Security Questions To Ask Your Cloud Service Provider

Security Questions To Ask Your Cloud Service Provider



Moving software, websites, hardware needs and important services to the cloud is not without its risks. While cloud service subscribers can save a lot of IT budget funds in areas like software licensing, hardware costs, power charges and staff salaries, close attention must be paid to risk management. From general risks like not knowing who you’re really dealing with to very specific dangers like security and encryption, cloud customers must comprehend exactly what they’re dealing with and how to ask the right questions. This will allow them to choose the cloud service provider that will limit their risk and present the best possible service.

Transparency

This isn’t exactly a risk. It’s more of a rule of thumb right out of the gate. A cloud service provider must offer complete transparency, honestly answering all questions and supplying all information the client requests. So much of the risk management tips to follow flows from this need for transparency. There are questions to ask and if the cloud provider refuses to answer or is vague, it’s best to move on.

Who is Managing My Data?

From the engineers who manage network performance to the policy makers who direct IT departments, companies have the ability to scrutinize their prospective workers before hire. Background checks, calls to referrals and employment history verification can all be conducted by the employer beforehand. That ability is somewhat surrendered by moving to the cloud, but cloud customers are well within their rights to inquire about the qualifications and backgrounds of the cloud company’s staff, including qualifications and backgrounds. These administrators have privileged access to your data and you should know who they are.

What Access Controls are in Place?

Flowing from the need to know who manages your data is the need to know how and why. By moving to the cloud, companies give up their ability to limit physical access. Just because physical control is being transferred doesn’t mean companies give up their right to know what controls are in place to limit risk, though. Cloud companies need to disclose the exact data access control processes that dictate their administrators’ actions. Cloud subscribers should have a full understanding of who can access what data and under what conditions.

Is the Data Secured?

Security concerns don’t just come from people. Cloud providers can offer cost savings in part because, by nature, cloud storage environments are shared. Your company’s data, hosted web site, applications and more will usually live on the same server and storage area as many other companies’ information. A good cloud service provider needs to clearly explain how vital business data is segregated and secured. Encryption is a good start, but the provider must provide evidence that their encryption and other security methods have been tested, fine-tuned and proven effective.

Can they Pass Muster with Auditors?

Every business has certain conditions they must meet for regulatory compliance. This is especially true for law offices, accounting firms and companies who do a fair amount of business with local and federal governments. Regulations need to be met and annual IT audits must be performed to satisfy security concerns and ensure compliance with regulations. Customers need to find out whether the cloud provider conducts regular security audits and what their processes are for accommodating the needs of the customer’s auditors as well.

Where is the Data Actually Located?

The Internet has made the world smaller and has broken down barriers to entry in many fields. Cloud computing is one such industry. Anyone can buy shared hosting, put in some administrative time and offer server space and cloud services. Do you know what country your data actually lives in? You should, especially when it comes to local privacy laws and regulations. It’s important to find a cloud provider that will commit in writing to the specific storage location you need in order to ensure the data privacy requirements of your given jurisdiction.

Are they Here to Stay?

What happens to your data if your cloud service provider goes out of business or is bought out by another company? This is a crucial consideration, especially in a volatile economy full of shut downs, mergers and acquisitions. What guarantees can your cloud provider give regarding its long-term viability? What mechanisms are in place to guarantee the return of your data in the event of a bankruptcy or other business shutdown or turnover? Just like all the other risks outlined here, lifetime data assurance must be explained and put in writing to mitigate risks before any service agreement can be made with a cloud computing provider.

By Arthur Clyne

Arthur is a Montreal-based web and technology consultant for several local area businesses who occasionally handles freelance writing for local tech and telecom companies.

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comic
Investing In The Future With The Introduction of Sage Cloud

Investing In The Future With The Introduction of Sage Cloud

CHICAGO, IL–(Marketwired – Jul 26, 2016) – Sage, a market leader in cloud accounting software, announced today at Sage Summit 2016 its strong commitment to future technologies, with a focus on new and existing partnerships that power business growth. Revealed during CEO Stephen Kelly’s keynote address, which opened the world’s largest gathering of entrepreneurs and…

2016 Tour de France: Racing With Big Data

2016 Tour de France: Racing With Big Data

2016 Tour de France The 2016 Tour de France has just concluded, with Chris Froome (SKY) taking his third overall win. Not the kind of event we often focus on here at CloudTweaks, but Dimension Data has put its analytics technology to use tracking the journeys of each rider across all 21 stages, and their…

Ransomware: A Digital Pandemic – Is There A Cure?

Ransomware: A Digital Pandemic – Is There A Cure?

The Rise Of Ransomware You can imagine the scene: you’ve just completed that business plan and a set of accounts. Finally, it’s done and saved, ready for a final read through and to be sent out to your contact list. And right when you’re ready to click “Send”, the next thing you see on the…

Martech In A Content Crazed World

Martech In A Content Crazed World

Content Crazed World Everywhere you look there are pop-up ads and offers, at times it can feel like overload. What used to be a few online ads on websites has now grown into a wild world of offers that consume your every device. These advancements in marketing technology can not only be overwhelming to the…

Hubgets – Advanced Collaboration, Enriched Communication

Hubgets – Advanced Collaboration, Enriched Communication

Advanced Collaboration Tool Sponsored series provided in collaboration with Hubgets Collaboration tools have advanced leaps and bounds with the advent of cloud technology, and the services available are only getting better. Promising features such as sophisticated group communication, productive management of tasks and meetings, and the ultimate dream, working remotely from some gorgeous island destination, innovative collaboration…

Cloud Comings and Goings

Cloud Comings and Goings

Cloud Power Amazon Web Services – the giant of cloud computing – is on track to do $10 Billion in revenue this year. Yet, rumors swirl that Apple may take a huge chunk of business away from them and Dropbox has definitely left AWS. Is something wrong at AWS? Wait, Salesforce.com (SFDC) – the granddaddy of…

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

There is a Difference – So Stop Comparing We are all familiar with the old saying “That’s like comparing apples to oranges” and though we learned this lesson during our early years we somehow seem to discount this idiom when discussing the Cloud. Specifically, IT buyers often feel justified when comparing the cost of a…

Digital Transformation: Not Just For Large Enterprises Anymore

Digital Transformation: Not Just For Large Enterprises Anymore

Digital Transformation Digital transformation is the acceleration of business activities, processes, and operational models to fully embrace the changes and opportunities of digital technologies. The concept is not new; we’ve been talking about it in one way or another for decades: paperless office, BYOD, user experience, consumerization of IT – all of these were stepping…

The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions Running a cloud server is no longer the novel trend it once was. Now, the cloud is a necessary data tier that allows employees to access vital company data and maintain productivity from anywhere in the world. But it isn’t a perfect system — security and performance issues can quickly…

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Revenue Imperatives “Follow the money” is always a good piece of advice, but in today’s recurring revenue-driven market, “follow the customer” may be more powerful. Two recurring revenue imperatives highlight the importance of responding to, and cherishing customer interactions. Technology and competitive advantage influence the final two. If you’re part of the movement towards recurring…

Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

The Internet Of Things In 2020 The growing interest in the Internet of Things is amongst us and there is much discussion. Attached is an archived but still relevant infographic by Intel which has produced a memorizing snapshot at how the number of connected devices have exploded since the birth of the Internet and PC.…

Containerization: The Bold Face Of The Cloud In 2016

Containerization: The Bold Face Of The Cloud In 2016

Containerization And The Cloud “Right now, the biggest technology shift in the cloud is a rapid evolution from simple virtual machine (VM) hosting toward containerization’’ says the CTO of Microsoft Azure, Mark Russinovitch, a man who deals with the evolving cloud infrastructure every day. In his words, containerization is “an incredibly efficient, portable, and lightweight…

Will Your Internet of Things Device Testify Against You?

Will Your Internet of Things Device Testify Against You?

Will Your Internet of Things Device Testify Imagine this:  Your wearable device is subpoenaed to testify against you.  You were driving when you were over the legal alcohol limit and data from a smart Breathalyzer device is used against you. Some might argue that such a use case could potentially safeguard society. However, it poses…

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us to Do Better The cloud has made our working lives easier, with everything from virtually unlimited email storage to access-from-anywhere enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. It’s no wonder the 2013 cloud computing research IDG survey revealed at least 84 percent of the companies surveyed run at least one cloud-based application.…

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter The city of the future is impeccably documented. Sensors are used to measure air quality, traffic patterns, and crowd movement. Emerging neighborhoods are quickly recognized, public safety threats are found via social networks, and emergencies are dealt with quicklier. Crowdsourcing reduces commuting times, provides people with better transportation…

Most Active Internet Of Things Investors In The Last 5 Years

Most Active Internet Of Things Investors In The Last 5 Years

Most Active Internet Of Things Investors A recent BI Intelligence report claimed that the Internet of Things (IoT) is on its way to becoming the largest device market in the world. Quite naturally, such exponential growth of the IoT market has prompted a number of high-profile corporate investors and smart money VCs to bet highly…