Monday, February 18, 2013

How to Keep Your Business Secure When Using the Cloud

The role of cloud-based technology is growing every day, both in terms of our individual lives and in the way we do business.  While the benefits of using the cloud are wide ranging, easily the biggest concern surrounds keeping data secure. With the use of cloud platforms set to increase further in 2013, there will be more to keep safe and more due diligence to be carried out than ever before.
We explored how you can keep your business secure by effectively managing everything in your cloud space in the coming year.
Don’t Rely on Firewalls
Place whatever you are keeping in the cloud, whether that is data, server processes, or web hosting functions, behind a firewall. The mistake, however, would be then to think everything is okay, and not carry out any further monitoring.
As good as firewalls can be for preventing attacks and viruses, they are not infallible, and leaving them unmonitored will inevitably lead to a breach eventually. Combine technology and an element of human IT management in order to get the best results.
Get Service Guarantees
Some of the service guarantees you will seek from your cloud provider are obvious. For example, it goes without saying that you will want to be able to access your data securely and quickly wherever you are, and whenever you want.
Many companies that use a cloud service make the mistake of thinking they are the only clients using a particular space. If you have paid for a private cloud service, get a written guarantee that you are the only group that can access it. Some cloud providers will ‘re-sell’ your space if you leave a significant chunk of it unused, which could lead to others accessing your data and leave you at risk. Be sure to take this possibility out of the equation.
Have a Back Up Plan
Even if you have a stringent policy in place, have a firewall and a human set of eyes on your cloud operation and performance at all times, and believe you are the only person with access to the data, you can still be open to an attack and lose some of your data.
Keep an action plan active at all times, so that any data is backed up elsewhere, and have a clear idea of timescales when it comes to dealing with any breaches or restoring services. Part of this will be down to you, although your corrective actions are better to be planned in conjunction with your service provider, especially if you can get them board with carrying out security monitoring on your behalf.
Make it a Big Thing
Anyone who suffers any data security breach of any kind, not just in terms of cloud computing, does so for several reasons. One common factor shared by everyone this happens to, is that they have not made it a big deal in their organisation.
Whether you are a one man company or are responsible for a team of employees, ensure cloud security is high on the agenda on a daily basis, and something that everyone in your business lives by day in, day out.
Keep yourself secure on the cloud throughout 2013 and beyond, and you will soon find yourself well positioned to make full use of its great potential.
This post is from Posterita where my colleagues are working,  is revolutionary new inventory management software that allows chain stores and single stores to manage every aspect of their operations via an easy-to-use web-based platform.

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