Have you read all of the warnings about cloud computing? If so, you likely have some concerns about how safe cloud storage really is. Fortunately, there are ways to choose a provider and use their services that is safe, and allows you to take advantage of the power of the cloud without assuming all those risks. Here is your guide to making sure your data is safe and secure resting in your cloud provider’s hands.
1. Read the Agreement Before Signing
The service agreement your cloud service provider asks you to sign has most or all of the information you need to know before agreeing to anything. If it doesn’t, that should be a red flag that they have something to hide. Look for a cloud provider that outlines their services, what you will be paying for, what’s included in the deal, and other critical information. If it isn’t in the contract, ask the sales rep for clarification. Don’t sign until you get your answers and are satisfied with the answers.
2. Understand the Cloud Service’s Infrastructure
Most providers of public cloud services use an infrastructure that is, by nature, insecure. This includes sharing IT infrastructure with other customers. The Full Metal Cloud, however, leverages an infrastructure that assures no other customers are even on the same servers as your data. With this physical separation in place, most of your security concerns can be completely alleviated.
3. Select a Provider With Strong Encryption
You’ll also need to find out what type and level of encryption your cloud service provider uses. In some infrastructures, you will be responsible for your own encryption, but on the Full Metal Cloud, a high level of encryption is provided along with your cloud services. Of course, encryption isn’t the only security question to ask, but their use of encryption is a good indicator of how seriously they take your data security.
4. Use Strong Passwords
As many years as this has been an issue, it’s truly surprising how many people still depend on trivial passwords to keep their critical data secure. Instill a policy for password security, including length, the use of both upper and lower case letters, the addition of numbers and symbols, and other notable features of secure passwords. Also, use caution in how you store passwords. Written on sticky notes taped to your monitor or “hidden” in a document on your computer entitled “passwords” are not secure ways to store them.
5. Backup, Backup, Backup
Is your critical data stored both onsite and on your cloud service? This is ideal. Even if your cloud provider is top notch, there is always a potential for communications disruptions, such as a power or Internet outage, that could prevent you from accessing your cloud provider to get access to your data. Ideally, you will have this critical data backed up and stored onsite, and within your cloud service provider’s backup solution, as well.
With vigilance and forward-thinking, you can have the convenience, power, and savings of the cloud without encountering the security risks you hear so much about in the media and the blogs.