As I mentioned in one of my first articles the assumption that cloud computing is less secure than other business technologies is not true. Cloud computing’s highest priority is security for all of its users.
Security has proven to be the major reason why businesses are hesitant to make a commitment to a cloud migration. There has been a huge shift of focus toward cybersecurity over the past 10 years. With more of our lives becoming internet-centred it is hard to know what is private & secure and what is not.
Cloud developers have known the risks from the word go and are constantly working to improve security. These days we hear less security horror stories and more stories about the successes and benefits of cloud computing.
I hope that you are learning through this article series that ‘The Cloud’ is not as complicated as you first thought. However, one aspect of ‘The Cloud’ that I have not touched on yet is Public, Private and Hybrid cloud models.
Heard these terms before? Confused? Let’s break it down:
Public Cloud is the most common and many of us use this form of cloud computing every day, many of your apps such as Gmail operate in the Public cloud. It is inexpensive, readily accessible and focuses on providing storage to large numbers of people, in a shared data centres, that can be located anywhere in the world, depending on the service provider.
Private Cloud is similar in terms of providing storage, however there is a greater emphasis on security. This means that all your data is hosted on a private network, offering more control with restricted access.
Hybrid Cloud is just as the name suggests, a combination of both public cloud methods and private cloud methods. You can categorise your data and determine which cloud option suits it best.
For extremely private files ask your service provider about file encryption. This is the process of converting your important files into code before moving them to the private cloud. In turn making it even more difficult for potential hackers to gain access to your files.
This is just a brief overview of each of these models, to learn more I would advise speaking with a licensed cloud servicing provider to help evaluate your organisations specific needs and cloud computing objectives.
When shopping for a service provider look for transparency. If you are conversing with an organisation speaking only in vague industry jargon and skimping on the details, then you may be talking to the wrong provider.
Here are some questions you should be asking when shopping around for a cloud service provider:
Who will have access to my business data?
You want minimal involvement when it comes to data access. Of course you want technicians to be able to access your data in emergencies, but that should be the height of involvement. They certainly shouldn’t be giving access to any further parties. Some cloud service providers give you more control over your data than others. This is something to think about especially when securing very private information. Asking this question will also open up a conversation on different cloud models, mentioned previously. The provider should be able to help you determine which model is best for your business.
What type of technical support do you offer?
Ideally you want to receive 24/7 support, ensuring that you receive emergency support whenever you need it. You will become dependent on this provider, so it is crucial to find a company that cares as much about your data security as you do.
Where are the data centres you use?
It does depend on the cloud model you choose but, you want something as local as possible. However, having multiple data centres in operation is not such a bad thing. It just means that your data is backed up in more places assisting in with loss prevention.
When and how long will a cloud solution take to implement?
You want to know exactly when and how long it is going to take for the cloud migration to be completed. Ideally it should not take longer than a few weeks for a basic solution to be fully implemented. This information is vital for planning ahead and anticipating costs.
It’s all about taking small steps and sourcing trustworthy information to help you make the right decision for your business.