By Natalie Lehrer, Senior Contributor for CloudWedge
Cloud computing has become increasingly popular in recent years due to the flexibility and cost savings it provides
organizations. Forrester research examined the ROI of building out a private datacenter and the research analysts concluded that the average cost across all organizations to build out a private datacenter was $59 million. Public cloud solutions can equate to efficiency and cost savings advantages over traditional means of housing, manipulating and backing up data. Cloud data centers are being built all over the world due to a rising demand in services.
The security concerns with cloud computing come out of the very advantages that the cloud offers. Corporate cloud data hosted in the public cloud can be valuable data to the right entity. Loss of the data or data theft can be very injurious to the organizations who own the data. Exploiting or creating security flaws found within the cloud is becoming hackers and data thieves’ methodology of choice. Here are some general starting points for cloud security that will minimize the risks of utilizing the public cloud.
Carefully examine the security established by the cloud data center you have selected. Examine how the center controls identity management and authentication both physically and virtually. Cloud service providers like to brag about their security features therefore most datacenters proudly list their security practices on their sales pages.
Always encrypt your data before moving it to the cloud. Better yet, there are cloud services that encrypt your data for you while it at rest and in motion. Examine how cloud service provider encrypts its connections to ensure you are using the industries safest offerings. If your organization is working on a government contract, you must ensure that your cloud service provider complies with the Privacy Act of 1974.
Examine how the cloud server provider protects your data from malicious or accidental corruption. Make sure that the personnel hiring methodology employed by your cloud server organization is effective in screening out questionable staff at all levels of access. A rouge contractor who isn’t properly vetted could represent a significant danger to your data.
Check the geographical location of your cloud servers. Make sure you understand the privacy and security laws binding on that company. They may be different from the laws in your own jurisdiction.
Protect your information
The best way to protect your information is stay educated. When you are signing up for a cloud service provider, you should actually try to read as much of the fine print that you think could pertain to your organization before clicking the accept button. If possible, make sure that your organization has proper control mechanisms in place that will help dictate access to the encryption keys for your data. Businesses must be assured that they can have access to cloud backups, should they need them.
Natalie Lehrer is a senior contributor for CloudWedge. In her spare time, Natalie enjoys exploring all things cloud and is a music enthusiast. Follow Natalie’s daily posts on Google Plus, Twitter @Cloudwedge, or on Facebook.