Using ITonCloud’s proven and state-of-the-art cloud desktop platform eliminates the need for businesses to invest in on-premise servers, expensive hardware and support. www.itoncloud.com  

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