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Is the Cloud Safe?

Cloud security imageBusinesses of every size are beginning to see the advantages of cloud computing.  The cloud can offer access to enterprise-level IT capabilities, incredible storage space and cost-effective pricing.  Even so, the idea of hosting data and virtualized resources online is often met with apprehension.

Conventional wisdom dictates that if you want to keep your private data secure, you should keep it to yourself.  That makes sense, right?

The problem with this theory is that most organizations don’t have the time or resources to properly maintain a secure IT environment, so trying to do everything themselves often turns out to be a big mistake.  In our experience, the most common causes of system failure and data loss are brought about by physical hardware failure or simple human error — both problems that an experienced expert should be able to anticipate and avoid.

Like any new form of technology, the cloud comes with new and unfamiliar risks.  Fortunately, if you know what to look for in a service provider, using cloud services has the potential to provide you with superior security and privacy than you could achieve on your own.

What should you look for in a cloud service provider?

Experience & Reputation

With so many new businesses entering the cloud market, there are many providers out there with little to no experience in hosting or application delivery.  Look for a service provider with experience managing data centres, delivering applications and providing safe and secure hosting services.  In addition, you should consider the types of partners that they’ve established and their reputation within the market.

Security Measures

Look for extensive security credentials to ensure that your cloud provider has what it takes to protect your data.  A strong candidate will have well-defined physical and virtual security measures in place, including identity management, access control and authorization and authentication mechanisms.

Jurisdiction

Your data may fall under the jurisdiction of any country that it is connected to, including the country where your cloud service provider is based and any countries where your data actually resides.  In Canada, certain industries may have special regulations in place regarding outsourcing to international cloud providers,due to concerns about international government investigations.   In general, make sure to do your homework before you outsource cloud services to another country.

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