Cloud computing is used by many businesses, including small to medium-sized companies. Reasons for moving to the cloud include the desire for someone else to operate and maintain infrastructure, and to use a pay-as-you-go subscription model. In spite of the draw of cloud computing, companies need to consider what data they want in the cloud, and how that data will be managed and protected. Read on to learn more about what to consider when looking for a cloud provider


Cloud Computing Offers Benefits and Raises Questions


Cloud computing is often a good way to reduce infrastructure costs by accessing computing resources remotely over the Internet. Thus, a company can leave the infrastructure and its maintenance to a provider, and pay according to resources used. Depending on the service levels, some responsibility for data management may fall on your business. This provides flexibility for you and shares the responsibility with you. 


According to a CompTIA guide for cloud security, recent data incidents have drawn attention especially to how a CSP handles data. But amazingly, not that many companies—small to medium-sized businesses among them—do a “deep dive” in researching a provider.  Commonly, company executives worry most about system outages and data breaches, which are concerns. However, with the amount of data generated by businesses, there are also the issues of data integrity, regulatory compliance, and disaster recovery. 


Considerations for Cloud Security


A key consideration for cloud security starts with the understanding of your service level agreement (SLA). For example, you may want to keep an archive of your email for compliance reasons; if so, ensure that is included in your SLA.  Additionally, you may want to ensure that your critical confidential and personally identifying information like bank account numbers, names and addresses and Social Security numbers are kept safe to avoid fines and loss of reputation; this may be done through encryption of the data. Some responsibility may rest on your shoulders; how long should you keep data, and how will it be disposed of?  


Your data is too critical not to be protected. For more guidance about what to discuss with a prospective provider, contact your trusted technology advisor today.

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