Everyone seems to be talking about the cloud these days. If you are in information technology (IT), you may be considering moving your company’s data and processes there. You might want to know that the global market for this kind of computing is expected to reach nearly $80 billion by 2018. The federal government is switching to the cloud for its IT services to reduce expenses for its data center infrastructure. The move is expected to save about 30%. Nearly 60% of all larger companies use the cloud for its data storage to help enhance coordination between their operations and development departments. With all of this cloud computing going on, cloud services brokers are busy!
Tips to Get You Started Working on the Cloud:
- Find your data. Many companies do not actually have a good understanding of where exactly they have their data stored. Not knowing this impedes your ability to secure it. Should something happen to the cloud services broker you use, how will you secure your data? All of the firewalls and other security software will not help you if you cannot find your data. You need to be able to see the very server that houses your data.
- This gets said a lot but it bears repeating and repeating. Back up your data. How important is that? Very. Back up your data. It is one of the most underrated and therefore overlooked things companies can do to keep their operations up and running smoothly. This is not just about you wanting to protect your data from attackers or cybercrime but what if something else happens? Big companies and small have lost time, money, customers and, worst of all, credibility by failing to do one simple thing that helps protect their data. Back up your data. It will make you feel really good knowing if you lose everything, you still can get it back. Having the best cloud communications firm or cloud services brokerage does you no good if you do not back up your stuff.
- When shopping around get personal recommendations or references. The best way to get any goods or services is by getting references and recommendations. Even if you think they are a great company, ask the cloud services brokers for recommendations. They may have testimonials on their websites but you should verify them as well. You can never be too safe when working with cloud services brokers. Check to see if the companies they have listed as references are still in business or even ever existed.
- How seriously does your data center take securing your data? That sounds like an obvious, “very.” But do they? If you know which server is housing your data, you are in a much better position to verify that they are taking security as seriously as you are. It is easy to talk a good game in areas like this but good games do not protect your company’s data. If you have actually seen the server, you are in a better position. Remember to make sure they have been audited for SSAE 16, SAS 70 and SOC 2. Make sure their clients have been PCI or HIPAA certified, if that applies. Reputable data management firms can provide some really valuable expertise and the services they offer can make your business, data and everything else much more resilient. You just need to know they are as reputable as they claim to be.
- Your security work will never be done. All cloud consultants will tell you that you need to constantly be testing your security. You may even want to hire a highly skilled hacker to test your system on a periodic basis to make sure it is secure. You can never be too safe. Somewhere out there, someone is trying to get your data. It your job to keep them from doing that.
It is easy to feel paranoid when you are dealing with securing your data and hiring cloud services brokers but do not let that stop you. Even individuals are not safe from hackers, which is why people change their passwords so often. The more careful you are and paranoid you feel, the safer your data will be.